After many challenges this year, Ship Island Excursions is dealing with another one in the wake of Hurricane Sally.
2020 has once again provided a big hurdle for Ship Island Excursions. Captain Louis Skrmetta said, “I’ve been doing this for many years and I can tell you this is the toughest year we’ve ever had.”
After delays and shutdowns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and Tropical Storm Cristobal in June, damages to the ferry landing at Ship Island following Hurricane Sally have forced them to stop service to the island once again, effectively ending their season there.
Captain Skrmetta says a timeline for repairs at the landing has not been made official yet, but they’re already looking ahead and hoping for an early start to the next season. “We just hope they can get all repairs done by mid-March so we can start early and hopefully COVID-19 will be behind us in mid-March.”
As the National Park Service’s concession for ferry service to Ship Island from March to November 1st every year, the company has missed out on around two-thirds of their usual operational time in 2020. “We lost Memorial weekend, we lost Fourth of July weekend, so it’s been a challenge, it’s been tough, and it’s going to be a difficult winter for us.”
In the meantime, Skremetta tells News 25 Ship Island excursions will focus on their other services for the rest of this operating season.”We’re looking at maybe transitioning over to our dolphin cruises and sunset cruises more, giving them more frequency.”