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FAQs for... Deer Island Trips

- Deer Island Ferry

- Deer Island Sunset Cruise 

The Deer Island Ferry is a drop-off/pickup service open to public. For a custom Deer Island trip, give us a call to arrange details.

DEER ISLAND FERRY

* 15-minute ride to/from Deer Island beach

* 1.5 hours on the island

* Prohibited: pets, smoking/vaping, illegal substances, alcohol, glass

* Open to other passengers (6 max, all ages)

* Traditional or Water Slide Pontoon

DEER ISLAND SUNSET CRUISE

* 20-minutes ride to/from Deer Island beach

* 20 minutes on the island at sunset

* Prohibited: pets, smoking/vaping, illegal substances, alcohol, glass

* Open to other passengers (12 max, all ages)

* Traditional Pontoon

BILOXI-NAUTITOONS-BOATS-PONTOONS-MARINA-GOLDEN-NUGGET-LOCATION01.PNG

Check in @ Point Cadet Marina, DOCK D (not office).
We will meet you on the dock at the boat!
Behind 
Golden Nugget garage. ONE dock east of Harbor Building with blue roof.

CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS
 

* Cancellations more than 48 hours of reservation time are eligible for refund. 

* No-shows are not eligible for a refund.

* There is no prorating for unused time, late departures, early returns, or missed departures.

* There are no refunds once you leave the dock.

* Customers will receive a full refund or credit if Nauti-Toons cancels the reservation prior to departure due to weather, mechanical, or personnel factors.

* Nauti-Toons reserves the right to cancel, terminate, or modify reservations/agreements if any aspect is deemed unsafe including but not limited to sea conditions, weather, or inappropriate behavior of persons or dogs.

Do I need to make a reservation?

Reservations require payment in advance--cash or card--and must be paid upon booking. If you don't want to pay until departure time, you will not have a confirmed reservation/boat/seat/captain.

It's best to make a reservation to ensure you have a boat and/or captain on the day you prefer! Nauti-Toons operates by appointment. 

 

We can accommodate walk-ups only if our staff is on-site and there is boat/space/captain available. Call or book online!

We are happy to arrange custom events, corporate projects, and captain trips longer than 2 hours. Just call.

How many people can be on a boat?
The Captain's USCG license allows for 6 passengers max each boat.
All humans count--
no exceptions per USCG rules.
 
One captain can accommodate 6 passengers. Ferry may operate with 2 boats for 12 total seats. All passengers arrive at the same time and place on the island.

Can we go to Ship or Horn Island?
NOPE--these are small pontoon boats not built for traveling in a true, unpredictable gulf environment.
So where CAN we go? 
The Deer Island Ferry is a drop-off/pick-up exclusively for Deer Island. Explore & swim all over the island! The west end beach is the preferred drop-off spot, but the northern dock near the woods may be available if tides permit. Dogs prohibited.
Other tours and cruises will determined by weather and sea conditions. Generally, the route is along Deer Island and Biloxi Beach in the channel.

What if there's bad weather?

Once you leave the dock, there are no refunds if you return early for any reason. If Nauti-Toons or your party cancels due to unfavorable weather/sea conditions, a full refund or reschedule is available prior to leaving the dock.

Savvy boaters assess the risks and consider their skill level and the comfort of their group. In boating there is more to the weather than sunshine or rain. Wind, waves, and thunderstorms can be the most dangerous phenomena on the water. 

Afternoon storms with gusty wind and lightning occur frequently in June, July, and August and can rapidly present several hazards at the same time. A forecast of 50% scattered rain/storms is standard for summer afternoons in Mississippi. If a Small Craft Advisory (or worse) is issued and wind is gusting over 20mph, reservations will be revised.


Can you rescue us in bad weather??

Depends on the the conditions. If strong wind and waves prevent the boat from safely reaching the island, if rain reduces visibility drastically, or if lightning is severe, then you will have to wait out the storm on the island. It may or may not be fun. 

What about dogs?
Dogs are only permitted on the Deer Island Ferry, Deer Island Sunset Cruise, and Biloxi Boat Ride if your party books all 6 seats making it a private excursion.
Dogs are welcome on the Deer & Bay Private Sightseeing Tour, Water Slide Park & Play, and rentals.
 
State law requires dogs to be leashed when on the island, and pet waste must be collected and removed from the island.

Drinking salt water will make your pup sick in ways that are very unpleasant. Please remember to bring items to keep her/him comfortable especially if boating or the climate here is unfamiliar.
 
Offer your furry pal plenty of freshwater, food, shade, and time to get used to the situation. We encourage you to bring a leash, properly fitted doggie life jacket, and a favorite toy.
 
Is the water safe?
Mississippi beaches are OPEN! See MDEQ for more information.
 
Beach advisories can be issued or rescinded any time. Bacteria levels along the beaches are frequently checked.
 

I can't drive a boat, but I want to go on the water!

There are several options for a captain trip. All are limited by USCG license to 6 passengers regardless of age. Prices include captain's fee, fuel, and safety equipment. Feel free to bring anything to make your outing enjoyable!

a) Deer & Bay Sightseeing Tour (2 hours, private)

b) Deer Island Sunset Cruise (20min each way + 20min island time, public)

c) Deer Island Ferry (2 hours, 90min island time, public)

d) Biloxi Boat Ride (40min, cruise along Deer Island/Biloxi Beach, public)

e) Rental + Captain: For excursions over 2 hours or at night, please call us to make arrangements. We can contract a captain for you for custom occasions.


What costs am I responsible for?
Base price + 7% sales tax + booking fee are due upon booking. Tips aren't expected but always appreciated.
 
Do I need to make a reservation?
It's best to ensure you have a boat and/or captain on the day you prefer! Nauti-Toons operates by appointment. We can accommodate walk-ups only if our staff happens to be on-site at the time.
Reservations require payment in advance. We do not hold seats/captain/boats without payment. SEATS ARE NOT CONFIRMED UNTIL PAID. If you don't wish to pay until departure time, a seat may not be available.
We can customize ferry service, rentals, captain trips for special occasions and corporate projects. Feel free to give us a call for your specific needs!

How do I get to the boat?
Times cannot be extended for late departures. Please call us if you will be late so we can coordinate other reservations.
We will meet you on the dock at the boat.
 
Check in @ Point Cadet Marina, DOCK D (one dock east of Harbor Building)--behind Golden Nugget garage. Look for Go Topless Fishing.  

Expect 15 minutes for loading & safety briefing.
Boat departs marina promptly! 

Can we pick up people elsewhere?
Per our insurance agreement, your entire party must sign the manifest and liability waiver and depart from Point Cadet Marina--no exceptions. If someone has not completed those documents, then he/she is not allowed to step foot on the boat.

Who can book a tour/cruise/ferry?

At least 1 person in your party must be at least 18. Others may be of any age.

What about booze, etc?

Neither unsafe/rude behavior nor underage drinking will be tolerated and will result in the termination of your trip without refund.

NOT PERMITTED: Illegal substances, underage drinking, "smoking."

FOR ALL PUBLIC EXCURSIONS

Drinking alcohol is not permitted on the boat. You may bring alcohol aboard (21+) and enjoy a drink on the island.

Glass is prohibited on Deer Island.

Illegal substances are not allowed . . . and illegal.


What kind of boats do you have?

Traditional pontoon will be used for any public or private tours and sunset cruises.

 

The Deer Island Ferry may utilize the Traditional or Water Slide pontoon boat.


What can we do?
The Mississippi Sound, Biloxi Bay, and Biloxi River offer plenty of water-based activities.
 

The Deer Island Ferry is a drop-off/pick-up exclusively for Deer Island. Explore & swim all over the island! The west end beach is the preferred drop-off spot, but the northern dock near the woods may be available if tides permit. Dogs prohibited.
Fishing gear is permitted only if party books full boat of 6 seats. We are not a licensed fishing charter. Fishing from boat not allowed. Passengers must provide their own fishing licenses.
Other tours and cruises will determined by weather and sea conditions. Generally, the route is along Deer Island and Biloxi Beach in the channel.


What can we NOT do?

FOR ALL
NOT PERMITTED:

Illegal substances

Underage drinking

Bow-riding

Tubing

Water-skiing

Grilling onboard

Jumping off/riding on upper deck of water slide boat

Releasing human or pet remains (per EPA Federal Law)


Towing, tubing, and water skiing are forbidden.
Bow-riding is extremely dangerous and illegal.
Jumping from or riding on the upper deck of the slide boat is prohibited.
Barrier islands other than Deer are off-limits.

Releasing human or pet remains (per EPA Federal Law)

Fishing gear is permitted only if party books full boat of 6 seats. We are not a licensed fishing charter. Fishing from boat not allowed. Passengers must provide their own fishing licenses.

What do we need to bring with us?
There are no facilities or amenities on Deer Island. Whatever you bring must leave with you including trash.

Plenty of water, cooler (glass containers are prohibited on Deer Island and beaches), snacks, towels, weather appropriate clothing, hats, sunglasses, flip flops/water shoes, and phone.

 

A waterproof container is suggested for personal electronics, wallets, and purses.

 

Passengers are welcome to bring their own life jackets if they are marked as USCG Approved.

What do you provide?
We provide a life jacket for each passenger and required emergency gear.

Anyone under 13 years old is required to wear a properly fitted life jacket any time the boat is moving--no exceptions. We have sizes ranging from infant to XXXL that you may borrow for your outing. Passengers are welcome to bring their own life jackets if they are marked as USCG Approved.
 

Fishing, sharks, and other critters?

No big, scary sharks nearby.
 
Spot soaring cranes, swooping pelicans, chatty gulls, osprey carrying fish, even migrating geese and monarch butterflies depending upon the time of year. You may spot an alligator lounging in the bayou. Catch minnows dancing and mullet jumping. Along the beaches you'll find so many cool shells and bones, maybe even a horseshoe crab shell. Please don't take away the hermit crabs from their native environments! They will not survive.

During the summer jellyfish are present in the water, and they also wash onto the beach. Scan the water and sand for them. The bigger jellyfish with flowy tentacles have a very painful sting.

Look out for everyone's
favorite. Please do not crowd or chase the dolphins! 

Everywhere you look there will be something interesting whether it's in the water, on the land, or in the sky!

Any suggestions where to stay?
If you want to be on the same block as Nauti-Toons, we share concrete with the Golden Nugget Casino & Margaritaville Resort Biloxi (that's our pontoon boat in the photo! 😁).
Golden Nugget, Margaritaville, and Point Cadet Marina are on the same block. You can walk from your room to the docks in 5 minutes or less.
 
Ocean Springs' popular vacation rentals are within 3 miles just across Biloxi Bay from us.
For semi-local unique rentals, check out Twisted Run Retreat in Vancleave and Fulmer's Farmstead in New Augusta.
 
Looking for breathtaking RV sites? Check out Biloxi Bay RV Resort in Ocean Springs (approx. 10 minutes away) and Indian Point RV Resort in Gautier (approx. 35 minutes away).
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