It was an hour ferry ride each way to ship Island. My first time in Biloxi so one of the recommended things to do. Park rangers gave a nice history lesson about Fort Massachusetts dating back to war of 1812 where British launched its fleet to attack New Orleans but lost and also civil war where the island changed hand back n forth between union and confederate armies. Strategically, the 3rd tier Fort became obsolete in 1866 due to advances in weapons technology. We spent another couple of hours on the beach on a hot 100F day. You can enjoy the beach in Biloxi as there's no need to spend an entire day ferrying back n forth to ship Island (depart 9a and Noon, arrive back 3.30p and 6p). The ferry ride through ship Island excursions is $29 bucks each and $25 for umbrella and chair rental. The crew on the ferry and one shop on the island were polite and courteous. As I said earlier, It was ok for first timers but other then that, I won't recommend it.