Transportation: Getting to Nova Scotia
There are a number of ways to get to & from Nova Scotia by Boat:
- The Cat from Portland, Maine or Bar Harbor, Maine, to Yarmouth, NS (June to Oct.) 1-888-249-7245
- Bay Ferries from Saint John, NB, to Digby, NS (year round) 1-888-249-7245
- Northumberland Ferries from Wood Islands, PEI, to Caribou, NS (May to Dec.) 1-888-249-7245
- Marine Atlantic from Port aux Basques, NF (year round) and Argentia, NF (mid-June to mid-Sept.) to North Sydney, NS 1-800-341-7981
- Halifax-Dartmouth Ferries
Then there are the ferries that cut your communiting time dramatically, the
ferries between Halifax and Dartmouth.
Portland Maine to Yarmouth Nova Scotia on The Cat
This ferry service was discontinued in 2009, please use the Saint John to Digby ferry service instead, detailed below.
Saint John, NB to Digby, Nova Scotia via Bay Ferries
This ferry route is either a good shortcut to Nova Scotia (saving 582 driving kilometres), or a handy part of a "Great Citle Route"
for a trip around the Bay of Fundy.
Digby is served directly from Saint John, New Brunswick, by the automobile ferry Princess of Acadia.
The ferry will accommodate up to 650 passengers and 160 automobiles.
The 64km (40 mile) crossing takes three hours.
The ferry schedule is online and
fares vary for passengers, vehicle, commercial vehicles, and buses.
You can make ferry
reservation online or call 1-888-249-7245. A credit card is required to book all
vehicle reservations. A $25.00 Cdn charge to your credit card will result if
reservations are not cancelled 3 hours before departure time. For bus reservations,
call Elaine McGuigan, Bay Ferries Limited at
1-888-763-5229 or fax: 902-566-1550. Call 1-888-249-7245 to check departure times)
PEI via Northumberland Ferries
Northumberland Ferries depart from Caribou, Nova Scotia and Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island,
on a schedule of about every hour and a half, offering a pleasant break from driving.
The 75-minute trip, spent enjoying a chat and a snack, lounging on the deck
and soaking up the sunshine and sea air, is often considered a vacation highlight.
The trip is both relaxing and picturesque in fair weather. The ferries, however,
are vulnerable to weather-related delays,so plan accordingly.
Wood Islands is the gateway community to scenic and lively eastern Prince Edward Island.
Wood Islands is roughly 60 km from Charlottetown, which typically
translates into 45-60 minute drive via the Trans-Canada Highway (Route 1).
The fare for the ferry is paid only when leaving the Island. Ferries tend to be
every 3 or 4 hours throughout the day. Up-to-the-minute
and fare information is available by telephoning, toll-free, 1-877-359-3760.
The ferry does not operate from the end of December until early May.
Year-round access from PEI to the mainland is via the Confederation Bridge
which connects Borden Carleton (west of Charlottetown) to Cape Tourmantine, New Brunswick, near Moncton
Newfoundland via Marine Atlantic
North Sydney, Nova Scotia to Port aux Basques and Argentia, Newfoundland
Marine Atlantic provides a vital link between the island of Newfoundland and the Canadian mainland. Its modern fleet includes Canada's two largest superferries,
MV Caribou and MV Joseph and Clara Smallwood. It also includes the MV Leif Ericson. Passenger and vehicle service is provided year-round between Port aux
Basques and North Sydney, with additional service in summer between North Sydney and Argentia.
These routes are served by the ships MV Caribou, MV Joseph and Clara
Smallwood, and MV Leif Ericson. North Sydney is 429 km (266 mi) from
Halifax and 457 m (284 mi) from Moncton. Argentia, on the eastern end of
Newfoundland, is 31 km (81 mi) from Saint John's, and Port aux Basques,
at the southwestern tip of the island, is 919 km (571 mi) from St John's.
Crossing times to Port aux Basques are 5-1/2 - 6 hours in the summer, and in
wintertme daylight crossings, though for wintertime night crossings, the
time is 7 hours. Crossing Times to Argentia are 14 hours, but just from June
21 to September 30. Schedules are available online or
by calling 1-800-341-7981, and you can check rates and make reservations online.
There are typically 1-3 crossing a day to Port aux Basques in off-peak
season, and 3-4 crossings during the summer. Summertime schedule: Ferries depart from North
Sydney at 9 am, 4:30 pm and 11:30 pm with Sunday & Tuesdays and extra ferry
1t 10:30 am, and Saturday at 00:30 am. Ferries depart from Port aux Basques
at 8 am, 3:45 pm, and 11:30pm, with bonus trips Sunday at 5 pm, Wdensday at
00:30, and Fridays 7 am and 9 am instead a single 8 am departure.
Argentia, on the eastern end of Newfoundland, is 131 km (81 mi) from
St John's. The ferry from North Sydney to Argentia runs Monday, Wednesday,
at 6 am and Friday at 3:30 pm, from June 21 - September 14, and just on Mondays from Sept
15-30. The ferry from Argentia to North Sydney runs overnight leaving at
11:00 pm on Monday, 8 am Thursday and Saturday June 21 - September 14, and just on Mondays from Sept
- The Non-Smokers Health Act: Smoking is strictly prohibited. Thank you for your cooperation.
- Passengers are not permitted to remain in their vehicles during the crossing. If it is necessary to return to your vehicle while at sea, you must
be accompanied by a member of the crew. Doors are locked and visits to the vehicle deck are scheduled.
The Halifax/Dartmouth ferry departs every 15 or 30 minutes from each side of the harbour on weekdays and half-hourly on Saturdays and holidays. Half-hourly Sunday service (Dartmouth service only) noon to 6pm, June to September. Another ferry runs between Woodside and Halifax, Mon. to Fri., peak hours only. MetroInfo: 490-6600.
The Halifax ferry terminal is located at the foot of George Street. The Dartmouth ferry terminal is on Alderney Drive at the foot of Queen Street. Another ferry runs between Halifax and Woodside (south Dartmouth) Monday to Friday, peak hours only.
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