General Information

The CAT is Bay Ferries’ newest addition, providing seasonal, daily crossings between Portland, Maine and Yarmouth, NS. Crossings take 5.5 hours, saving you lots of driving time. Sailings have ended for the 2016 season. Be sure to check back this spring for the 2017 schedule and fares information.

About the Ship and Crossing

Passenger and Vehicle Capacity

Passenger capacity on The CAT is at least 700 passengers, and vehicle capacity is in excess of 200 regular passenger vehicles.

Crossing Time and Distance

The distance between Portland, Maine and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia is 185 nautical miles, which is equal to 212 statute miles or 341 kilometres. Estimated crossing time is 5.5 to 6 hours.

Oversized Traffic

Currently, there is no commercial truck traffic service aboard The CAT. However, The CAT does carry motor coaches, which have a separate inventory and tariff.

Passenger Accessibility

All public areas on the ship are wheelchair accessible.

Ship’s Crew and Vessel Maintenance

Because the vessel is US-flagged and must remain so during the charter, US law requires that the CAT use a US crew. Seaword Services Inc., a US company, provides onboard crewing and custodial care for the ship for the US Military Sealift Command. Fuel and most supplies will be purchased in Nova Scotia, and vessel maintenance will be undertaken by a Canadian crew based in Nova Scotia.

The CAT Brand

After more than six years since the previous CAT was in service, our research indicated that The CAT brand still resonated with travellers throughout the North Eastern United States. There was extraordinary brand recognition throughout New England (one Boston survey indicated 88% recognition – and The CAT continued to attract strong internet search traffic six years after closure of the previous business) – and our company has continued to market our other ferry services in New England. We consulted with senior travel industry leaders. Given the strong awareness for the brand and the fact that the new vessel is also a high-speed catamaran, it was natural to bring back The CAT branding as it will lower barriers for the new service to enter key markets for the service.

Comparison with previous CAT

The two ships branded as The CAT moved nearly 1.7 million people between Maine and Nova Scotia over 12 seasons. High-speed ferries and conventional ferries each have well-documented strengths and weaknesses. This catamaran has a slightly different hull form which is the same hull form used by the US Navy in its class of Joint High-Speed Vessels. It has a higher “tunnel clearance” and performs differently in certain sea conditions but, when the ocean is rough, so are most vessels.

Passenger Info

Arriving at the Port

Please arrive at the terminal a minimum of one hour prior to sailing.

Pet Policy

Dogs and cats can be transported in our onboard kennel area. Guests traveling with pets should book as far in advance as possible to ensure kennel availability. Appropriate veterinarian-issued certificates may be required.

Passport Requirements

Since this is an international ferry service, proper international travel documents are required. Please check with Canadian Border Services Agency and US Customs and Border Protection for more information.

Prohibited Items

Please note that firewood is prohibited from entering the United States. If passengers attempt to cross into the US with firewood, it will be seized and disposed of properly.

Exotic birds and animals are also not allowed into the US. Dogs and cats can be transported provided they are traveling in accordance with our Pet Policy.

Restriction of Imported Goods

Please note that imported goods are not allowed at the US port of entry. Any imported goods discovered with a passenger will be seized and disposed of properly. For additional information, please visit

Information Required for Reservations

Advanced reservations are recommended. When making your reservation, please have the following information ready:

  • Passport (or other acceptable identification)
  • Dates of birth for everyone in your party
  • Credit card
  • License plate number, if you’re bringing a vehicle

Contact Information

Yarmouth Terminal

58 Water Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 1L3

Portland Terminal

12 Ocean Gateway Pier
Portland ME, 04101
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