Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the crossing between Yarmouth, NS and Bar Harbor, ME?

The crossing is approximately 3.5 hours.

Do I need a reservation?

Advance booking is strongly recommended to ensure space is available on a particular sailing. Reservations may be made online or by calling toll-free 1-877-762-7245.

What information do I need to make a reservation?

  • Passport and/or VISA is required for entry to Canada or USA; permanent resident card; enhanced driver’s license (MI, MN, NY, VT, WA; ON, BC, MB); or passport card. Please note that NEXUS is not available in Yarmouth or Bar Harbor.
  • Dates of birth (for all passengers)
  • Credit card, MasterCard or Visa
  • Email address and mobile number where you can be reached while traveling
  • If you are traveling with a vehicle: license plate number and overall length and height of the vehicle or vehicles with items attached to the roof/back or towing.

What time should I arrive at the departing terminal?

All passengers must arrive at least one hour before the scheduled departure time to ensure a timely departure.

For Yarmouth departures, check-in is same day only, prior to boarding.

For Bar Harbor departures, we will accept passengers and vehicles for boarding after 1:30 pm on the day of departure. If your travel schedule permits, we encourage you to come to the terminal after 3:00 pm on the day before sailing, or before 12:00 noon on the date of sailing, for early check-in, which will facilitate the boarding process.

I booked tickets for The CAT online but did not receive a boarding card. What do I need to board the vessel?

CAT ferry boarding cards are printed at check-in. All passengers on a reservation must check in together and present their passport for ID verification. If traveling in a vehicle, you must also verify your vehicle license plate number.

What happens if my crossing is canceled?

Bay Ferries, operators of The CAT, will send you an email advisory and options on how to rebook or cancel your reservations.

If you have not provided us with an email address, our agents will attempt to call you as soon as possible.

Please be sure to give us contact information (both email and mobile phone) that you will have access to while traveling. If you are traveling out of country, please keep cell phone data access in mind.

When in doubt, please call our contact center or terminals – they will be able to advise you of service interruptions and help you rebook/cancel.

What travel documents do I need?

Travelers are required to show a valid passport to gain entry into both Canada and the United States. For more information on identification requirements, please check for Canadian requirements, http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp, and US Customs and Border Protection at https://www.cbp.gov/.

What is the customs procedure?

At check in, passengers will be issued a Customs Declaration form to complete before arrival. Upon arrival to port, all passengers will present their passport and declaration form to Customs for entry into the country.

Passengers traveling via vehicle or bicycle will drive to a Customs checkpoint where they will present documents for entry.

Passengers traveling without a vehicle will present themselves to Customs with all their bags in hand.

Only Customs can determine if you are allowed to enter the country. Bay Ferries Limited cannot be held responsible in any way for individuals who are inadmissible or who do not hold the necessary documentation to enter Canada or the United States.

I am traveling without a vehicle, where will my friends or family pick me up?

All passengers are required to clear Customs before they have access to public areas. Family and friends can meet you in the terminal lobby.

Is parking available at the terminals?

Parking is not available at the Yarmouth ferry terminal; however, there is parking available nearby. To arrange parking in Yarmouth, please call 902-740-3791. Please plan ahead and leave ample time to get to the ferry terminal from the parking facility. An onsite parking lot is available for use at the Bar Harbor ferry terminal for a fee of $12/night. Payment for parking in Bar Harbor can be made upon booking through our toll-free reservations line (1-877-762-7245) or at the ferry terminal upon check-in.

Is The CAT wheelchair accessible?

We offer a crew operated lift from the car deck to the passenger deck. All amenities are located on the passenger deck.

How do RVs board and exit The CAT?

In Bar Harbor, RVs will back on/back off the vessel. It is a very straightforward process with plenty of space to maneuver and you will be directed by an experienced crew member. Alternatively, drivers may sign a waiver to allow a vessel crew member to back their vehicle onboard. In Yarmouth, RVs and oversize vehicles will drive on/drive off the vessel.

Can I remain in my vehicle during the crossing?

No – safety regulations do not permit passengers to remain in their vehicles.

Can I return to my vehicle during the crossing?

For safety reasons, there is no access to the vehicle deck during the passage.

Are there passenger cabins onboard?

No.

What seating is available onboard?

Seating is available on a first come, first served basis and cannot be reserved (with the exception of motorcoach groups who have made prior arrangements). Throughout the passenger deck, there is a variety of seats, including airplane style seating; oversize leather seating; booth seating; and café style seating.

Is there an outside deck?

There are three access points to the outside: two side decks, which can be found at the top of two stairwells and lead to/from the vehicle deck, and a large deck at the stern (back) of the ship. For safety reasons, the Captain will close the stern (back deck) while getting underway or if sea conditions do not permit.

Can I smoke onboard?

To support the health and wellness of our passengers and employees, Bay Ferries is pleased to provide a smoke-free environment on board The CAT. No smoking of any kind is permitted including vapor products, e-cigarettes, and cannabis.

How does Canada’s Cannabis Act (effective October 17, 2018) affect travel on The CAT?

The Cannabis Act does not change Canada’s border rules. As a traveler, you are responsible to be informed about the laws of the countries you intend to visit. Taking cannabis, and products containing it, across international borders, including the Canada – United States border, is illegal and can result in serious criminal penalties. Transporting cannabis used for medical purposes is illegal.

Resources:

https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/cannabis-and-international-travel

https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/cannabis-eng.html

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/clearing-cbp/cbp-reminds-travelers-canada-marijuana-remains-illegal-united-states

Can I shop for souvenirs onboard?

The Scotia Market Gift Shop features authentic Nova Scotian products.

Do you have a duty free store onboard?

Duty free shopping is not offered onboard or in either port/port town.

Is there wifi onboard?

We do not have WiFi onboard; however, we have a business center which includes three computers with Internet access. Please be advised there is a 20 minute limit per user.

What entertainment do you offer?

We feature a new release movie on every crossing and live entertainment on specific dates throughout the season. Please check seasideexperiences.com for the full entertainment lineup.

Is alcohol served on board the ship?

The Forchu Lounge serves a selection of wines, beers, as well as cocktails and spirits (some locally made in Nova Scotia). Passengers must be 21 years of age to obtain alcoholic beverages on The CAT.

What dining options are available onboard?

Forchu Lounge – Digby bacon wrapped scallops, bacon wrapped miso salmon and assorted cheese plates.
Scotia Market – Offers freshly made breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Options for those with dietary restrictions are also available.
Sip at Sea Café – Over 20 loose teas, espresso-based beverages. Smoothies and made in house gelato.

Do you have a children’s area?

The unsupervised children’s play area offers a selection of children’s movies, toys, and books.

Filming/Photoshoots on The CAT

Production companies may be permitted access The CAT and terminals as a venue for filming or photoshoot efforts. Film/photo shoots must be coordinated in advance with Bay Ferries in order to minimize the impact on operations. For more information, please contact Allison MacLaurin at [email protected].

Are pets allowed onboard?

Dogs and cats are permitted to travel on The CAT and can remain comfortably in their owner’s vehicle or in an onboard kennel. For safety reasons, pet owners are not permitted to visit pets during the voyage, therefore we ask that you ensure your furry friend has adequate food, water, and fresh air. Crew members monitor the vehicle deck during the voyage and will be sure to make pet owners aware of a distressed pet. Guests traveling with pets should call to notify us so we can note it on their reservation. Appropriate veterinarian-issued certificates are required and must be shown at check-in.

Do my pets require travel documents?

Your dog must be healthy and have a valid rabies vaccine certificate to enter the United States. Puppies younger than 4 months old cannot enter the United States. Cats are permitted to enter the United States at any age without certificates but must be free of any evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined by an inspector at the port of entry. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information on animal importation, www.cdc.gov/importation. Service dogs must also meet the requirements.

How do I apply for a job with the Yarmouth/Bar Harbor Ferry Service?

There are three partnerships that work together seamlessly to provide an enjoyable onboard passenger experience. If you are a safety-focused team worker, with strong customer service skills and want to work with people from the US and Canada, serving passengers from around the world, please consider working for one of our partners:

Vessel and Cabin crew: Seaward Services Inc., is a proud member of the HMS Global Maritime family of companies and is contracted by Bay Ferries to provide vessel and cabin crew onboard The CAT. Employment opportunities on the Alakai can be found on the web.

Tourism Services: Yarmouth & Acadian Shores offers tourism information at our onboard Visitor Information Center.

Concession & Gift Shop Retail Services: Sip Café, based on Main Street in downtown Yarmouth, offers freshly made goods and specialty coffees on board the CAT. Sip also operates the Scotia Market.

How do I apply for a job in Bar Harbor with shore-side services? Please contact our U.S. partner, Atlantic Fleet Services at [email protected] for ticket clerk and traffic direction positions.

Plan your adventure by calling one of our Travel Specialists at 1-877-762-7245.

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