Travel Advisory:  NOTICE - ADVISORY - THE CAT - May 27th, 2024 Learn More

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Ferry Questions

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Planning Your Trip

How long is the crossing between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and Bar Harbor, Maine?

The crossing is approximately 3.5 hours.

What are your departure times?

The CAT ferry departs from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, at 9:30AM Atlantic and from Bar Harbor, Maine, at 3:00PM Eastern.

Do I need a reservation?

All travellers whether personal vehicle or walk-on, are strongly encouraged to make a reservation. A reservation will guarantee your spot, ensure a quicker check-in, and allow us to plan the loading of vehicles. Book your spot online or call 1-877-762-7245 to make a reservation.

Do you offer special rates or discounts?

A complete list of current offers and promotions can be viewed on our Special Offers page. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more traveling on foot or bicycle. Please contact our Yarmouth Ferry Terminal at [email protected] for group rates.

What information do I need to make a reservation?

  • A valid passport and/or VISA is required for entry to Canada or United States; 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
  • 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.

I am travelling with a rental car and want to make an online booking. What is required?

If using a rental vehicle, please enter “RENTAL” in the license plate field when booking online.

What travel documents do I need?

All travellers are required to show a valid passport to enter 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 U.S. Customs and Border Protection at https://www.cbp.gov/.

Effective May 12, 2023, the United States will no longer require non-U.S. travellers entering the country to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination.

When travelling by land or sea, U.S., or Canadian children under age 16 and infants are required to provide proof of citizenship. They may present one of the following documents:

  • An original or copy of his or her birth certificate
  • A consular report of birth abroad
  • A naturalization certificate
  • A citizenship card

If both birth parents are not present, you must provide a signed (preferably notarized) statement from the parent(s) authorizing the child to travel out of the country or proof of custody.

Children from countries other than the U.S. or Canada will require a passport and possibly a Visa. Failure to provide such evidence may deem you inadmissible to Canada.

Are pets allowed on board and do pets require travel documents?

Cats and dogs are welcome at Bay Ferries and on board The CAT.

There are 2 options available when travelling with pets:

  • They remain in your vehicle, or
  • Stay in a kennel on the vehicle deck.

Advise us at check-in if you would like a kennel – they are limited and provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Exception: Documented service animals on leash are permitted on the passenger deck.

For more information visit our travelling with pets page.

What is your change/cancellation policy?

More than 24 hours’ Notice

  • Regular Fares: Free Change and Cancellation
  • Discounted Fares: Free Change and Cancellation

Within 24 Hours of Departure

  • Regular Fares: $50 Change and Cancellation Fee
  • Discounted Fares: $100 Change and Cancellation Fee

No Show

  • Regular Fares: $50 No Show Fee
  • Discounted Fares: $100 No Show Fee

Why is the fare for a spyder/slingshot the same as a regular vehicle?

Spyders/slingshots can take up the same amount of lane meters as a regular passenger vehicle, up to (less than 7′ high and 20′ long).

How do I cancel or amend my reservation?

You can make changes to your reservation by calling our toll free number 1-877-762-7245, or our ferry terminals (in the operating season) can assist you.

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Day of Travel

What are the hours of operation of your ferry terminals?

The Yarmouth ferry terminal is open from 8:00AM – 4:00PM Atlantic from April 1 – May 16 and October 16-30. During the operating season (May 17 to October 15), hours are 7:00AM – 9:00PM Atlantic.

The Bar Harbor ferry terminal is open from 8:00AM – 5:00PM Eastern, May 1 to October 15, and closed on Tuesdays until June 17.

What happens if my crossing is cancelled?

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 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 toll free line or ferry terminals – they will be able to advise you of service interruptions and help you rebook/cancel.

What time should I arrive at the departing terminal for check-in?

All passengers, including walk-on, must check-in at least 1 hour prior to the schedule departure time. For Yarmouth departures, check-in is same day only. For Bar Harbor departures, customers may also check-in the evening prior to travel between 3:00PM and 5:00PM local time or on the morning of travel between 8:00AM and 11:00AM and receive an express pass for boarding. Express pass holders should not arrive for loading prior to 1:30PM.

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 is the customs procedure?

At check-in in Bar Harbor, passengers will be issued a Customs declaration form to complete before arrival in Nova Scotia. Upon arrival to port, all passengers will present their passport and declaration form to Customs for entry into the country. No declaration form is currently required for entry to Bar Harbor, Maine.

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 permitted 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.

Persons with a felony may be denied entrance into Canada. If you have been convicted of a crime in the United States it may be considered a felony in Canada. A Driving Under the Influence conviction (DUI) is considered a felony in Canada. Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for more information.

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 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 is collected at the ferry terminal.

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. For more information, visit our Guests with Disabilities page.

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 on board. In Yarmouth, RVs and oversize vehicles will drive on/drive off the vessel.

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On Board

Can I remain in my vehicle during the crossing?

No – safety regulations require passengers to exit their vehicles.

Can I return to my vehicle during the crossing?

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

Are there passenger cabins on board?

No.

What seating is available on board?

Seating is available on a first come, first served basis, and cannot be reserved (apart from motorcoach groups who have made prior arrangements). Throughout the passenger deck, there are 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 on board?

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

Can I shop for souvenirs on board?

The Scotia Market Gift Shop features authentic Nova Scotian products.

Do you have a duty-free store on board?

Duty-free shopping for alcohol and other usual duty-free products is not offered on board or in either port/port town.

Is there Wi-Fi on board?

We are pleased to offer complimentary Wi-Fi access. To ensure a pleasant travel experience for all passengers, data size is limited to 1 Mbps per passenger. Due to limited bandwidth, certain webpages are slower than others, particularly sites displaying video and images.

What entertainment do you offer?

We feature a new release movie on every crossing and live entertainment on specific dates throughout the season. Please visit our Seaside Experiences page closer to our season start for the full entertainment lineup.

Is alcohol served on board?

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 and are responsible for strict compliance with driving/alcohol laws in the U.S. and Canada.

What dining options are available on board?

The CAT has three food service locations for your dining pleasure.

Forchu Lounge – Enjoy a selection of local wine and craft beer from Nova Scotia. Pair it with a cheeseboard, bacon wrapped scallops, or your choice of specialty snack.

Scotia Market – Offers freshly made breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Options for those with dietary restrictions are also available.

Sip@Sea Café – Serving over 20 loose teas, espresso-based beverages, smoothies, and homemade gelato.

Do you have a children’s area?

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

Are pets permitted on board?

Cats and dogs are welcome at Bay Ferries and on board The CAT.

There are 2 options available when travelling with pets:

  • They remain in your vehicle, or
  • Stay in a kennel on the vehicle deck.

Advise us at check-in if you would like a kennel – they are limited and provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Exception: Documented service animals on leash are permitted on the passenger deck.

For more information visit our travelling with pets page.

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Other

Is filming and are photoshoots permitted on The CAT?

Production companies may be permitted access to The CAT and terminals as a venue for filming or photo shoot efforts. Film/photo shoots must be coordinated in advance with Bay Ferries to minimize the impact on operations.

For more information, please contact:
Allison MacLaurin
[email protected]

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 player with strong customer service skills and a desire to serve ferry customers, please consider working for one of our partners:

Concession & Gift Shop Retail Services: Sip@Sea Café, an affiliate of Sip Café, based on Main Street in downtown Yarmouth, offers freshly made food, snacks, specialty coffees and souvenirs on board The CAT.

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

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

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 Limited to provide vessel and cabin crew on board The CAT. Employment opportunities on the Alakai can be found here.