News release

Nova Scotia-To-Maine Ferry Service Suspended for 2021 Season

The ferry service between Yarmouth and Bar Harbor, Maine will not operate during the 2021 season because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is a disappointing decision to have to make, but given the ongoing uncertainty, it is really the only choice we have. We must keep Nova Scotians safe,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Lloyd Hines. “The province remains committed to this service in the long term. It will resume when circumstances allow. Many Nova Scotians invest time, effort and money based on this ferry service, and many highly skilled people work on it. We are appreciative of their service and effort and know they will understand the circumstances.’’

Currently, the border between the U.S. and Canada is closed to unrestricted, non-essential travel and that is not expected to change in the foreseeable future. As well, a critical percentage of the general population is not expected to be vaccinated until summer.

As a result, the planned May to October ferry season is suspended. Making the decision now will help reduce costs in areas such as marketing, hiring additional ship and terminal crew, and moving The Cat ferry to Yarmouth. Normal vessel maintenance programs will continue.

The decision comes following consultation with Nova Scotia Public Health, ferry operators Bay Ferries Ltd. and the Town of Yarmouth.

Quote:

It is absolutely the right decision. The health and safety of our citizens is the most important thing as we continue to manoeuvre our way through the pandemic. Pam Mood, Mayor of Yarmouth

Quick Facts:

  • a work program on the Bar Harbor ferry terminal is complete. United States Customs and Border Protection facilities will be commissioned in the month prior to the eventual start of service
  • the province has a long-term contract for the ferry service through the 2025 operating season
  • on average, visitors who used the Yarmouth ferry contribute $2,200 in tourism revenues each. This compares to an average Nova Scotia visitor contribution of approximately $1,450
  • the 2020 season was also suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic

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Media Contact:

Peter McLaughlin
Cell: 902-225-4483 Email: