There are a number of ways to get to & from Nova Scotia by Boat:
- Bay Ferries from 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 Pictou/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 commuting time dramatically, the ferries between Halifax and Dartmouth.
Bar Harbor Maine to Yarmouth Nova Scotia on The Cat
The sailing season typically starts US Memorial Day,
but in 2019 there is significant ferry dock improvement construction delaying the start of ferry season to June 21
The distance between Bar Harbor, ME and Yarmouth, NS is 98 nautical miles. Estimated crossing time is 3.5 hours. The CAT’s passenger capacity is over 700 passengers, and can carry 200 regular passenger vehicles. All public areas on the ship are wheelchair accessible. The CAT ( name used by two ships over the years) has moved nearly 1.7 million people between Maine and Nova Scotia over 12 seasons.
Here are key links:
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 Circle 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 64 km (40 mile) crossing takes three hours.
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)
Here are key links:
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 schedule information 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
Here are key links:
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 Atlantic Vision, MV Caribou, 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. Port aux Basques, at the southwestern tip of the island, is 919 km (571 mi) from St John’s. Crossing times between North Sydney and Port-aux-Basques are 5-1/2 – 6 hours in the summer (as well as for wintertime daylight crossings), though wintertime night crossings take a more cautious 7 hours.
There are 1-3 daily crossings to Port aux Basques in off-peak season, and 3-4 daily crossings during the summer.
Ferries depart from North Sydney at 11:45 am and 11:45 pm. Ferries depart from Port aux Basques for North Sydney at 11:45 am and 11:45 pm. Year-round schedule and Fares. The fares for the summertime-only longer crossing between North Sydney and Argentia are higher.
, on the eastern end of Newfoundland, is 131 km (81 mi) from St John’s. Crossing times between North Sydney and Argentia are 14 hours, but this ferry runs just from June 21 to September 30, to help with the busy summer tourist traffic. The ferry from North Sydney to Argentia runs From June 19 to September 30, which run 5:30 pm Mon, Thu, Sat (and just Sat from Sept 20-30). The return trip from Argentia to North Sydney leaves Sun, Wed Fri at 5:00p m.
Here are key links:
North Sydney, NS
Port aux Basques, NF
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.
The highway (now #104) passes by many small towns on St. George’s Bay, including Havre Boucher, Tracadie, and Antigonish, and then dips southwest to Truro. It then meanders in a northwesterly direction to Amherst, before crossing the border into New Brunswick. To the south is the Minas Basin, which opens into the Bay of Fundy, known for its extreme tides of over 14 metres. To the north is the Northumberland Strait which looks out to Prince Edward Island and the scenic towns of Pictou, Pugwash, and Northport.
The distance from Sydney to Amherst is 252 miles (405 KM), but a non-stop tour of the Cabot Trail will add a day to your visit. The Trans-Canada does not pass through Halifax, which is Nova Scotia’s largest city and the provincial capital, but it’s only 63 miles southwest of Truro on route 102, and worth visiting.
Heading to Prince Edward Island (PEI)
To get to Prince Edward Island, cross the border into New Brunswick. Then turn east onto Trans-Canada Route 16, and cross to the island on the new 11-mile Confederation Bridge. You can also take a privately-operated a 75-minute long car ferry to PEI from Pictou, Nova Scotia.
: The bridge toll is only paid on the way OFF the Island, so if you go east to west, you pay ferry + bridge toll, but if you travel west to east through PEI, you only pay the ferry toll.