Following two canceled seasons due to the Coronavirus crisis, the catamaran high-speed ferry service linking Maine USA with Nova Scotia Canada is expected to resume in 2022 spring.
The news comes 8 months after Bay Ferries suspended the 2021 operating season in early February due to COVID. In the latest announcement, the operator notes that it remains unclear when the international border will be open in both directions and looks forward to welcoming guests back next spring.
The high-speed ferry HSC The Cat (1990-built, IMO 8903703) sails between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth in 3,5 hours. For a total of 12 operating seasons going back to 1998, CAT transported ~1,7 million passengers between Maine and Nova Scotia. Originally sailing from Bar Harbor, the service added Portland ME in 2006 and later sailed only from Portland until a terminal lease with the port city expired in 2018.
Service from Bar Harbor was expected to resume in 2019 after the port town bought the terminal where the CAT docked, only to be held up by building and permitting delays.
The province of Nova Scotia has a long-term contract for the ferry service through the 2025 operating season, but the 2020 & 2021 seasons were canceled due to the pandemic.
The idling of the ferry has drawn criticism in Canada because of the 1 million annual fee that Bay Ferries continues to earn from the government for the CAT's management.
When the ferry does run, travelers in Nova Scotia spend an average of $2,200 each. That amount exceeds the average visitor contribution of ~$1,450.