After failed season, the Yarmouth ferry is set to sail again
HALIFAX -- After a failed season, tickets are once again being sold for the ferry that connects Nova Scotia and Maine.
Bay Ferries says the Yarmouth ferry will return to service on June 26, with ticket sales starting Friday.
The service will include one daily round trip, departing Yarmouth at 9:30 a.m. local time and Bar Harbor at 3 p.m. local time, until after Labour Day, when there will be six crossings per week. The season will end on Oct. 13.
The announcement comes after a failed season for the ferry, which remained docked last year while the terminal was under renovation in Bar Harbor. The season ended without a single crossing having been made, despite tickets being sold.
Before 2019, the ferry had been sailing into Portland. Bay Ferries said the switch was made to Bar Harbor because it’s a shorter trip, which could save on fuel costs.
But the move was plagued by delays, mainly due to requirements by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which ordered specific renovations to the Bar Harbor terminal building before it would put agents in place to process ferry passengers.
The work forced the ferry's operator to cancel and delay bookings several times, before finally suspending them in July.
At the time, the owners of at least one hotel in Yarmouth told CTV News that they had 1,200 cancellations, which they believed were directly linked to the ferry not operating.
Bay Ferries says it has been working closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection as construction continues on the Bar Harbor ferry terminal, and it believes the remaining work can be completed before the season begins. The company says the start date could even be moved up, depending on construction progress.
If there is a delay, Bay Ferries says customers will be informed immediately.
Ferry cost province an extra $4 million in 2019
The Nova Scotia government says the ferry service cost taxpayers an extra $4 million as it sat idle for the 2019 sailing season.
Education Minister Zach Churchill released the figure Friday following the announcement from Bay Ferries.
Churchill, who represents the Yarmouth riding, says the overrun is related to costs associated with tying up the ferry and upgrading the Bar Harbor terminal.
This brings the total cost to the province last year to $17.8 million.
With files from The Canadian Press