June 24, 2019 8:13 am
Updated: June 29, 2019 1:37 pm

CAT ferry back in Yarmouth, N.S., amid troubled sailing season

WATCH: There is still no definitive startup date from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which requires specific renovations to the Maine terminal building.

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The CAT ferry came back to Yarmouth, N.S., on Sunday.

The vessel that will serve as transportation between Yarmouth, N.S., and Bar Harbor, Maine, pulled into Yarmouth shortly before 2 p.m. AT, according to marinetraffic.ca.

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The arrival of the high-speed passenger ferry from its wintering location in Charleston, S.C., may signal an end to the delays that have plagued the 2019 season, which is still yet to get underway.

READ MORE: Bay Ferries cancels bookings for N.S. to Maine service through mid-July

Bay Ferries Inc., announced last week that the CAT will not begin its 2019 sailing season until at least “mid-summer” and cancelled all reservations up to and including July 18.

However, the delays have not come from the Nova Scotia side of the operation but with complications south of the border.

Bay Ferries has pointed to a number of reasons for the delay, including the “complexity of the construction and approvals process associated with the renovation of the Bar Harbor ferry terminal.”

Other factors have been cited, including the U.S. government shutdown and delays in the terminal land transfer process.

Bay Ferries has said construction of the marine side of the project is on time but there are delays on land, where the company is involved in building a ferry terminal that will house U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facilities.

WATCH: Bay Ferries CEO faces questions over Bar Harbor service at Nova Scotia legislature

Nova Scotia’s business minister has admitted that it is now an open question whether the provincially subsidized service will run this summer.

The CAT is operated by Bay Ferries as part of a 10-year deal with the Nova Scotia government made back in 2016.

The province has committed an estimated $8.5 million to help with the renovation work and the ferry’s operating subsidy for this year is expected to be $13.8 million.

—With files from the Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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