Bay Ferries to launch Maine service by June 26

The CAT, a high-speed passenger ferry, departs Yarmouth, N.S. heading to Portland, Maine on its first scheduled trip on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan

Bay Ferries says it will launch its Nova Scotia to Maine ferry service by June 26, according to a schedule posted on the company’s website.

It will serve as the inaugural season for the service to Bar Harbor after there were no commercial crossings between Yarmouth, N.S., and Bar Harbor, Maine, during the 2019 sailing season.

The 2019 season of the service, known as the CAT ferry, was supposed to be the first to feature sailings to Bar Harbor after five years of trips between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine.

Bay Ferries said the impetus for the port switch was potential savings in fuel costs because of a shorter trip.

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But the move was plagued by delays as U.S. Customs and Border Protection ordered renovations to the Bar Harbor terminal building before it would put agents in place to process ferry passengers.

The renovations at the terminal include the demolition of existing buildings outside the terminal’s customs area, as well as several outbuildings and portions of the ferry terminal’s interior.

The terminal upgrades are projected to cost about $8.5 million.

Click to play video: '‘We’re still very hopeful’: province not yet waving white flag on CAT season'
‘We’re still very hopeful’: province not yet waving white flag on CAT season

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

The Liberal government continues to argue the ferry subsidy is essential in order to support tourism and the struggling economy in southwestern Nova Scotia.

With files from The Canadian Press


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