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The Cat ferry resumes service to Bar Harbor after 13-year hiatus

The Cat leaves Canada in the morning and returns from Maine in the afternoon. It'll run four days a week to start before ramping up to seven days a week in late June

BAR HARBOR, Maine — For the first time since 2009, The Cat ferry carried passengers and cars between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and Bar Harbor. 

For the past few years, Bay Ferries, the Canadian ferry company that owns The Cat, has tried to bring the seasonal service back. The effort was delayed due to the pandemic and financial reasons.

After the service ended in Bar Harbor, the ferry moved to Portland, but that route ended in 2018. 

"I think people are going to be glad to see The Cat gracing Frenchman Bay once again," Bar Harbor Town Council Chair Jeff Dobbs told NEWS CENTER Maine. "I speak for the majority of Bar Harbor in saying that The Cat’s more than welcome."

Dobbs admitted the ferry's return could cause problems for those looking for a place to stay overnight.

"That was always the thing in the past, back in the days of the Bluenose and even the first Cat," he said. "Exiting passengers coming to spend the night to meet the boat filled up a lot of hotel rooms, and I think there’s going to be a lot of competition for those motel and hotel and inn rooms this year."

The Cat leaves Canada in the morning and returns from Maine in the afternoon. It will run four days a week to start before ramping up to seven days a week in late June. 

The trip takes about three and a half hours.

Bar Harbor's harbormaster, Christopher Wharff, told NEWS CENTER Maine he will be monitoring traffic conditions and any other issues that may pop up with the ferry's arrival on Thursday.  

"We're always concerned with traffic," Dobbs said. "It's going to be day one, and we'll see how it goes. There were some concerns about traffic monitoring, but it's so early in the season that shouldn't be a problem."

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