September 22, 2019
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Firm again delays expected start date of Bar Harbor-Nova Scotia ferry service

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
The high-speed ferry known as The Cat sits at the Ocean Gateway Terminal in Portland in this June 2016 file photo. Bay Ferries, which operates the vessel, again has delayed the expected start time for operating the ferry between Bar Harbor and Nova Scotia.

Bay Ferries, which is expected to bring ferry service to Canada back to Bar Harbor for the first time in a decade, is delaying its expected start date again.

The Canadian firm had originally predicted the ferry would start operations in late June but last week said it would not be able to start before July 7.

In a release on Friday, however, Bay Ferries said it was canceling all reservations through July 18.

“Passengers will be re-routed, subject to customer wishes, to MV Fundy Rose,” which operates between Saint John, New Brunswick and Digby, Nova Scotia, the company said. “Progress will be continually assessed, and the company will communicate directly with its customers and the public once further parameters are known.”

Bay Ferries is renovating the town-owned ferry terminal on Route 3 in Bar Harbor, which has not been used since international ferry service across the Gulf of Maine ended in 2009. Ferry service across the gulf, between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, resumed in 2014.

The company is spending $6.4 million to renovate the customs building on the Bar Harbor property to specifications required by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and is making exterior improvements to the site.

It has said multiple factors have delayed the anticipated start date in Bar Harbor, the most significant of which is “the complexity of the construction and approvals process associated with the renovation of the Bar Harbor ferry terminal.” The need to complete the project in an accelerated time frame, the U.S. government shutdown last winter and delays in the terminal land transfer process are among other factors Bay Ferries has cited in the delays.



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