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[Photo above – Location: Broad Cove, Cape Breton Island – Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia/Photographer: Dean Casavechia]
Rugged shorelines, endless sandy beaches, expansive mountains, and salt-of-the-earth people — there is no place quite like the Maritimes, and no place in the Maritimes quite like Nova Scotia.
Shaping part of the incredible Canadian East Coast, Nova Scotia offers more coastline than California and an ever-growing collection of wineries to match. Sip an award-winning Annapolis Valley Tidal Bay varietal paired perfectly with fresh seafood, raise a hoppy glass of craft brew at an authentic East Coast kitchen party, find the perfect artisan-made souvenir, and sail along the shores of quaint fishing villages.
The Fastest Way to Slow Down
Now imagine doing that all before stepping foot on the province. Sailing between Bar Harbor, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, The CAT is a high-speed car ferry on the Atlantic that offers just that. More than a journey, it is a travel adventure that takes only three and a half hours from port to port, giving you time to sit back, relax, and enjoy a taste of the Maritimes en route to your destination.
Say farewell to cramped cars and so long to overly snug back seats — The CAT offers comfortable seating to kick back and unwind while somebody else handles the driving. Grab a bite to eat at one of three food venues serving specialty snacks like bacon-wrapped scallops at Forchu Lounge, fresh-baked goods at Scotia Market Café, and espresso-based beverages at Sip@Sea. Find a cozy chair in the movie area, settle in for a set of live musical entertainment, or stretch your legs while exploring the ferry with the family as you complete the Sailor’s Scavenger Hunt.
Experience Canada’s Ocean Playground
The fun continues as you disembark in Yarmouth. Explore Yarmouth and Acadian Shores, a remote land tucked away on the tip of Nova Scotia, surrounded by vast expanses of green and the deep blue sea. Discover one of the region’s most iconic landmarks, the Cape Forchu Lighthouse, along with craft breweries, art installations, diverse restaurants, and local markets. Embark on a lobster fishing boat where you’ll learn about fishing history and Acadian culture. Venture further along Southwestern Nova Scotia to Digby, the scallop capital of the world, for a fresh bite to eat on your way to the annual Wharf Rat Rally (August 31 – September 3, 2023) to hear the roar of 9,000 motorcycles.
The East Coast has a vibrant cultural scene and the events in Nova Scotia’s capital city this summer are not to be missed. From the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo (June 30-July 3, 2023) and Halifax Jazz Festival (July 11-16, 2023) to the Halifax Busker Festival (August 2-7, 2023) and the Atlantic International Film Festival (September 14-21, 2023), the Halifax region is full of engaging entertainment and is the epicenter of Nova Scotia’s emerging culinary and bar scene.
Of course, the whole province is a veritable wonderland to explore. Known affectionately as Canada’s Ocean Playground, discover incredible dining in picturesque Lunenburg (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and a frenzy of fun and sportsmanship at Chester Race Week (August 16-19, 2023). On the northeastern tip of Nova Scotia lies a lushly forested island whose rocky highland Cabot Trail scenic drive and changing fall leaves have made it a top destination for travelers from around the globe.
Voted the Best Island in Canada five years in a row by Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards, and ranked the #1 Island in North America by Condé Nast Traveler readers, Cape Breton Island offers its own unique calendar of cultural events, from traditional Mi’kmaq pow-wows and weekly Celtic ceilidhs. You’ll be moved by song, dance, nature, and then some.
Fast-Track Your Vacation
The warm, welcoming local charm greets you in every port, town, and city you visit, and it is the first thing you encounter when you board The CAT. From the helpful reservation agents to those on board who are eager to welcome guests, The CAT’s staff and crew are there to ensure your trip is smooth sailing from start to finish.
There is no better way to travel the Maritimes, especially with family. No checked luggage, finding a pet sitter, or grumbles from the back seat—The CAT simplifies summer travel, saving time, money, and allowing you to bring the whole family with its Family + Friends Ride Free special.
It is easier than ever to experience the ease, convenience, and comfort of The CAT on your Maritime adventure. Feel inspired to set sail on The CAT yet? Book your adventure online today at www.ferries.ca/book/ or call 1-877-762-7245 to plan your next getaway.