Grand Manan, a spectacular Canadian island in the world-famous Bay of Fundy and close to where Maine meets New Brunswick, is within a day’s drive from New England, Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces. Getting here by sea or by air is the beginning of your adventure.
• A daily vehicle ferry service runs several times per day, except for January 1 and December 25 when no ferries run. In the summer, two ferries operate, with two hours between each trip. The rest of the year, there are four hours between trips and one ferry. Fees are collected when you reserve or at the ticket office on Grand Manan. There is a cafeteria on board with a full menu including excellent chowder or soup. The ferries are large, comfortable, and safe. Be sure to watch for whales, porpoise and seabirds that are often spotted along the way. If you are staying on Grand Manan or participating in an activity such as whale watching or kayaking, the operators will be able to help you plan your trip around the ferry schedule. Rough ferry crossings in the summer are unusual.
• A number of commercial wharves (North Head, Ingalls Head, White Head and Seal Cove) are also available for private vessels. Each has enough water at low water for a vessel to tie up to the wharf and private moorings are available at some of these. Wharf usage rates are available by contacting the Grand Manan Port Authority (506 662-8481).
• The island also has a 1000m air strip for small planes. A private charter service also operate from the island. No regular flights are schedule but flights can be tailored to your traveling plans by contacting them.
• Driving: In Canada, take Rte. 1 along the coast of New Brunswick to exit 60 to Blacks Harbour, about 35 minutes drive southwest of Saint John. People from the USA will generally travel up I-95 to Bangor in Maine, then east on Rte. 9 to Calais. Cross the border (you will need your passport or similar acceptable id) and go east on Highway 1 about 35 minutes to the Blacks Harbour exit 60. The drive is 10 km or 6 miles on Rte. 176 to the ferry wharf at the very end of the road. Some services are available in both Pennfield and Blacks Harbour. It is recommended to arrive 45 minutes in advance of the departure of the ferry. You may reserve a space via the ferry operator’s website, Coastal Transport or by calling 506-662-3724 (or visit the ticket office). Their website has the ferry schedule, rates and information. If you do not have a reservation, you may still get on the ferry but in the summer the ferries can be busy!
Here is some important information to consider before crossing the Canada/US border. Border Crossing Information.
• Flying: Closest commercial airport is Saint John, NB or Bangor, ME.