Grand Manan & White Head Islands....Closer than you might think
Travel Information
Grand Manan Island Ferry Service

Grand Manan Island is accessible via a daily ferry departing from Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick, to North Head, Grand Manan, with the exception of December 25 and January 1 when there are no ferry crossings.  Driving distances from a number of locations are included in a table below.  The ferry schedule differs during the summer from the rest of the year. The MV "Grand Manan V" is the primary ferry but during the summer, service is augmented with a second ferry the MV "Grand Manan". The ferry crossing is approximately 1.5 hours and is a toll ferry. It is best to arrive at least one hour before departure

Fees are collected when leaving Grand Manan (there are no ticket agents in Blacks Harbour, it is a first come, first served system only). 

Advanced tickets may be purchased from Coastal Transport Ltd . beginning at 7:30 AM for all crossings from Grand Manan that day and the following day, year round.  This is a change from previous years.   Advanced tickets for the crossings leaving Grand Manan are strongly recommended. Contact Coastal Transport Ltd. for more information.  These may be purchased in person or over the telephone using VISA, MasterCard, American Express. As well Interac (debit cards) can be used at the ticket office. The service otherwise is first come first served but restrictions apply during the transportation of dangerous goods.

New Ferry scheduled for June 2011

In 2011, watch for the arrival of the Grand Manan Adventure (, a new, larger ferry to operate between Grand Manan Island and the mainland, and a new, larger ferry for White Head Island. The new state-of-the-art Grand Manan Adventure ferry will carry 80 vehicles and 380 passengers and crew

White Head Ferry Service

White Head Island is accessible several times a day from Grand Manan Island at Ingalls Head via the MV "Lady White Head". The crossing - approximately 20 minutes - is free of charge. The car ferry carries 45 passengers and 9 cars.

* Please arrive at least one half hour before departure.
* First-come first-served.
* Priority is given to perishable goods.
* There are no scheduled trips on Christmas Day or New Year's Day
* Time is in 24 hour clock. For example 1530 = 3:30PM.
* White Head Island is in the Atlantic Time Zone, one hour ahead of the Eastern Time Zone.
*  Sailing time approx. 30 minutes

Waiting for the Ferry

In Blacks Harbour:  The terminal building has washrooms, seating area, vending machines, brochure rack and pay telephone.  For assistance staff are available during business hours. Overnight parking is also available if you are walking on the ferry.  Security cameras are monitoring the parking area and terminal continuously.  Please take time to explore the area around the terminal.
  • To the east of the parking area is a small beach, a great place to find beach glass and maybe a few shells. 
  • To the west is the old wooden wharf where they may be some aquaculture vessels loading or unloading. 
  • Walking back up the road, a gated lane will be found on the right.  This will take you to Pea Point Lighthouse, accessible only at low tide.  If you do cross to the small island at low tide, please make sure you are not cut off when the tide comes back in.
In North Head, Grand Manan: The terminal building is staffed during business hours.  You can purchase your tickets here, there are public washrooms, seating, brochure racks, vending machines and pay telephone.  If you haven't explored the area around the terminal while you were on Grand Manan, please leave enough time to do so.  There is a lot to see and do.
  • Directly across from the terminal is the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station marine natural history museum and gift shop. 
  • Sailor's Landing is also adjacent to the terminal and offers a restaurant, visitor information and gift shop. 
  • Pettes Cove Arts gift shop is across from the parking lot on the way to the ferry wharf.
  • The North Head Fishermen's Wharf is a short walk to the west along Route 776 where you can watch various fishing and aquaculture activities. 
  • A whale/seabird watching tour, Whales-n-Sails Adventures is also available from the fishermen's wharf. 
  • The Back Porch Cafe is at the head of the road leading to the fishermen's wharf. 
  • Continuing on Route 776 a short distance, the Post Office (brick building) and Island Arts gift shop can be found, with the lane to the Marathon Inn between the two. 
  • Heading east from the terminal along Pettes Cove Road leads you to Pettes Cove where you will find a small cobble beach (and beach glass) and a wonderful view of Swallowtail Lighthouse, herring weirs and possibly seals and seabirds. 
  • A trail to the right leads you around Net Point with wonderful scenic views.  Although you will see the ferry wharf at the end of the trail, it is best to double back on the trail to Pettes Cove (35 minutes in total). 
  • If you follow Old Airport Road and take a right onto Lighthouse Road, you will find the spectacular Swallowtail Lighthouse and the lighthouse keepers buildings.  The latter buildings are being restored by the Swallowtail Keepers Society.
  • Continuing on Old Airport Road will lead you to Hole-in-the-Wall Park and various hiking trails and scenic lookouts.  You could spend an entire day hiking these trails and connect to other heritage footpaths that crisscross the island.
How to Get Here:

Driving:There are numerous combinations of driving routes to get to Grand Manan.  Remember to co-ordinate your travel with the ferry schedule.  Remember New Brunswick is on Atlantic Time - one hour ahead of Eastern Time. The more common are: 

Entering New Brunswick from Maine: Visitors from the United States may enjoy the scenic drive up the coast of Maine on Route 1, or may go directly along Route 95 to Bangor, then taking Route 9 to Calais.  Crossing the border from Calais, Maine, to St. Stephen, New Brunswick, the visitor continues on Route 1, east towards St. George and Saint John (40 kilometres or 25 miles).  About 6.5 kilomtres (4 miles) past St. George, a well marked right turn shows the route (Exit 60) to Blacks Harbour and the Grand Manan Ferry Terminal, about eight kilometre or five mile drive. 

Entering New Brunswick from Quebec: Visitors entering New Brunswick from Quebec will enjoy the drive down the Saint John River Valley on the Trans Canada Highway (Route 2).  Just before crossing the Saint John River at Fredericton, a right turn onto Route 7 will lead to Saint John.  On the outskirts of the city, Route 7 connects with Route 1 West - St. Stephen.  Heading west about 56 kilomtres (35 miles), a well marked left turn (Exit 60) will show the way to Blacks Harbour. 

Entering New Brunswick from Amherst, Nova Scotia: Visitors entering New Brunswick from Nova Scotia, should turn off the Trans Canada Highway (Route 2) at Sussex, and stay on Route 1 through Saint John to the Blacks Harbour turnoff, as described above. 
Entering New Brunswick from Digby, Nova Scotia: Visitors travelling across the Bay of  Fundy from Digby, Nova Scotia will take the ferry to Saint John.  Leaving the ferry terminal follow Route 1 west toward St. Stephen, turning off at the Blacks Harbour, Grand Manan exit as described above. 

Entering New Brunswick from Prince Edward Island: Visitors entering New Brunswick from Prince Edward Island across the Confederation Bridge can take the Trans Canada Route 16 to Port Elgin then Route 15 to the Trans Canada Route 2 near Moncton.  Turn off Route 2 at Sussex onto Route 1 through Saint John to the Blacks Harbour, Grand Manan exit as described above.

Travelling from Newfoundland: During the summer ferries from St. John's or Port-aux-Basques connect with North Sydney in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  In the winter only the Port-aux-Basques ferry operates.  Follow the Trans Canada (Routes 105 and 104) through Nova Scotia to Sussex (Route 2).  Take the exit for Route 1 west to Saint John at Sussex.  Continue through to Blacks Harbour as described above. 

Travelling from Ontario:  There are many options including travelling through Quebec or through the United States as described above.

Flying: The closest Canadian airport is Saint John, New Brunswick (not to be confused with St. John's, Newfoundland) which is a one hour drive to the ferry terminal in Blacks Harbour (see above).  Connecting Canadian international airports include Moncton, NB, Halifax, NS, Montreal, Que, Toronto, ON.  Car rentals are available at all airports.  Driving distances are included in the table above for many locations. Taxis from Saint John to the ferry terminal cost at least $60. 

The closest U.S. airport is Bangor, ME, at least a 2.5-3 hour drive to the ferry terminal in Blacks Harbour.  Boston is a major connecting airport with U.S. and international flights. Car rentals are available at all airports.  Driving distances are in the table above for many locations. 

Bus:Contact SMT Eastern Ltd. for schedules and fares 1-800-567-5151.  The bus stop nearest to the ferry terminal is PENNFIELD, New Brunswick.  Arrangements have to be made to get from the bus stop to the ferry terminal.  Because the local taxi service changes from time to time it is best to call the Blacks Harbour Village Manager 506 456 4870 for any information they may have. 

Train:  The closest VIA station is Moncton, New Brunswick but a shuttle bus is offered from Moncton to Saint John. For more information about schedules and rates, contact VIA at 1-800-561-3952.  Arrangements to get to the ferry terminal from Saint John are required.  Taxis cost at least $60.  Car rentals are available in Saint John.

City of Saint John Information

Note the sponsors for this site post this travel information as a service to the travelling public. Any errors or omissions or ways to improve this page should be reported to

Comments regarding the Grand Manan ferry, customer service, rates & schedules, etc. should be directed to
Coastal Transport Ltd .

Grand Manan Ferry :
Ferry History | Schedule & Rates

White Head Island Ferry:
Ferry History | Schedule & Rates


Other Travel Information (driving, flying): 
How to Get Here
Driving Distances

MV Grand Manan

MV Grand Manan V

MV Lady White Head

(Photos courtesy  Coastal Transport Ltd.)

MV Grand Manan Adventure
- scheduled for June 2011

The "Grand Manan V" carries 300 passengers and approximately  64 cars.
The "Grand Manan"
carries 80 passengers and 26 cars.
The "Lady White Head" carries 49 passengers and 10 cars.
The "Grand Manan Adventure" will carry 380 passengers/crew and 80 cars.

The Grand Manan Ferry Schedule can be seen by visiting the Coastal Transport site at:

For further departure information for either ferry service please contact as follows:
Inquiries (506) 662-3724
Coastal Transport Ltd.
Suite 402, 165 Union St., Saint John, NB, Canada, E2L 5C7
Tel. (506) 642-0520 * Fax. (506) 662-3755


(Grand Manan to mainland) Travelling to and from Grand Manan and White Head Islands has had an interesting history. Prior to any regular service, individuals had to make their own arrangements.

  • 1839 - Packet service started between St. Andrew's and Woodwards Cove. 
  • 1884 - MV FLUSHING began service operated by Grand Manan Steamboat Co. Ltd. 
  • 1889 - MV JOHN CANN and MV LATOUR fill in service. 
  • 1900 - MV AURORA began service, until 1910 when it was condemned and sent to be refitted. It was back in service in 1911, renamed MV GRAND MANAN. 
  • 1929 - Eastern Canada Coastal Steamship Ltd. bought Grand Manan Steamboat Co. Ltd. 
  • 1930 - MV GRAND MANAN II (The Iron Duke) was built and replaced MV GRAND MANAN (drive-on, drive-off capability for 12 cars). 
  • 1940 - MVGRAND MANAN II sold and replaced by a number of vessels including fishing boats, tugboat MV MOHAWK, and MV KEITH CANN, MV ROBERT CANN, MV ELIZABETH CANN which carried only one car on their deck hatch.
  • 1945 - Eastern Canada Coastal Steamships Ltd. replaced with Saint John Marine Transport Ltd. and MV GRAND MANAN III began service (formerly HMCS ELK), six and later nine cars, loaded by winch, and up to 50 passengers. 
  • 1965 - Drive-on, drive-off service restored to the island when the S.S. Grand Manan began its route.
  •  1978 - MV LADY MENANE added for summer service, 24 cars and 80 passengers.
  • 1990 - MV GRAND MANAN V began service, 64 cars and 300 passengers; MV LADY MENANE sold and MV GRAND MANAN refitted for summer service only; Coastal Transport Ltd. operates ferry service. 
  • 1999 - New ferry wharf built at North Head terminal.  Began using it February 2000. 
  • 2000, 2002 - MV NADA employed as second ferry during refit of MV GRAND MANAN V
  • 2004 - MV TRANSGULF (formerly the MV NADA) employed as second ferry during refit of MV GRAND MANAN V
  • 2009 - new Grand Manan ferry is announced for delivery in 2011.

(from White Head Is. to Ingalls Head)
  • pre 1950's - Various arrangements could be made with the mail carrier or other shipping interests to come and go from White Head. Children attending school beyond grade 8 left and boarded with families on G.M. during the school year. 
  • 1952-1963 - Stewart Morse began regular passenger service, primarily for school children. 
  • 1964-1977 - Lester Carroll carried passengers aboard the M.V. SOJOURNER and also a few cars in a barge towed alongside.
  • 1977 - S.S. LADY WHITE HEAD began regular ferry service; owned by the province and now operated by Coastal Transport Ltd.

Have a Question? E-Mail us at:

You can also email Coastal Transport directly

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Locations (BH = Blacks Habour)
United States locations:
New York, NY to BH ferry terminal (via St. Stephen)
937 km or 582 miles
Boston, MA to BH ferry terminal (via St. Stephen)
589 km or 366 miles
Portland, ME to BH ferry terminal (via St. Stephen)
416 km or 259 miles
Bangor, ME to BH ferry terminal (via St. Stephen)
205 km or 127 miles
New Brunswick locations:
St. Stephen to BH ferry terminal
47 km or 29 miles
Saint John to BH ferry terminal
75 km or 47 miles
Sussex to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John)
148 km or 92 miles
Moncton to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John)
227 km or 141 miles
Cape Tormentine to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John) 
(bridge to Prince Edward Island)
326 km or 203 miles
Fredericton to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John)
178 km or 111 miles
Edmunston to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John)
456 km or 283 miles
Prince Edward Island locations:
Charlottetown to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John)
396 km or 246 miles
Nova Scotia locations:
Halifax to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John)
499 km or 310 miles
North Sydney to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John) 
(ferry to Newfoundland)
763 km or 474 miles
Quebec locations:
Riviere-du-Loup to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John)
574 km or 357 miles
Montreal to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John)
1015 km or 631 miles
Quebec to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John)
784 km or 487 miles
Ontario locations:
Toronto to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John)
1554 km or 966 miles
Ottawa to BH ferry terminal (via Saint John)
1253 km or 779 miles

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Page revised July 26 2011