Are reservations required?
No, but they are strongly recommended. They make it easier for us to accommodate your travel plans, and they secure your sailing and accommodations.
When should I make my reservation?
As early as possible. The sooner you make a reservation, the more likely it is your preferred sailing times and accommodations are available.
How can I make a payment?
We accept all major credit cards, Visa Debit, and prepaid credit cards. Reservations can also be made in person at any of our terminals and paid for with cash or debit card.
I need to change or cancel my reservation. What are my options?
If your plans change, please call us at 1-800-341-7981 as soon as possible. If you change or cancel your reservation (including your booking, vehicle, and/or accommodations) within 48 hours of your scheduled departure time, there is a $25.00 modification fee.
Do you offer any discounts?
We offer Special Fares for group bookings of 25 or more passengers. To make a group booking please contact us at 1-800-341-7981.
We also offer a Canadian Forces Appreciation discount. Veterans and serving members (and up to three companions travelling with them) enjoy free passenger fare on the North Sydney - Port aux Basques crossing, and a 50% discount on the North Sydney - Argentia crossing. A valid CF1FC–CF or CF1FC–V card is required at the time of booking and when boarding. For more information, please see Special Fares.
Why do I need to provide my phone number and email?
If there’s a change or delay to the sailing schedule, we need to let you know as early as possible. All personal information collected and used is protected under the Federal Privacy Act.
Why do I need to provide my license plate? What if I take a different vehicle?
Providing your license plate number while booking is optional, but it must be provided during check-in. If you plan to use a different vehicle, please notify us as soon as possible at 1-800-341-7981 to update your reservation.
When should I arrive?
Passengers with reservations must be checked-in at least two hours before the vessel’s scheduled sailing time. To prevent congestion while loading and unloading the vessels, we ask that you do not show up more than 4 hours in advance.
What do I need to check in?
For each individual on your reservation, you will need your reservation number and one piece of government-issued photo identification, or two pieces of government-issued identification without a photo. For more information on identification requirements, please see Travelling with Children.
When should I reserve a cabin?
To secure accommodations, we recommend you book a cabin when making your reservation.
I didn’t reserve a cabin. Can I get one when I board?
After boarding, please visit Reception. If there are cabins available, they will help make the necessary arrangements.
Which forms of payment do you accept on your vessels?
We accept all major credit cards, debit cards, and cash.
Does Marine Atlantic offer automated teller machine service?
Yes. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are available at all three of our terminals. The communities around our terminals also offer a selection of banks and ATMs. We accept credit and debit cards on our vessels, but due to limited cash on hand, cashiers do not provide cash back.
When does boarding begin?
Boarding typically begins 90-120 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Passengers will be notified and asked to return to their vehicles when boarding is about to begin.
What do I need to board?
You must provide the traffic director with your boarding pass, which will be scanned. We recommend you keep your boarding pass with you at all times.
I need to park in an accessible area on board the vessel vehicle deck. Do your vessels provide accessible parking?
Yes, all of our vessels have accessible parking. Once you check in, please notify the ticket clerk. Please view information about vessel loading for more information about accessible parking.
In which sequence will I board?
The boarding sequence is determined by a specific daily traffic plan for each crossing. We cannot guarantee priority during vessel loading or unloading due to load demands and operational procedures. View more information on Loading and Unloading.
Once I’m on board, what should I take with me?
Before leaving your vehicle, make sure to take any items you may need during the crossing such as warm clothing or medications. You will not be able to visit the vehicle deck until the vessel reaches port.
How do I know where I parked my vehicle on the vessel?
Each deck is clearly marked, and a Marine Atlantic employee will greet you when you exit the vehicle deck. If unsure, please inquire which deck you are on. We also advise that you make note of the deck you have parked on.
I noticed property damage to my vehicle, what do I do?
If you notice any damage to your personal property, please immediately notify a staff member before leaving Marine Atlantic property.
Can I bring a rental car on board?
Yes. You must provide the license plate number when you check in.
Can I send my vehicle on board if I’m not a passenger?
Yes, but doing so requires you to book it as a commercial vehicle. Please contact Reservations toll-free at 1-800-341-7981.
Do you have any tips for maintaining my car battery?
While waiting in your vehicle, if you are using electronic devices such as DVD players, video games, or plug-in coolers, make sure to start your engine periodically. Also, please make sure everything, including headlights, are turned off before you leave your vehicle.
What criteria is used to assign my vehicle as a commercial related vehicle?
We invite our customers to contact us before travelling if there is any uncertainty as to whether they should be assigned commercial status. This will help alleviate any difficulties that might arise during the check-in process.
If it is determined you are travelling for commercial purposes, there is a possibility your reservation could be cancelled at check-in.
To determine if a customer is travelling for commercial purposes, we use the following criteria:
- Vehicle size and type
- Commodity or contents being shipped
- Whether the vehicle is registered as commercial or has commercial plates/signage
- If the purpose of travel is business-related
In the event of a disagreement on the purpose of travel, Terminal Management will make the final decision.
Is there a doctor on board?
No, Marine Atlantic does not have a doctor on staff. On the Argentia sailings, we do have trained medical staff.
Do you sell any medications?
We sell a wide variety of over-the-counter medications, including ginger Gravol.
What’s the best footwear to bring on board?
In the interest of safety, we ask passengers to wear comfortable, flat shoes on our vehicle decks—no heels, open toes, Croc-style shoes or flip-flops, please.
Is your service available in other languages?
Marine Atlantic is pleased to provide our passengers with service in both English and French. Bilingual employees wear an identifying badge for your convenience.
What is Marine Atlantic’s policy on bereavement travel?
If you require bereavement travel, please contact us at 1-800-341-7981. We will ensure you are on the next available passenger sailing.
I lost/found something, what should I do?
Marine Atlantic is not responsible for any lost or found items. In the event an item is lost or found, please call 1-902-794-5731 and we will do our best to help.
Are there designated smoking areas on the vessels?
Yes. Marine Atlantic has designated smoking areas on each vessel. They are located outside on deck 7 on the MV Atlantic Vision, MV Blue Puttees and MV Highlanders and on deck 5 on the MV Leif Ericson. For information on Marine Atlantic's Cannabis Policy, please see the FAQ section below.
How do I advertise with Marine Atlantic?
What is Marine Atlantic’s policy regarding the use of legalized cannabis?
Marine Atlantic prohibits the recreational use of cannabis on its property, in its terminals and on board its vessels. However, customers with appropriate medical authorization/documentation will be provided space on board our vessels and terminal grounds for legal cannabis use.
What if someone has a medical condition and requires the use of cannabis, but does not have the necessary documentation?
Customers with appropriate medical authorization/documentation for legal cannabis use will be provided space on board our vessels and terminals to self-medicate. For those customers who do not have the appropriate documentation, the use of cannabis will be denied.
What documentation do I require to use cannabis for medical purposes at Marine Atlantic facilities?
Customers may present one of the following:
- Packing slips and/or packaging information with the passenger’s name from shipments of medically authorized cannabis by a licensed medical cannabis supplier in Canada.
- Identification cards issued by licensed medical cannabis suppliers in Canada may be presented but must be accompanied by shipping information from the supplier.
- An authorization to possess form issued by Health Canada.
- A personal production license issued by Health Canada.
- A designated production license issued by Health Canada.
- Registration certificate from Health Canada.
Cannabis for medical purposes is legal if you are authorized by a health care professional and registered with a licensed producer or Health Canada. A note from a medical practitioner alone does not meet the requirements set out by Health Canada to use medically authorized cannabis. If presenting a doctor’s note, the user must also present one of the documents specified above to legally use it.
Customers may be asked at any time during their travel, including during any pre-boarding screening procedures, to present their documentation along with photo identification confirming their entitlement to legally carry and use cannabis for medical reasons.
Why are people allowed to smoke tobacco on Marine Atlantic property, but not recreational cannabis?
The Acts and Regulations governing the use of tobacco are different than those governing the use of recreational cannabis. Customers are permitted to smoke tobacco in designated smoking areas.
Can customers use medically authorized cannabis in their private cabins?
Smoking is not permitted in indoor areas of the vessel, including cabins.
Are edible cannabis products allowed to be consumed on Marine Atlantic property?
At this stage, edible cannabis products are not considered legal for purchase and are not part of the current cannabis legalization legislation.
How much cannabis can I travel with?
As per the Acts and Regulations, customers without legal authorization for medical cannabis may transport a maximum of 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent.
The maximum amount that may be possessed by an individual for medical purposes is the lesser of 30 times the daily amount indicated by their health care practitioner, or 150 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent).
It is the responsibility of customers travelling with recreational or medically authorized cannabis to ensure that their possession amount is within the allowed limit.
Delays and Cancellations
My trip was delayed or cancelled due to weather, what will Marine Atlantic do?
Unfortunately, weather can interrupt travel plans. In the event of weather delaying or cancelling a crossing, we will notify you of the change and book you on the next available sailing. During the delay we will communicate all information in a timely manner.
My trip was delayed due to mechanical reasons, what should I do?
If your crossing has been delayed, Marine Atlantic will contact you to advise of the delay. In the event of a mechanical delay over five hours, we will provide you with a complimentary meal at the next conventional meal period.
My trip was cancelled due to mechanical reasons, what should I do?
For passenger traffic:
In the event your scheduled crossing is cancelled for mechanical reasons, we will notify you of the cancellation and book you on the next available crossing or provide you with a refund. If your crossing has been cancelled and you are not booked on a crossing within a 13-hour period, we will book you on the next available crossing and provide you with a voucher toward future travel. Vouchers are valid for one year and are non-transferable. In the event you are not able to travel on the next available crossing, we will provide you with a refund.
For commercial traffic:
In the event a crossing has been cancelled for mechanical reasons, we will notify you of this cancellation. If you had a premium reservation, we will refund your premium portion and book you on the next available crossing. For commercial traffic without a premium reservation, we will transfer the queue to the next available crossing.
I’m on board and my arrival is delayed, what will Marine Atlantic do for me?
If you are on board and your crossing is delayed for an extended period due to mechanical concerns, we will provide you with a light snack or complimentary meal.
My vessel has been changed, will I lose my reservation?
In the event of a vessel change, we will transfer your reservation to the new vessel. Reservations will be transferred according to time of booking. If your reservation is changed, Marine Atlantic will contact you. Cabins and reserved seating are not guaranteed in the event of a vessel change.
Why does Marine Atlantic have a fuel surcharge? How is it determined?
Marine Atlantic, like other transportation providers, has a fuel surcharge to help offset increased costs associated with fuel. There are several factors taken into consideration when developing our fuel surcharge, including our sailing schedule, the availability of fuel suppliers, how we purchase our fuel, and environmental regulations.
From a sailing schedule perspective, we develop our schedule and look at traditional vessel fuel usage to determine the anticipated fuel consumption for the upcoming year. Given that we purchase large volumes of fuel at one time and place it in our storage tanks, we have more price certainty for a defined period of time.
In addition to large fuel purchases, Marine Atlantic uses a hedging program to reduce the risk of price volatility. This allows fixed prices to be negotiated in advance in an effort to provide more certainty for budgetary planning purposes. This approach also protects customers against unpredictable price swings and having to adjust the fuel surcharge multiple times per year.
Marine Atlantic is also preparing to meet Sulphur Emissions Control Area (SECA) environmental regulations which will result in the Corporation switching its fuel from a blend of bunker and diesel fuels to diesel fuel only by 2020. As diesel is more expensive than bunker, this change will likely require future fuel surcharge increases.
While rising fuel costs will remain a challenge, we will continue our efforts to provide as much price certainty as possible, and minimize any costs passed along to our customers.
I have an allergy, what do I do?
If you have allergy concerns, please let us know when making a reservation so any necessary arrangements can be made. Passengers should carry their own allergy medication.
Since our vessels are open to the public, we cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment on board. Passengers may carry food items that could cause allergic reactions in others. Marine Atlantic serves and sells products containing various ingredients that could be allergens for some passengers. Peanut products are not sold in our vending machines. Animals regularly travel on our service, and trained service animals have access to all areas of our vessels and terminal facilities.