Bringing Your Four-Legged Friends

Marine Atlantic is happy to provide a safe travel experience for all passengers, including those with fur and four legs. 

Pet Policy

To ensure a safe and comfortable crossing for your pet, please review the guidelines below before leaving home. These policies do not apply to certified service animals (with appropriate documentation). 

  • Pets must always be on leash or in a pet travel carrier while on Marine Atlantic property other than inside designated pet park areas at terminals, or while in a cabin, kennel, or vehicle. Pets are not permitted in the lounges or food service areas on board.
  • Pets are permitted inside terminal buildings as long as they remain in a pet travel carrier at all times. Pets that are only passing through the terminal building, and not staying inside, may do so on a leash or in a pet travel carrier.
  • Leashes must be 6’ in length or less; extendable leashes are not accepted.
  • You are required to clean up after your pet.
dog with leash in mouth

Pet Travel Options

We offer three options for pets to travel on board our vessels because adventures are always more fun with your four-legged best friend. You will have to add your pet to your booking, whether leaving them in your vehicle, booking a kennel, or booking pet-friendly accommodations.


Option One: Reserve a Pet-Friendly Cabin

  • Accommodations are limited and must be booked online in advance or through our Reservations Office at 1-800-341-7981.
  • There is a dedicated pet relief area on board in the kennel space on Deck 7 of MV Blue Puttees & MV Highlanders and Deck 10 of MV Atlantic Vision
  • You will be responsible for your pets at all times, including clean up.
  • If your pet has an accident during the crossing, please visit Reception on Deck 7 for cleaning supplies.
  • Pets must be on a leash or in a pet travel carrier whenever going to and from your cabin and are not permitted in the lounge or food service areas.
  • For safety reasons, passengers travelling with dogs are encouraged to use the elevators when moving between decks. Staff will ensure only animals familiar with each other are in the elevator at the same time. 
  • For hygiene purposes, we ask that pets refrain from getting on the beds. Please consider using a pet bed or blanket to make your pet comfortable.
  • Animals are not permitted to be left unaccompanied in pet-friendly cabins. Animals other than dogs must remain crated at all times.
  • Pets causing a disturbance for fellow passengers may be required to utilize kennel space, if available, or be returned to your vehicle. 
  • A maximum number of two pets will be permitted per pet-friendly cabin. 
  • We ask that you keep a copy of your itinerary with you at all times when on board – this will let our crew members know you are staying in a pet-friendly cabin. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Pet-Friendly Cabins

What pet(s) can I bring into my pet-friendly cabin?

Dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents and small birds are welcome in our pet-friendly cabins. Animals other than dogs must remain crated at all times.

Can my pet go anywhere I go onboard the vessel?

Pets will need to be on a leash or in a pet travel carrier whenever going to and from your cabin. The only time pets are permitted outside your cabin is when visiting the relieving area. 

Does my dog need to be vaccinated in order to travel?

Dogs are required to have up-to-date vaccinations for rabies, and owners may be required to show documentation at any point during travel. Puppies under 3 months of age are exempt. Animals with fleas or other known, transmissible health concerns will not be permitted to travel.

Are pet-friendly cabins available on all vessels?

Pet-friendly cabins are available on the MV Atlantic Vision, MV Blue Puttees and MV Highlanders.

Option Two: In Vehicle

  • You may leave your pet in your vehicle for the duration of the crossing. Many pet owners choose this option as dogs and cats tend to be more comfortable in a familiar environment. Of course, every pet is different and therefore we rely on the owner to choose the best option for their four legged companion.
  • If you choose this option, we ask that you notify us upon check-in, and request a ‘Pet On Board’ card to display in your vehicle window. This card identifies that your vehicle contains a pet and assists us during the boarding process.
  • Remember to leave vehicle windows partially open to maintain airflow for your pet(s).
  • For the safety and security of passengers, no one is permitted on the vehicle deck during the crossing. Therefore, you will not be permitted to visit your pet until the vessel has arrived in port. 
  • Please note: The Port aux Basques - North Sydney crossing is approximately 7 hours and the Argentia - North Sydney crossing is approximately 16.5 hours. Due to the length of the Argentia - North Sydney crossing, pet owners are strongly urged to cross on the Port aux Basques - North Sydney route. However, should you decide to travel on the Argentia - North Sydney route, you must determine if this is the best option for your pet.


Option Three: Reserve Onboard Kennel Space

  • You may reserve a space for your pet’s travel carrier, which must be constructed of hard plastic (collapsible wire and soft-sided carriers are prohibited). You are responsible to bring your own lock for your pet travel carrier.
  • The price for reserving a space is $16.75 + HST for all routes.
  • The sizes and configuration of kennel storage space varies by vessel. In the event of a vessel switch, your space may not be guaranteed. If a vessel switch occurs and we are unable to provide kennel space, you will have the option to select an alternate sailing, or leave your pet in your vehicle.
  • Space is limited and must be booked online in advance or through our Reservations Office at 1-800-341-7981.

Kennel Storage Details

For the safety of our passengers and crew, all pets must be transported from their vehicle to the kennel area inside a pet travel carrier. Walked or carried dogs must be leashed.
Each kennel area includes a relief centre for pets with water, a scoop tool, disposable plastic bags and a garbage receptacle. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pet.

dogs in kennels

Pet Travel Carrier Sizes

Pet travel carriers must fit within the dimensions outlined below. Please select the space that best accommodates your pet travel carrier, and ensure you bring a lock. If your pet travel carrier does not fit these requirements, your pet must remain in your vehicle. You will not have access to your vehicle during the crossing.

Extra Large
  • Available only on MV Atlantic Vision
  • Measures NO GREATER THAN 40” deep x 27” wide x 30” high
  • Usually suitable for Afghan Hounds, Dobermans, large Labradors, Pointers, and German Shepherds
  • Measures NO GREATER THAN 35.5” deep x 25” wide x 27” high
  • Usually suitable for small to medium Labradors, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Boxers, Dalmatians, and Airedale Terriers
  • Measures NO GREATER THAN 31.5” deep x 22” wide x 25” high
  • Usually suitable for Beagles, larger Shetland Sheepdogs, small Border Collies, English Bulldogs, and Springer Spaniels
  • Measures NO GREATER THAN 27.5” deep x 21.5” wide x 21” tall
  • Usually suitable for medium to small Shetland Sheepdogs, Miniature Poodles, Shi-Tzu, and Lhasa Apso

Marine Atlantic Dog Park

We love our four-legged passengers and know a journey isn’t complete without our furry friends. Our Port aux Basques terminal has an off-leash dog park. Let your dog enjoy the great outdoors, burn off excess energy and visit the park fire hydrant before boarding our vessels for the next leg of your adventure — remember, a tired dog is a good dog. And who knows, your dog might even make a new friend or two. See below for rules and regulations, or learn more about the terminal offerings.

Visit Our Terminals

Dog Park fenced area, next to marine atlantic ferry and terminal

Rules and Regulations

To our dog friends, there are a few rules we ask that you follow for your safety and those around you at our dog-only park. If you decide to run, jump and fetch, please be mindful of small children and others nearby.

Remind your owners or human companion that they:

  • are responsible (the lawyers say “liable”) for what you do at all times
  • have to pick up after you
  • must put you back on a leash when you leave
  • need to supervise your every whim, need and interaction with others
  • must not forget to watch out for their kids when paying attention to you
  • are not to leave you alone and unsupervised to make new acquaintances on your own

If these rules are followed, everyone should have fun and stay safe with no need to growl about Marine Atlantic having to state that users of the dog park do so at their own risk, and that Marine Atlantic assumes no liability for any injuries, loss of or damage to property arising from the use of this park.