"Enjoy a ferry ride to Manitoulin Island" Top 5 Page for this destination Province of Ontario Things to Do Tip by Bwana_Brown

Province of Ontario Things to Do: 203 reviews and 449 photos

  Fathom Five Marine Park tour boat meets the ferry
by Bwana_Brown
 
  • Fathom Five Marine Park tour boat meets the ferry - Province of Ontario
      Fathom Five Marine Park tour boat meets the ferry
    by Bwana_Brown
  • A display of historic ferries on this run - Province of Ontario
      A display of historic ferries on this run
    by Bwana_Brown
  • Passengers enjoying topside at the stern - Province of Ontario
      Passengers enjoying topside at the stern
    by Bwana_Brown
  • Cove Island lighthouse - from the ferry - Province of Ontario
      Cove Island lighthouse - from the ferry
    by Bwana_Brown
 

The ferry 'Chi-Chemaun' is presently the only ferry operating in the Georgian Bay region but it does a great job based on our experience during the voyage to Manitoulin Island. Crossing in front of it in this view is a glass-bottomed tour boat that takes visitors to see the sights of nearby Fathom Five National Marine Conservation Area. There are a number of interesting attractions including 22 shipwrecks, historic lighthouses and the amazing underwater landscape. The bottom of Georgian Bay has revealed ancient trees near Cove Island at depths varying from 3 to 43 metres (10 to 142 feet) with one of the trees dating back almost 7500 years! Variation of land and water levels over time has also left the landscape of a 'submerged waterfall' of the same size as Niagara on the bottom of the lake.

The 'Chi-Cheemaun' ferry is a descendant of a long line of ferries in this area, as depicted in the ferry terminal visitor display (2nd photo). Initially sail boats were used but, by 1865 the steamer 'Waubuno' (shown on the display) was in-service. The dangers of winter navigation became evident following its sinking in a late-November, 1879 snowstorm, with the loss of all twenty-four people on-board. The present ferry has a very comfortable lounge and restaurant/bar area with a GPS map showing its exact position and speed (15 knots in our case). However, we also spent some time outside enjoying the views on this calm and relatively warm day (3rd & 4th photos). The Cove Island lighthouse view shows it is much more spectacular than the Cabot Head light we had visited the day before. This 31-m (101-ft) high warning light is mounted atop a circular limestone tower that was built in 1858 and still remains in active service.

During peak summer months, the ferry departs Tobermory at 7:00 AM, 11:20 AM, 3:40 PM and 8:00 PM and only takes about 30 minutes to off-load and load at the end of each voyage. More details in my 'Transportation' tips.

Directions: On the voyage between Tobermory and South Bayshore

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 9, 2009
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