"The Bruce Peninsula-Manitoulin Island ferry" Top 5 Page for this destination Province of Ontario Transportation Tip by Bwana_Brown
Province of Ontario Transportation: 17 reviews and 22 photos
Hiking the Bruce Peninsula was one of our main objectives on this trip and once we had done that, I did not want to have to make the long drive back around the south shore of Georgian Bay in order to continue our westward trip. Thanks to the government of Ontario, the car/truck ferry MS 'Chi-Cheemaun' provides transporation service between Tobermory (on the tip of the peninsula) and Manitoulin Island which is connected to the northern mainland by a small bridge. It can be a busy run in the peak tourist months of July/August, so I made advance reservations by phone with the Owen Sound Transportation Company. Securing passage on the 11:20 AM crossing from Tobermory on July 17 cost C$34.70 for the car, $31.90 for two adults and $20 for an optional Guarantee to ensure passage if you arrive late at the boarding line-up.
According to Wikipedia, this $12 million ferry was built by the now defunct Collingwood Shipyard on the south shore of Georgian Bay and entered service in 1974. The Motor Ship 'Chi-Cheemaun', meaning 'big canoe' in the language of the local Ojibwe aborignals, weighs 6,990 gross tons, is 365 ft (111 m) in length and 62 ft (19 m) wide and has a top speed of about 16 knots (30-kph). It is capable of carrying 648 passengers and 240 vehicles including transport trucks and busses. Loading/unloading is carried out by means of a bow that can hinge upward and a square stern door, allowing vehicles to drive-on one end and drive-out the other. Because the ferry does not have ice-breaking capability, it runs seasonally during the ice-free period from mid-May to mid-October. The 'Chi-Cheemaun' makes the 25-mile (40-km) trip in about 1¾ hours 4 times per day during peak season and 2 times a day during May and October. We enjoyed our little cruise!
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