CAMPOBELLO ISLAND – A new passenger ferry is opening up Campobello Island to more tourists from Eastport, Maine.
Eastport Windjammers, a whale watching tour company, is offering the ferry with Peter Harweth of Campobello Island Sightseeing picking up passengers and taking them to Canadian customs three times a week. The Friars Bay Development Corporation was also involved in organizing it, according to Harwerth.
Harwerth said the agreement was reached with the Canadian Border Services Agency and the first ride was Aug. 19. Trips are anticipated Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday each week. Harwerth said the plan was to run until Labour Day.
Butch Harris, owner of Eastport Windjammers, said it’s a late start as his company had hoped to have their bond arranged, but next year they’ll be able to start in July. The idea goes back to initial trips before the pandemic, but they had to wait for approvals to start the business back up, he said.
“It took most of the summer, but we got approved,” Harris said. He said there’s been lots of interest, including from passengers from Campobello, although they need to spread the word so tourists bring their passports when they come to Eastport. He said people from Eastport are excited about the service, and some want to bring their families to the city so they can take a look.
Harwerth said that for tourists to Eastport, getting to Campobello Island, which is about 50 minutes from the waterfront by car through Lubec, means “spending a lot of your day on the road. Many visitors here, they won’t want to do that,” he said, noting the ferry ride is about 15 minutes. “They can make more of their day.”
Guests have to submit passport information in advance, and the ferry costs $45, plus $10 for a trip to the customs office on Campobello. Harwerth said the extra cost is waived for guests who book a sightseeing tour with Campobello Island Sightseeing. The ferry leaves from Eastport at 9 a.m. and leaves Welshpool at 1:15 p.m., according to a post by Welshpool Landing.
Harwerth said he believes it could help increase passenger numbers and said the service could change based on demand.
“It’s just the beginning, we’ll see how this develops,” he said.
For information on timing, fares and customs requirements, call Eastport Windjammers at 207-853-2500.