Why is there a two hour check-in to board the ferry?

by Darrell Mercer

While it may seem very organized when it takes place, loading our vessels with hundreds of cars, commercial vehicles, buses, motorcycles and off-road vehicles during every single crossing requires significant planning and good use of time. Marine Atlantic asks its customers to arrive two hours in advance of their scheduled departure time to allow these loading activities to take place in the most efficient manner possible.

During the loading process, there may be areas on the vehicle decks that are best suited for cars or motorcycles, and other areas that provide maximum space for commercial vehicles or buses. Loading these areas in a well-organized approach allows for more vehicles to travel, helps alleviate congestion on our terminal parking lots and permits the vessel to leave on schedule. Some have suggested that our loading configuration is like a Tetris game or a jigsaw puzzle and in many ways this is accurate, we try to use as much deck space as possible on every crossing.

When travelling with Marine Atlantic, we ask that you help us load our vessels as efficiently as possible and arrive two hours before your scheduled departure time. Unfortunately, should you arrive later Marine Atlantic cannot guarantee that you will be able to board the vessel.