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Chi-Cheemaun ferry opens up to leisure travel

Purpose-of-travel restrictions relaxed, effective June 12
The MS Chi-Cheemaun ferry sails Lake Huron between Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula and South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island. (OSTC photo)

Travel on the Chi-Cheemaun ferry will no longer be limited by purpose of travel.

The Owen Sound Transportation Company (OSTC) updated its travel regulations on June 12 to be in line with the province’s Stage 2 plans to reopen the economy.

The changes are in effect immediately.

In early May, the OSTC said that, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it would open the sailing season on June 1, but restrict travel to essential travellers, including those providing essential services and travellers for whom the ferry is the most practical means of accessing their residences.

Along with its updated guidelines, the OSTC released its summer schedule, which runs June 27 to Sept. 14. It includes three round trips daily, seven days a week:

Departing          Departing

Tobermory        South Baymouth

9:00AM             11:00AM

1:00PM              3:00PM

5:00PM              7:00PM

Travellers must make a reservation – walk-on traffic is not being accepted – and passengers will be screened for their health and recent travel history prior to boarding.

Passengers must wear a mask or face covering while on board the ferry, and physical distancing will be enforced. No food or beverages will be served on board.

The OSTC said that any passengers with reservations made between June 27 through Sept. 14 will be contacted and rebooked for a new departure time.

A seasonal ferry that sails Lake Huron between South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island and Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula, the Chi-Cheemaun launches in early May and runs until mid-October.

It’s a popular method of transport for visitors to Manitoulin Island, where tourism is the primary industry.