Passenger traffic on the Chi-Cheemaun ferry was up in 2017, compared with the previous season.
The Owen Sound Transportation Company (OSTC) reported that the ferry carried 2.02 per cent more vehicles and 1.96 per cent more passengers than in 2016.
The Chi-Cheemaun travels between South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island and Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula. It was traditionally a vehicle and passenger ferry, but in more recent years has been transformed into a key component of the local tourism industry.
This year, the Chi-Cheemaun offered more musical and interpretation programming than in past years. Activities included dinner cruises; concerts; interpretation programs from Parks Canada, Falcon Migwans and Wikwemikong Tourism; a book launch; and musical workshop concerts.
The ferry additionally served as a floating art gallery, with exhibits on display from the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation and Tom Thomson Art Gallery.
Over the winter, the Chi-Cheemaun will undergo renovations to the Aft Lounge, to completely remodel and modernize the space. In 2018, the space will host a children’s “play and learn” area, art exhibit displays and a Parks Canada interpretation presentation area. This will be the fourth consecutive year in which updates have been made to vessel.
The 2018 sailing season is scheduled to begin Friday, May 4 and will provide daily crossings from Tobermory to South Baymouth from May through October.