Travelers Guidelines


Reservations are always recommended, however not obligatory. The ferry leaves as scheduled, but will leave no one stranded as long as the traveler is waiting at the GANGWAY 15 minutes before departure time. Please be sure that all passengers have read theses guidelines before arriving at the wharf.

We encourage everyone to make their round-trip reservations in advance. Booking requests should be submitted at least 24 hours prior to departure time.

Make your Reservation Here

You will receive a confirmation email upon receipt of your request. Should you not have internet access, please call Capt. Ed George at (902) 497-5974. 

Reservations become void if not ready to load 15 minutes prior to departure time. We ask that you notify us when booking if you need assistance boarding, are bringing a bicycle, a pet, or an oversized item with you.

Please notify us as soon as possible of any changes needed to your booking.

Those travelling WITHOUT a reservation are asked to be at the wharf 30 minutes before departure to secure their standby status, and gain the next available seat in the ferry. Please REMAIN to the left of the gangway and notify crew you wish to travel. 

Those traveling standby are reminded that you are NOT to place your belongings on the floating dock or behind the yellow loading line until you are called. 

At 15 minutes before departure time, those with reservations who do not have all their gear on the wharf, ready to go, loose their reservation, and the standby passengers, that are ready to load will be given priority…so please be on time.

Double runs occur when the ferry has met full capacity (36 passengers) and there are still passengers waiting on the wharf before the scheduled departure time. At that time, the ferry will depart, and those standby travellers remaining on the wharf must be waiting, with all baggage ready to load the boat, when the ferry returns, as the ferry will depart immediately following its return.

The 3pm ferry in July and Aug is considered a “scheduled second run”. This was introduced to alleviate a pile-up at the 5 PM run, allowing people going off to plan their afternoon and not spend hours lining up at the wharf. So, if the 5 PM is full, the 3 PM must be filled before an additional run at 5PM will be announced. If both runs are full, there will be a second run, or as many runs as necessary, to get everyone off of the island.


Beginning May 1st, the Pictou Island Ferry is berthed on the west end of the Caribou Harbour Wharf compound, just east of the PEI ferry berth, behind the PEI Ferry Terminal.

As in years past, all vehicles are expected to park in the Northumberland Terminal parking lot or along Fisherman Rd. It is particularly important that during peak seasons, passengers traveling with us quickly  unload their cargo dockside and clear the loading area, while driving SLOWLY on the wharf.

Please respect others, and refrain from parking near our berth for any extended time.

No one is permitted to board the vessel until the crew has arrived and has given authorization. Access to the boat must remain clear of baggage until otherwise instructed by staff.

The gangway and floating dock should remain clear at all other times. 


 ANYONE WITHOUT A RESERVATION/STANDBY IS TO STAND LEFT OF THE GANGWAY WITH ALL THEIR CARGO and speak to a crew member about availability before loading is to begin (at least 20 minutes prior to departure time).

All those WITH a reservation ( should have their cargo wharf side, in their designated area at least 15 minutes before departure time to secure their spot on board.

Bicycles and oversized items should be placed to the left of the gangway and will be loaded first.

PLEASE PLACE HARD TOPPED COOLERS, TOTES, and any other LARGE,DURABLE CARGO closest to the curb/cargo slide as they will be loaded immediately after any bicycles/oversized items that need loading.

We ask that you carry your valuables onboard with you and be mindful when packing that items will be man handled and risk getting wet during transportation.

To ensure a smooth transition on and off the ferry during busy runs, staff may enlist the help of the select passengers to assist with the loading and unloading of cargo. Those not elected to assist are asked to remain seated until given the ok by the crew, at which time we ask that you take your personal belongings, disembark the vessel, claim your baggage and move it away from the unloading area.


Remember that each passenger is ultimately responsible for the loading and unloading of cargo; however, the crew will give directions as to how and when loading takes place.

Remember to label your cargo to avoid confusion.

Please be advised that there is a $5 fee for the transportation of bicycles, unaccompanied packages, and other over-sized items.  All such items should be cleared in advance by Capt. Ed (902)497-5974 and it is also requested that they be ready to load 20 minutes before departure

PLEASE BE REMINDED THAT IF YOU CANNOT LIFT AN ITEM YOURSELF; IT’S TOO HEAVY! Passengers are permitted to carry on 200 lbs of lightweight cargo (nothing heavier than 40 lbs, and no longer than 3 feet), free of charge.

We ask that all those who are unable to assist, and those with children and/or dogs, stay clear of the un/loading areas please.

All pets must be crated or on leash, travel outside, and be under effective control at all times.

While on board the vessel, please remain seated at all times during arrivals and departures.


We will continue to dock on the east side of the Pictou Island wharf, close to the ramp, using the barge as our floating dock at loading time.

All garbage coming off the island must be labeled, and it is the responsibility of its owner to take it off the wharf and put it in the designated receptacle at the Caribou dock.  Do not send garbage off the island unless you accompany it.