Hy-Line Cruises: Bringing People “Around the Sound” For Over 50 Years



Hyannis-based Hy-Line Cruises is the company which brings tourists and locals alike “around the Sound” – Nantucket sound, that is.

Their fleet of ships offers both traditional and high-speed ferry service from Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard to Cape Cod, as well as service through the Cape Cod Canal.

Hy-Line Ferry Schedules

Hy-Line Cruises offers service to and from Hyannis, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Their summer season sees the addition of a “traditional” speed ferry targeted toward out-of-towners.
While the Hyannis/Vineyard service is seasonal, Hy-Line does offer a year-round “high-speed” ferry to Nantucket.

Additionally, the company operates an inter-island service which allows passengers to take a tour of both islands in the same day.

Hy-Line’s presence in Hyannis Harbor also includes deep-sea fishing. A Cape Cod Canal cruise is a popular local choice for private parties and school events.

Though the full schedule changes from season to season, the company remains the second-largest provider of service between the islands and Cape Cod.

Where to Find Hy-Line Cruises

Hy-Line has five different terminals. Nantucket and Hyannis ferries depart from the Hyannis (South End) terminal at 220 Ocean Street.

The Hyannis (North End) terminal at 138 Ocean Street is the correct place to go for Harbor Cruises and Deep Sea Fishing trips.

Cape Cod Canal cruises depart from the Onset Town Pier at 184 Onset Avenue.

Island-based offices and terminals are located at Dockside Marina, Circuit Avenue Ext., Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, and 34 Straight Wharf, Nantucket.

Where to Park and Ticketing Information for Hy-Line Cruises

Hy-Line is a passenger-only service and does not transport any vehicles on their excursions. Passengers in need of car transportation to and from the Islands should use the Steamship Authority.

However, parking for Hy-Line Cruises is simple with their easy-to-find parking gazebo at 220 Ocean Street, Hyannis. Information about parking spot costs can be found here.

There are parking deals to take advantage of if you’re seeking to spend more time on the Islands. Hy-Line offers monthly parking permits during June, July and August.

Off-site parking permits are also available for a lot located 1.5 miles away from the dock. These typically cost around $300 and are good from June 1st through August 31st.

Hy-Line Cruises Tickets can be purchased in-person at the terminal or reserved online, but passengers are advised to arrive at least 45 minutes before their set departure time.

BB_Nantucket_HylineTicketOffice_Summer2015Rates do change by the season depending on the service, but since Nantucket’s ferry runs year-round, that figure tends to stay the same no matter the season. The Nantucket ferry runs around $70-$80 for an adult round-trip and around $40 for one-way. For children 5-12 years old, it’s around $50 dollars round-trip or $29 one-way. Special “captains view” seating is often available for a few dollars more.

For ferries to Martha’s Vineyard, adults pay around $60 round-trip, or $30 one-way. For children, it’s $40 and $20, respectively.

Round-trip tickets for the “around the Sound” service, which brings passengers through both islands in the same day, cost around $80 for adults and $44 for children.

The hour-long cruise service in Hyannis Harbor costs $17 for an adult and $8 for a child.

There are also minor charges for bicycles, typically around $7-$14.

Boat fishing prices change by the season, but expect to pay between $27 and $60 per person, depending on the length of the session and type of fishing involved. Bottom fishing is the most popular option, but there are “captain’s choice” sessions available. Most trips last about four hours. A rod fee typically sets you back $5.

Being a resident of the Islands has its perks. Hy-Line Cruises offers a resident card program which affords them steep discounts on trips.

History of Hy-Line Cruises

Hy-Line Cruises began operating in 1962 as “Hyannis Harbor Tours.” Brothers Richard and Robert Scudder started the company originally to provide tours of Hyannis Harbor.

In only a few years, a fishing charter service was added, followed by a seasonal passenger ferry service to Martha’s Vineyard in 1970 and to Nantucket in 1972. It was during that year that the company acquired “Hi-Line,” a service which operated service to Nantucket.

Hy-Line became the first company to run high-speed service to Nantucket in 1996, and added a high-speed ferry for the Martha’s Vineyard route in 2003.

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