Majestically carving through scenic Georgian Bay, the MS Chi-Cheemaun is the largest passenger/car vessel on the Great Lakes. Completing the 30-mile route between Tobermory and South Baymouth in less than two hours, the ‘Big Canoe’, as it is known in native Ojibwa, can transport 638 passengers and 143 cars.
I didn't actually get to ride on the big canoe but it was in port in Tobermory while I was there, so I got some pictures!
While on board apparently passengers can learn about the unique region through Parks Canada experts.
Since 1974, the Chi-Cheemaun has been operating in the area.
Here is one of a couple of companies that have tour boats that operate to Flower Pot Island. It makes for a nice day trip. It costs $22 per adult. If you visit this website and clik on the motel option you will see an arial view of Tobermory. You can see that it is easy to get around because of how small it is.
I don't think I've actually ever taken the ferry from Tobermory - or if I did, it was a long-ago replaced ferry. This was taken a number of years ago when I was up in Tobermory with friends and family.
Chi-Cheemaun takes passengers to Manitoulan Island. They can then take the bridge over from Little Current to Espanola.
Chi-Cheemaun means "big canoe" in the Ojibwa language. And that it certainly is!
The large MV Chi Cheemaun can take 143 vehicles and 638 passengers for the 2hr journey across Georgian Bay to Manitoulin Island from Little Tub Harbour in Tobermory. From here you can continue your journey northward to Sudbury, Ontario.
You can also enjoy the cruise as a walk on passenger for the return trip. You will pass by the Flowerpot and Cove Islands on your journey, and you can enjoy a dinner cruise on Friday evenings, or daily during July and August.
It is interesting to see the front hull of the boat fold open (see photo) to allow the vehicles to drive right inside.
Getting up to the Bruce Peninsula is easy by car, it is about a three hour drive from Toronto and you have more freedom to make stops along the way. We stopped in Niagara Falls on our way north from New Jersey. You can also reach the northernmost point of Tobermory via ferry from Manitoulin Island in just under two hours.