Hy-Line Cruises

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Hy-Line Cruises
Family owned private company
Industry Ferries, Sightseeing tours, Fishing charters
Founded 1962 (Hyannis Harbor Tours),
1972 (Hy-Line)
Headquarters Hyannis, Massachusetts
Key people
Richard Scudder, and
the Scudder Family
Number of employees
100 (year-round),
350 (summer)
Website Official website
M/V Great Point in Hyannis

Hy-Line Cruises (colloquially referred to as Hy-Line, and legally Hyannis Harbor Tours Inc.) is a family owned and operated Massachusetts ferry and cruise company.[1] The company currently operates the second largest passenger ferry service between mainland Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket (after the Steamship Authority).[2] The company also operates sightseeing cruises and fishing charters. The company's main office is located at 22 Channel Point Road in Hyannis.


Hy-Line Cruises began operations in 1962 as Hyannis Harbor Tours run by Richard Scudder and his brother Robert. Originally, the company focused on sightseeing harbor tours, which it still does today. The company adding deep sea fishing charters in 1966, and started running seasonal passenger ferry services in 1970, first to Martha's Vineyard, and then to Nantucket in 1972 when Hyannis Harbor Tours bought out The Nantucket Boat Company which at that time was doing business as Hi-line. Hyannis Harbor Tours took this trade name and changed it to Hy-Line.[3]

In 1996, Hy-Line Cruises started the first high-speed catamaran service to Nantucket (several years before the Steamship Authority started its catamaran service).

In 2003, the company added a second catamaran, the Grey Lady to the fleet for a one hour seasonal service to Martha's Vineyard the second of the three built for the Nantucket route.

On July 20, 2015, all high-speed Hy-Line ferries leaving Nantucket over a twelve hour period were cancelled. The company did not have procedures in place for helping stranded passengers deal with this crisis.

Current operations[edit]

Island Ferry Service[edit]

Hy-Line Cruises operates a high-speed catamaran ferry between Hyannis and Nantucket (year-round) and Hyannis and Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard (seasonally). The journey time is approximately one hour.

During Cape Cod's tourist season (May thru October), Hy-Line Cruises operates "traditional" ferry service that caters primarily to tourists, sailing to both islands from Hyannis. The company also operates inter-island trips between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

All of Hy-Line Cruises' ferry services are passenger only (although bicycles are carried) due to the legal monopoly held on vehicle ferry service that is held by the Steamship Authority.[4]

Sightseeing Cruises[edit]

Hy-Line Cruises also operates seasonal sightseeing cruises in and around Hyannis Harbor, and the Cape Cod Canal, (the latter sailing from the Wareham village of Onset).

Fishing Charters[edit]

Out of Hyannis, Hy-Line operates seasonal half-day deep sea fishing trips in Nantucket Sound.


Island Ferry Service Vessels[edit]

* Grey Lady – Built in 2003 at Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Grey Lady is the newest vessel of the Hy-Line fleet. This high-speed catamaran operates year-round between Hyannis and Nantucket.

* Lady Martha – Built in 1997 at Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Lady Martha was originally Grey Lady II, the second generation of high-speed catamarans built by Hy-Line. This vessel operated high-speed service between Hyannis and Nantucket until Grey Lady was built in 2003. The vessel was reacquired by Hy-Line in 2005 and embarked on a new adventure, high-speed service between Hyannis and Martha’s Vineyard.

* Great Point – Built in 1988 at Washburn & Doughty Associates, Great Point is the largest vessel of the Hy-Line fleet. This “Traditional” vessel operates seasonally (May-Oct.) between Hyannis and Nantucket and is the only vessel that offers a private First Class Lounge for additional cruising comfort.

* Brant Point – Built in 1973 at Blount Marine, Brant Point is named after the beautiful lighthouse on Nantucket. Her first job was operating seasonally (May-Oct.) between Hyannis and Nantucket. As the Company started to change with the success of the high-speed ferry service, Brant Point was moved to operate Traditional service between Hyannis and Martha’s Vineyard, seasonally, in 2000.

Fishing Charter Vessels[edit]

* Sea Queen II – Built in 1977 at Breaux Baycraft of Loreauville, LA, Sea Queen II has been in the Hy-Line fleet since 2000. Hy-Line started deep-sea fishing from the Ocean Street Dock in 1966.

* Sea Swan II – Built in 1995 at Breaux Baycraft of Loreauville, LA, Sea Swan II has been part of the Hy-Line fleet since 2002. She is the smaller of the two fishing vessels.

Sightseeing/Cruise Vessels[edit]

* Patience – Built in 1982 at Billings Marine of Stonington, ME, Patience was built as a replica of her Maine Coastal Steamer sister-ship Prudence. Patience has returned from her new home in Maine for the 2012 season to operate the company's Hyannis Harbor Cruise.

* Viking – Built in 1954 at Blount Marine, the Viking joined the Hy-Line fleet in 1973 as the sole vessel in the company's Cape Cod Canal Cruises division.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce Hy-Line Cruises
  2. ^ MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning (October 2012). Passenger Ferry Transportation in Massachusetts (PDF). Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Hy-Line Cruises - About Us web page". Hy-Line Cruises. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ "About the Steamship Authority". The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 

Coordinates: 41°38′53.2″N 70°16′45.2″W / 41.648111°N 70.279222°W / 41.648111; -70.279222