Hy-Line Cruises (colloquially referred to as Hy-Line) is a Massachusetts ferry and cruise company that is family owned and operated. It currently runs the second largest passenger ferry service between mainland Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket (after the Steamship Authority). The company also operates sightseeing cruises and fishing charters. The company is based out of Hyannis Harbor, in Hyannis, Massachusetts.
Hy-Line 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 ferry services in 1970, first to Martha's Vineyard, and then to Nantucket in 1972 when Harbor Tours purchased The Nantucket Boat Company, and its trade (DBA) name Hi-Line.
Changing the spelling to "Hy-Line," Harbor Tours adopted this name for all of its services. In 1996, Hy-Line started running the first high speed catamaran service to Nantucket (several years before the Steamship Authority started its catamaran service), and, as business continued to increase, placed orders for two more, succesively larger vessels for the Nantucket route. In 2005, the company added a second catamaran to the fleet for a one hour seasonal service to Martha's Vineyard-the second of the three built for the Nantucket route.
Island Ferry Service
Hy-Line operates a one hour catamaran
ferry to both Oak Bluffs
, Martha's Vineyard (seasonal) and Nantucket (year-round) from Hyannis, and as of 2008 is the only ferry company to operate a year-round high speed service from Cape Cod, as the Steamship Authority's fast ferry does not run from January-April. During Cape Cod's tourist season (May until October), Hy-Line runs "traditional" ferry service catering primarily to tourists, sailing to both islands from Hyannis, as well as an inter island trip between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. All of Hy-Line's ferry services are passenger only (although bicycles are carried), and due to the legal monopoly held on vehicle ferry service by the Steamship Authority, Hy-Line's operations will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future.
Hy-Line also runs seasonal sightseeing cruises in Hyannis Harbor, and the Cape Cod Canal
, (the later sailing from the Wareham
village of Onset
). The Hyannis cruise is popular with the summer tourists due to its close up views of the Kennedy Compound
Out of Hyannis, Hy-Line runs seasonal 1/2 day deep sea fishing trips in Nantucket Sound