Hy-Line Cruises has been in the ferry/boat business since the 1960's. However, in 1972, a decision was made that helped put the company in the position it is in today. Hyannis Harbor Tours bought out Nantucket Boat Company. The sale included three of its five vessels, their docking facility, ticket office, parking lots and the trade name Hi-Line, which the new owners changed to Hy-Line. Hy-Line was now operating two boats seasonally to each island (including the newly built M/V “Brant Point”) at the “south end” of the Ocean Street Docks along with the sightseeing and fishing boats at the “north end.”
Hy-Line’s philosophy of “opportunity through growth” continued in 1988-1989 with the introduction of a “first-class” traveling option to Nantucket aboard the newly built, 800 passenger “Great Point.” We also started, through licensing of the Steamship Authority, seasonal service between the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard commonly known as “inter-island” service with the M/V “Cross Rip” based on Nantucket Island.
Expanding our Ferry Services
The seasonality of the business changed in 1996 when we introduced a new and innovative traveling option for the public – year-round high-speed service to Nantucket. The high-speed catamaran “Grey Lady” cut the travel time to Nantucket in half and concentrated heavily on customer service and amenities. The service proved to be so popular that ”Grey Lady II” was built in 1997 to provide further comfort and convenience to our passengers. Hy-Line Cruises welcomed their third generation high-speed Nantucket ferry, “Grey Lady” in April 2003. This solidified Hy-Line’s position as one of the most successful passenger ferry services in the country.
In the summer of 2005, Hy-Line embarked on a new adventure to provide high-speed ferry service from Hyannis to Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard. Hy-Line reacquired their “Grey Lady II” and renamed her “Lady Martha” to provide this one-of-a-kind service.
The growth of Hy-Line hasn’t been limited to its Hyannis and island operations. In 1977, we introduced our receptive operator division called Cape Cod Custom Tours. They provide all phases of itinerary planning for motor coach companies and tour operators traveling to Cape Cod, the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, New England and the Canadian Maritimes.
In 1979, we began operating cruises on the Cape Cod Canal from Onset with the purchase of Cape Cod Canal Cruises. The M/V “Viking” runs daily cruises on the canal along with charters and nighttime specialty cruises.