Getting to Know Hy-Line Cruises

Getting to Know Hy-Line Cruises

Hy-Line Cruises has a lot to offer Cape Cod and the Islands, and the people who visit every year.

We are a family owned company, founded in 1962 by Richard and Robert Scudder along with E. Raymond Taylor. The Scudder brothers, both graduates of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, operated “Scudder’s Sunoco” on the corner of Ocean and South Streets in Hyannis. Mr. Taylor had long been involved in the oil business on Cape Cod and founded Scudder & Taylor Oil Company with Frederic Scudder, father of Dick and Bob.

With the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960, there was an increasing demand to view the homes in the Kennedy Compound.

When an advertisement was seen in a local paper listing the 150-passenger M/V “Prudence” for sale, the partners moved to acquire her, and began service in 1962 giving harbor tours featuring great views of the Kennedy compound and other main sights around Lewis Bay.

The brothers expanded the to include a new venture, deep-sea fishing in 1966. The “Sea Queen II” and “Sea Swan II” handle the fishing duties, plying the waters of Nantucket Sound on full and half day fishing excursions.

It actually wasn’t until 1970 when they contracted to build a boat to run seasonally to the island of Martha’s Vineyard. The M/V “East Chop” (named after a lighthouse on the Vineyard) was launched in 1971 and began daily trips to the island from the same docks at the “north end”.

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.

We now ferry almost 800,000 passengers yearly on our trips to both Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. During the summer season, we also offer a direct inter-island service between the two islands. Hy-Line operates 4 ferries, the Lady Martha, Vineyard Lady, Grey Lady, and Grey Lady IV. All our boats are high-speed catamarans able to get you to your destination in only 1 hour! All four offer a snack bar with delicious treats and meals, as well as thirst-quenching cocktails which are often made with local beer, wine, and spirits. The Grey Lady IV has a special Captains View section, for an additional cost, where passengers enjoy a front row seat to the journey through huge windows and get pre-boarding privileges as well.

We want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible as you travel with us, so we offer an Onboard Concierge during our busier trips to answer all your questions about the islands, the boat, and to help you with whatever you need! Make sure to say hi the next time you travel! We also pride ourselves on being dog-friendly and love our furry friends! They might even get a treat from one of our crew!

Ferrying passengers to and from the islands may be our biggest business, but we still stick to our roots with Hyannis Harbor Tours and Deep Sea Fishing trips daily throughout the summer. Almost 70,000 passengers enjoy these trips annually!

One of the only tours of Lewis Bay, the best way to see the memorable sights and beauty of Hyannis is by the sea on the Jonathan Lewis, our 100-passenger wooden tour boat.  Relax and enjoy the views as your guide explains the various points of interest you see along the way. It’s a fascinating (and sometimes comical) history that includes aspects of our maritime industry, the people who established our waterfront community, and some of the area’s most interesting sights. Onboard, we offer snacks, drinks, and a variety of indoor and outdoor seating options! At certain times throughout the summer, we offer specialty cruises such as our Ice Cream floats, Local Libations Cruises, and starting this summer our Live Music Cruises. These cruises are so much fun, and we really do have something for all ages! You’ll definitely want to check them out.

For someone who wants a little more action, we offer half and full day Bottom and Deep Sea Fishing trips!  Cruise into Nantucket sound with us and find yourself in the best place around to catch scup, tautog, blues, stripers, and sea bass. We try to make it easy for everyone, no matter your skill level and offer free bait, help with anything you could need, and rod rentals for an additional fee. It’s definitely an experience you don’t want to miss out on!

Last, but certainly not least, we offer Cape Cod Canal Cruises out of Onset, MA. This is the only sightseeing tour on the Cape Cod Canal, and something you do not want to miss out on during your trip to Cape Cod.

The Cape Cod Canal is a man-made canal, a National Civil Engineering landmark, and the widest sea level canal (without locks) with the world. It was built to create more efficient nautical trade routes, opening in July 1914. Passage through the Canal is safer than having to maneuver around the dangerous shoals and unpredictable currents surrounding the Outer Cape, and also saves ships more than 160 miles of travel, instead of having to navigate around the tip of Cape Cod. We offer 2 & 3 hour sightseeing cruises, guiding you down the canal and pointing out all of the prominent landmarks along the way. Along with our sightseeing cruises, we also offer live music cruises (21+), and friends & family music cruises for all ages. These cruises sell out fast, so be sure to get in on it before it’s too late!


From our small start with a gas station and a single boat, to now a multi-faceted corporation we certainly have grown a lot over the years! We definitely have something to please anyone and are excited for you to come aboard and enjoy our services.


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