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Ferries, Ferries, and still more Ferries


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#201 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 05:08 PM

But as I made my way to Wood Islands I noticed the winds picking-up and when I checked in at the Terminal.I found out the evening crossing had been cancelled. The winds were now almost at gale force out on the Northumberland Strait.

 
How long in advance do they cancel these runs? Is there a way to check before you leave Charlottetown?



I checked the recorded info line before I left Charlottetown and the 6:15 crossing was still a go. In the 50 minutes it took me to drive to Wood Islands.....the ferry had left the Caribou side and due to wind and sea conditions out on the Strait.....the Captain cancelled any further crossings that evening.

 

Railiner wrote:


Good point....it would seem more logical (to my way of thinking)...that one would pay to get to an island, (albeit an entire province), and have the return to the mainland, free...
Unless the businesses believe that paying first to get there, would discourage some from going...

.
I think that the psychology of it has a lot to do with it. PEI must surely rely a lot on tourism dollars, and if you've already paid $45 or $75 on the way over, you might have less money in your pocket to burn once you get there (figuratively speaking, of course, since most people are using credit cards anyhow).
 
OTOH, people fly to Vegas/Orlando/Paris etc, spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to get there, but don't seem to have any problem dropping many hundreds or thousands more once they arrive. So it's a matter of perspective, I guess.
 
But the current "pay as you leave" system reminds me of "Hotel California."
 
"You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! (unless you have $45)"



Never really thought much about it. I guess it might be a bit more palatable for tourists if they saw $37. 50 (ferry) or $22.50 (bridge)....but they are still paying the same amount round trip (and most tourists are probably making a round trip).....and the tolls are per vehicle so the more you can stuff-in the cheaper it is!

It's been like this for years......round-trip tolling. The bridge and ferry operators save by not having to maintain infrastructure and pay wages to toll collectors on both sides of the Strait.

Most Islanders and other Maritimers accept the Bridge Toll as it's based on the fare that was charged by the Marine Atlantic Ferries that the bridge replaced in 1997 + an annual increase based on inflation since then. (Youve got to pay for a billion dollar bridge some how!)

The rates may seem high but if the ferries were still operating the rate would probably be a lot higher now if you include fuel surcharges.....which thankfully you dont pay to cross the bridge in your own vehicle.

And now you cross on YOUR schedule......no more leaving the beach early on a hot summer Sunday afternoon just to sit in a ferry line-up for hours, inching your way forward so you can get home to Moncton or Halifax that evening.....and those line-up could be long in a hot car!.....Or sometimes in winter: waiting for ice and wind conditions to improve so the ferry could get across.

Edited by NS VIA Fan, 13 November 2015 - 05:10 PM.


#202 SarahZ

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 06:54 PM

During my recent trip to Victoria, BC, I experienced my first trip on BC Ferries. My friend and I went from Swartz Bay (Victoria) to Tsawwassen Bay (Vancouver) and back. We didn't spend any time in Vancouver, as we got a late start to the day and didn't have time. We got off the ferry, purchased a return ticket, and got right back on. :)

 

It was a lovely experience. On the way to Vancouver, we splurged on the lunch buffet and stuffed ourselves full of good food. I was impressed with the offerings. It was definitely worth the money. And since I paid, we actually saved quite a bit, thanks to an amazing exchange rate that day. ;)

 

They also have a cafe area where you can buy sandwiches, salads, fruit, etc, a hot line where you can order burgers and whatnot, and a coffee bar.

 

The seats were comfortable and plentiful, but we spent most of our time topside since I wanted to enjoy the view and ocean air. I stood as close to the bow as they would allow. I felt sort of like I was the Captain, and it was fun to feel the wind in my hair.

 

We didn't bring our vehicle, as they charge per person AND vehicle, not a combined rate. Had we brought the car, we probably would have gone into Vancouver for a little while.

Bonus: We got to see some whales! We also went to the stern for a bit to watch for dolphins, as some people told us the dolphins like to play in the wake, but we didn't see any.

 

Here are some pictures:

 

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Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

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#203 Bob Dylan

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 07:29 PM

Brings back many wonderful memories! Thanks for sharing! BC is one of the prettiest areas on earth!😉
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#204 SarahZ

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 07:37 PM

Brings back many wonderful memories! Thanks for sharing! BC is one of the prettiest areas on earth!

 

It is. :) I put my vacation pictures on Facebook.

 

Here's a link to the album. You don't have to be signed in to see it.

 

https://www.facebook...=1&l=7ff5b34bda


Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

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#205 railiner

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 07:54 PM

SarahZ....great shots...thanks so much for posting!    :hi:

 

 

Victoria is one of my favorite places on Earth....I have sailed there on the BC Ferry, as shown above, the former CP  SS Princess Marguerite, the Victoria Clipper, and a couple of HAL cruise ships enroute to or from Alaska....have yet to do the Black Ball MV Coho or the Washington State to Sidney.......


Edited by railiner, 13 November 2015 - 07:55 PM.

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#206 railiner

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 08:00 PM

 

But as I made my way to Wood Islands I noticed the winds picking-up and when I checked in at the Terminal….I found out the evening crossing had been cancelled. The winds were now almost at gale force out on the Northumberland Strait.

 
How long in advance do they cancel these runs? Is there a way to check before you leave Charlottetown?
 
 
 
Railiner wrote:
 

Good point....it would seem more logical (to my way of thinking)...that one would pay to get to an island, (albeit an entire province), and have the return to the mainland, free...
Unless the businesses believe that paying first to get there, would discourage some from going...

 

.

I think that the psychology of it has a lot to do with it. PEI must surely rely a lot on tourism dollars, and if you've already paid $45 or $75 on the way over, you might have less money in your pocket to burn once you get there (figuratively speaking, of course, since most people are using credit cards anyhow).

 

OTOH, people fly to Vegas/Orlando/Paris etc, spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to get there, but don't seem to have any problem dropping many hundreds or thousands more once they arrive. So it's a matter of perspective, I guess.

 

But the current "pay as you leave" system reminds me of "Hotel California."

 

"You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! (unless you have $45)"

 

 

Kind of reminds me of this.... :P .....https://www.youtube....h?v=S7Jw_v3F_Q0


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#207 SarahZ

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 08:27 PM

SarahZ....great shots...thanks so much for posting!    :hi:

 

 

Victoria is one of my favorite places on Earth....I have sailed there on the BC Ferry, as shown above, the former CP  SS Princess Marguerite, the Victoria Clipper, and a couple of HAL cruise ships enroute to or from Alaska....have yet to do the Black Ball MV Coho or the Washington State to Sidney.......

 

Victoria is also one of my favorite places. I was last there in 2007 and had been yearning to go back all this time. I was so happy when my plane landed at YYJ on October 10. :)

 

Once I move to Seattle, I plan to ride the Victoria Clipper and the Coho fairly often, as one of my very best friends lives in Victoria. I'll also end up on a Washington State ferry at some point, I'm sure.


Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

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#208 BCL

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 11:53 PM

During my recent trip to Victoria, BC, I experienced my first trip on BC Ferries. My friend and I went from Swartz Bay (Victoria) to Tsawwassen Bay (Vancouver) and back. We didn't spend any time in Vancouver, as we got a late start to the day and didn't have time. We got off the ferry, purchased a return ticket, and got right back on. :)
 
It was a lovely experience. On the way to Vancouver, we splurged on the lunch buffet and stuffed ourselves full of good food. I was impressed with the offerings. It was definitely worth the money. And since I paid, we actually saved quite a bit, thanks to an amazing exchange rate that day. ;)
 
They also have a cafe area where you can buy sandwiches, salads, fruit, etc, a hot line where you can order burgers and whatnot, and a coffee bar.
 
The seats were comfortable and plentiful, but we spent most of our time topside since I wanted to enjoy the view and ocean air. I stood as close to the bow as they would allow. I felt sort of like I was the Captain, and it was fun to feel the wind in my hair.
 
We didn't bring our vehicle, as they charge per person AND vehicle, not a combined rate. Had we brought the car, we probably would have gone into Vancouver for a little while.

Bonus: We got to see some whales! We also went to the stern for a bit to watch for dolphins, as some people told us the dolphins like to play in the wake, but we didn't see any.


Tsawwassen is actually pretty far from Vancouver. It's about 45 minutes to the waterfront with no traffic. If you had a car, a more interesting place might have been Point Roberts, WA. Not that there's much to do there, but that it's a geographic oddity.

map1reduced.jpg

My family took a car from Tsawwassen to Schwartz Bay last July on the Spirit of British Columbia. They have a pretty extensive ferry terminal there with shopping and restaurants. On the trip We waved at the Spirit of Vancouver Island, which was going in the reverse direction. We also saw some really small car ferry - one serving those small islands. The other deal is that they had free (reasonably fast) WiFi and satellite TV. They had a CFL game on an I recognized one of the coaches (Jeff Tedford) who was the head coach at Cal. We had no idea what the terminal at Schwartz Bay is like.

We stayed in Victoria and took the Sidney-Anacortes (the Chelan) ferry the next day. We were welcomed with a prescreen by US Customs before lining up. It was kind of boring there with no WiFi and just a small gift shop and snack bar there. However, we did see a bald eagle flying over the water. We could see a lot of turboprops flying into and out of Victoria Airport. The ferry ride itself wasn't quite as nice as BC Ferries, especially with no WiFi or TV. The food was basically reheated, but we still needed to eat. We stopped at Friday Harbor to let off just a few cars and take on a couple. When we arrived we had to go through Customs again.

#209 SarahZ

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 12:33 AM

Well, I've never been to Vancouver, so that would have been our prime destination. 45 minutes isn't that long to me, considering that's my commute every day. Plus, neither of us had our passports with us, so we couldn't have gone to Port Roberts unless we'd planned ahead (and this was an impulse trip).

 

I did marvel at Port Roberts, though. I had no idea the U.S. owned that itty, bitty, teeny, tiny piece of land. It seems so silly to me. :) We talked about it for quite some time once I saw the map on the ferry. So, if we'd had time AND had our passports with us, we might have done that as well.

 

Next time, perhaps. :)


Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro


#210 BCL

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 11:12 AM

There was a plan to install slot machines on the ferries serving the Tsawwassen-Schwartz Bay route. It got scrapped when a study determined it would probably lose money. There was also a small detail that the route also went through US territorial waters. As it stands now, they probably deal with taxation issues regarding the use of US territory.

http://www.timescolo...stead-1.1962094
http://www.cbc.ca/ne...nment-1.3104915

Oh - there was a duty-free shop on the Washington State Ferries trip from Vancouver Island to Washington. It was open fairly briefly, as we got into US territorial waters rather quickly. It wasn't much anyways.

#211 SarahZ

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 12:51 PM

There was a plan to install slot machines on the ferries serving the Tsawwassen-Schwartz Bay route. It got scrapped when a study determined it would probably lose money.

 

Yeah, most people we saw looked like people who'd been on that route a hundred times. Granted, we went on a Thursday, so it was probably mostly students/commuters returning from the Thanksgiving holiday or traveling to/from Victoria for a weekend visit with family and friends.

 

I'm sure there are probably more tourists on the weekends, perhaps. Still, those who weren't sitting on the decks were reading and watching movies on iPads and laptops in the seating areas. The journey didn't really scream "gambling time" to me so much as "relax and enjoy the view for an hour and a half".

 

I did find it interesting that we crossed the Washington border, albeit briefly. :)


Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro


#212 BCL

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 01:33 PM






There was a plan to install slot machines on the ferries serving the Tsawwassen-Schwartz Bay route. It got scrapped when a study determined it would probably lose money.

 
Yeah, most people we saw looked like people who'd been on that route a hundred times. Granted, we went on a Thursday, so it was probably mostly students/commuters returning from the Thanksgiving holiday or traveling to/from Victoria for a weekend visit with family and friends.
 
I'm sure there are probably more tourists on the weekends, perhaps. Still, those who weren't sitting on the decks were reading and watching movies on iPads and laptops in the seating areas. The journey didn't really scream "gambling time" to me so much as "relax and enjoy the view for an hour and a half".
 
I did find it interesting that we crossed the Washington border, albeit briefly. :)

Just to correct myself, Swartz Bay.

Gambling is actually pretty common in BC. We stayed at a casino hotel in the Vancouver area. The locals do gamble. We took the westbound ferry the day before the WWC Final in Vancouver. Not really a lot of tourists going to Vancouver Island, but probably more in the other direction. In any case, I don't think they were so much worried that they wouldn't be used, but the cost of employees, IT support, security, payments to Washington state, etc. The articles noted that they'll be more likely to build more restaurant and shopping spaces when they do their next overhauls.

BC-Ferry-map.jpg

I've been to Vancouver Island three times, and I don't think I ever got on/off via the same route. I've been on the private Port Angeles-Victoria ferry operated by Black Ball Lines. Years ago I took the Nainamo-Tsawwassen ferry. We took that route to see more of Vancouver Island.

I've been joking that within the span of four days I'd been through North Vancouver, Vancouver, BC, Vancouver Island, and Vancouver, WA (on the Coast Starlight).

#213 SarahZ

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 01:38 PM

I'd love to go further up island some day. We talked about going to Nanaimo, Gold River, and/or Port Renfrew, but there was so much I hadn't seen in Victoria the first time that we ended up spending most of our time driving around the Saanich Peninsula.

 

No regrets, though. :) We have plenty of time to explore once I live closer. I'm excited to see Vancouver (BC) and more of Washington and Oregon too.


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Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro


#214 BCL

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 03:44 PM

I'd love to go further up island some day. We talked about going to Nanaimo, Gold River, and/or Port Renfrew, but there was so much I hadn't seen in Victoria the first time that we ended up spending most of our time driving around the Saanich Peninsula.
 
No regrets, though. :) We have plenty of time to explore once I live closer. I'm excited to see Vancouver (BC) and more of Washington and Oregon too.


We drove around but kept on getting lost. I had my iPhone but didn't turn on roaming. I basically got around by programming a destination when I had WiFi internet. I could follow the directions exactly, but if I took the wrong turn I got no more directions until I got back to the programmed route. I also had no voice directions unless I happened to have WiFi. Once I ducked into a Tim Horton's just to program a new route.

I had one of those tourist brochures with a map page, but it wasn't detailed enough when I got lost.

#215 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 12:19 PM

http://gcaptain.com/...p/#.Vm2ngl9OKnM

Not quite a ferry, but something I would like to try.

#216 railiner

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 08:20 PM

Very nice!

 

I recently came across this gem of a video 

showing a coastal voyage on the mid '60's SS Santa Maria at the end of parent Delta Lines service in the early '80's.  Fascinating look a a typical "combo" passenger-freighter.

 

 The ship started out under Grace Line ownership, and was sold to Delta Line (former Mississippi Shipping Company, not to be confused with the former Delta Queen riverboat company.

 

A bit of trivia....the Delta Line was for a period owned by  TCO industries, which also owned Continental Trailways.  TCO was later acquired by Holiday Inn.  


Edited by railiner, 13 December 2015 - 08:22 PM.

metroblue?

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#217 CHamilton

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 09:59 AM


German ferry and shipping group FRS has acquired Seattle-based Clipper Navigation, which operates Clipper Vacations and the Victoria Clipper, the ferry service between Seattle, Victoria, BC and the San Juan Islands.
Clipper founder, chairwoman and CEO Merideth Tall said that FRS has acquired a majority interest in Clipper. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Tall will continue in her role as CEO of the company and retain a minority ownership stake.
For its part, FRS is leveraging its acquisition of Clipper to gain a stake in the North American tourism market and add new ferry route this year between to Victoria BC and Vancouver, BC and then between Florida and Cuba, once the company receives government approval, said FRS CEO Götz Becker.

 

 


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#218 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 03:58 PM

The CAT came Back!..... between Portland and Yarmouth.

Bay Ferries......they currently operate Saint John NB and Digby NS and between Caribou NS and Prince Edward Island will now also operate the ‘new’ CAT Ferry between Portland Maine and Yarmouth NS.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...mbers-1.3505846

This is the former Hawaii Superferry and currently the USNS Puerto Rico. Bay Ferries will charter it from the US Navy.(I believe it's currently docked in Philadelphia)

Bay Ferries once operated another Cat Ferry on the Maine run until 2009.

Edited by NS VIA Fan, 24 March 2016 - 04:19 PM.


#219 Bob Dylan

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 04:09 PM

Excellent news for those wanting to visit the Maritimes from the NE!
.😉
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#220 railiner

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 08:14 PM

I agree, apparently many NS taxpayer's do not.....if you read some of the comments after the CBC story...🤔
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