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Ferries, Ferries, and still more Ferries

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Goose Bay, eh? When I was in the Air Force, they used to joke about getting 'exiled' to the USAF base there as punishment for poor performance.. But I see the scenery is spectacular. I have to put that ferry from Lewisporte onto my 'to do' list...... :cool:

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Besides Labrador, the island of Newfoundland once had an extensive Coastal Boat service operated by CN. The railway and Trans Canada Highway basically ran across the centre of the island without links to the communities scattered along the coast. Gradually though the ‘60s and early ‘70s the road links were built and the boat service ended.

 

Here’s the Coastal Boat schedule from the CN Timetable for Oct 1960. One route covered nearly 1000 miles in 7 days.

 

……and a photo of a museum model of CN’s “Bonavista” used on the St. John’s-Lewisporte run: 437 miles in 4 days.

 

Image.jpg

 

 

DSC07548.JPG

 

 

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The Keller Ferry in eastern Washington state is not well known, but it's not too hard to get to.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/Eastern/KellerFerry/

I've ridden the Keller Ferry a couple of times. The Gifford-Inchelium ferry is on my bucket list.

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Speaking of 'to-do' lists.....I read that it is now possible to drive all the way from Quebec to Labrador....I've got to add that! I have driven from New York all the way to Newfoundland, via the Marine Atlantic ferry, then drove up to St. Anthony for the night. Wanted to take the short ferry ride from St. Barbe to Blanc Sablon, but the timing didn't work out. Next day drove from St. Anthony to St. John's, then next day back to Port Aux Basques for the ferry ride back to North Sydney. A memorable trip.

I have to get my 'fix' for the Maritimes each fall. This year, I will be on the NCL Gem on 12 Oct for a seven day cruise to Halifax........ :)

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Speaking of 'to-do' lists.....I read that it is now possible to drive all the way from Quebec to Labrador....I've got to add that!

A friend just made that drive a month or so ago. He said it was great, but advised anyone taking the trip to follow the advice about taking two extra tires -- he lost two on his trip. Oh, and he said not to forget the nuclear-strength bug spray :)

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I did the Trans-Labrador in 2010 and here’s a link to that trip report:

 

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3594.msg79396#msg79396

 

And my photo album:

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/108631333582392876935/TransLabradorTripJuly2010?authuser=0&feat=directlink

 

 

Image.jpg

 

 

I also took two spares with me but didn’t need them…….not even a rock-chip on the windshield! and there’s been a lot more paving since then. The bugs can be bad in June and July but we’ve been going to Labrador to work for a week in September the past couple of years and it’s really the best time to travel. Most of the bugs are gone and still nice warm days.

 

Here’s the St. Barb to Blanc Sablon ferry 20 miles across in about 1 1/2 hours.

 

20100702114035%25281%2529.JPG

 

And the ferry across the St. Lawrence from Baie-Comeau to Matane:

 

DSC04391.JPG

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Looks like the Portland Maine – Yarmouth NS ferry is one step closer to returning next summer. A Maine Ferry company has been chosen and final negotiations will continue with STM Quest Navigation.

 

The new ferry is ready and currently in Singapore. (nice video here of the sea trials)

 

http://www.pressherald.com/news/Nova-Scotia-taps-Maine-based-company-for-ferry-service.html

 

Hopefully thru connections will be available with the Downeaster to and from Boston like they were with the Cat. Back in 2007, I could leave Boston mid morning on the Downeaster, Portland at 2pm and arrive in Yarmouth early evening.

 

The new ferry won’t be as fast as the Cat and will probably operate overnight......a mini-cruise with cabins, casino, entertainment and buffet dining.

Edited by NS VIA Fan

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I did the Trans-Labrador in 2010 and here’s a link to that trip report:

 

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3594.msg79396#msg79396

 

And my photo album:

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/108631333582392876935/TransLabradorTripJuly2010?authuser=0&feat=directlink

 

 

Image.jpg

 

 

I also took two spares with me but didn’t need them…….not even a rock-chip on the windshield! and there’s been a lot more paving since then. The bugs can be bad in June and July but we’ve been going to Labrador to work for a week in September the past couple of years and it’s really the best time to travel. Most of the bugs are gone and still nice warm days.

 

Here’s the St. Barb to Blanc Sablon ferry 20 miles across in about 1 1/2 hours.

 

20100702114035%25281%2529.JPG

 

And the ferry across the St. Lawrence from Baie-Comeau to Matane:

 

DSC04391.JPG

Thanks so much for that trip report and photo's....really makes me want to go now! I wonder if they've improved a significant portion of the route since your trip?

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Looks like the Portland Maine – Yarmouth NS ferry is one step closer to returning next summer. A Maine Ferry company has been chosen and final negotiations will continue with STM Quest Navigation.

 

The new ferry is ready and currently in Singapore. (nice video here of the sea trials)

 

http://www.pressherald.com/news/Nova-Scotia-taps-Maine-based-company-for-ferry-service.html

 

Hopefully thru connections will be available with the Downeaster to and from Boston like they were with the Cat. Back in 2007, I could leave Boston mid morning on the Downeaster, Portland at 2pm and arrive in Yarmouth early evening.

 

The new ferry won’t be as fast as the Cat and will probably operate overnight......a mini-cruise with cabins, casino, entertainment and buffet dining.

So they couldn't make a go of it just for "transportation", perhaps because it was too easy, and cheaper to just drive all the way. So now they will market it as a 'mini-cruise', and although slower, will save a night at a hotel. Trying to appeal to a mostly different market. I hope it is successful.

Another high speed ferry that was heavily hyped and then eventually failed, was the one that ran between Toronto and Rochester a few years ago....

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Looks like the Portland Maine – Yarmouth NS ferry is one step closer to returning next summer. A Maine Ferry company has been chosen and final negotiations will continue with STM Quest Navigation.

 

The new ferry is ready and currently in Singapore. (nice video here of the sea trials)

 

http://www.pressherald.com/news/Nova-Scotia-taps-Maine-based-company-for-ferry-service.html

 

Hopefully thru connections will be available with the Downeaster to and from Boston like they were with the Cat. Back in 2007, I could leave Boston mid morning on the Downeaster, Portland at 2pm and arrive in Yarmouth early evening.

 

The new ferry won’t be as fast as the Cat and will probably operate overnight......a mini-cruise with cabins, casino, entertainment and buffet dining.

So they couldn't make a go of it just for "transportation", perhaps because it was too easy, and cheaper to just drive all the way. So now they will market it as a 'mini-cruise', and although slower, will save a night at a hotel. Trying to appeal to a mostly different market. I hope it is successful.

Another high speed ferry that was heavily hyped and then eventually failed, was the one that ran between Toronto and Rochester a few years ago....

 

The Toronto-Rochester deserves another look.

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The Toronto-Rochester ferry failed because there wasn't sufficient market for service between just those two points, and even though they tried to target New York to Toronto business by having a bus connection from New York City direct to the ferry terminal, it didn't really save time versus bus all the way ....

They also had startup problems when their boat, while on its delivery tour from the Australia shipyard to NYC, had an accident, and was layed up for a while getting repaired

Perhaps an overnite slow mini-cruise on that route would do better....

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So they couldn't make a go of it just for "transportation", perhaps because it was too easy, and cheaper to just drive all the way. So now they will market it as a 'mini-cruise', and although slower, will save a night at a hotel........

 

That was the problem……the CAT didn’t provide basic transportation. After the Scotia Prince service ended in 2004, there was no capacity to handle trucks at all and only limited accommodations for RVs. Truckers who had been able to drive off the ferry in Portland, 100 miles from Boston now had to travel on the Saint John ferry or drive 800 miles all the way around. From local news stories, the truck capacity is the big thing that businesses in southwestern NS want with the new ferry so they can get products into the US. The CAT might have been a fast summer/fall only tourist service but there was not much to do onboard.......just strap yourself into your airline type seat (and the CAT could be rough) for the 5 to 6 hr crossing.

 

The new ferry will have the capacity for all the trucks and RVs that want aboard and the Mini-Cruise will be another market to help sustain the service especially in the shoulder tourist seasons. Plus offer cabins, buffets, casino and entertainment.

 

Here’s a Scotia Prince brochure from 2000. Besides the usual car ferry, you could also book a 23 hr roundtrip cruise.

 

Image%2520%25283%2529.jpg

 

Image%2520%25282%2529.jpg

Edited by NS VIA Fan

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Still, some ferry across the Great Lakes, would be very useful. Something like a little one running Rochester-Oshawa, Milwaukee-Muskegon, or Cleveland/Erie-Port Stanley.

 

This would connect the two side of the lakes, allowing much better access, even if subsidized.

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So if New York State had a choice between subsidizing a Rochester - Oshawa ferry or an additional New York - Niagara Falls Amtrak frequency - say even all the way to Toronto, an overnight run as Amtrak ran once briefly (though no Sleepers), which would you choose?

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jis: Id take the Ferry for the following reasons: VIA is in the process of cutting back Service on most Routes including Toronto-Niagara Falls and GO Buses are Not a good substitute for a Train! Since the Maple Leaf is a joint Amtrak/VIA Train i don't think Canada would want to spend the Money to Crew another Train from the Border to Toronto, they seem to be putting their Money into the GO System around Toronto which, as you know, is Heavily used! (Think New York/New jersey Transit to/from the City ) Amtrak could better use the Money to improve the Tracks on this Route or even put into Equipment both of which is needed!

 

The Ferry would probably would be a Seasonal thing since the Lakes tend to ice up in Winter and the Wind can become a Real concern on the Lakes!

 

I go to the Toronto Area Annually and as much as I like riding the Maple Leaf, I'd rather ride a Ferry from Rochester to Toronto over having to hang out in one of the New York Cities waiting on the Train or ride a Bus! YMMV

Edited by jimhudson

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The Keller Ferry in eastern Washington state is not well known, but it's not too hard to get to.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/Eastern/KellerFerry/

The Keller Ferry has a new boat.

 

KELLER FERRY LANDING, Wash. (AP) — The MV Sanpoil slipped away from her south shore terminal, quietly gliding across the Columbia River on her maiden voyage....

The $9.5 million Sanpoil replaces the much smaller Martha S., which served the route since 1948 but had to be replaced because of repeated breakdowns and a rusting hull....

The free ferry is expected to carry 60,000 vehicles a year on 30 to 35 crossings a day from 6 a.m. to midnight, connecting Ferry County on the north with Lincoln County on the south....

The 116-foot ferry, capable of a peppy 12.5 knots, was built with marine-grade aluminum plate for lower maintenance, no repainting and longer life. It carries up to 20 passenger vehicles or a combination of two semitrucks and nine passenger vehicles.

The Sanpoil is 41 feet longer than the Martha S., which had room for 12 passenger vehicles.

 

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So if New York State had a choice between subsidizing a Rochester - Oshawa ferry or an additional New York - Niagara Falls Amtrak frequency - say even all the way to Toronto, an overnight run as Amtrak ran once briefly (though no Sleepers), which would you choose?

New York State would not subsidize an international ferry--it would not have any business in doing that. Besides the fact that Toronto would probably benefit from it more, as tourists would much more likely visit Toronto, than Rochester.

 

I think Amtrak should run an overnite train to Toronto. I think that even if VIA would not want to participate in it, Amtrak could have sufficient patronage to warrant running it all the way on its own, like they do with the Adirondack...

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So if New York State had a choice between subsidizing a Rochester - Oshawa ferry or an additional New York - Niagara Falls Amtrak frequency - say even all the way to Toronto, an overnight run as Amtrak ran once briefly (though no Sleepers), which would you choose?

New York State would not subsidize an international ferry--it would not have any business in doing that. Besides the fact that Toronto would probably benefit from it more, as tourists would much more likely visit Toronto, than Rochester.

 

I think Amtrak should run an overnite train to Toronto. I think that even if VIA would not want to participate in it, Amtrak could have sufficient patronage to warrant running it all the way on its own, like they do with the Adirondack...

 

If I really had to just choose between an overnight train or the Lakes ferry, right now I would go for the ferry. It's a pain in the butt to get from one side the lake to the other, and the overnight train is not great when Amtrak is strapped for Sleepers.

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A private ferry between the stateside and Canada wouldn't survive financially?

Apparently not.....at least the operation in discussion between Toronto and Rochester. Other's survive, most notably the Clipper between Victoria and Seattle....see http://www.clippervacations.com/clipper-ferry/

In addition there is a car ferry between Victoria and Port Angeles....https://cohoferry.com/

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As for more inland ferries....there used to be one at the appropriately named Dingman's Ferry, Pa. across the scenic upper Delaware river to New Jersey. It has long been replaced by a privately owned toll bridge, one of only three in the entire United States. Anyone know the other two? I'll answer that later if no replies........

I guess no one seems interested in this, but in case they are, the other two are the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, and the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado.

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In addition there is a car ferry between Victoria and Port Angeles....https://cohoferry.com/

 

I've been on that one. It's a very scenic ride and it drops you off right in downtown Victoria. We parked on the Port Angeles

side for a few dollars a day and then got around Victoria by foot or on public transit. Saves you a lot of money versus driving

your car across (and likely having to pay to park at a Victoria hotel).

 

 

As for more inland ferries....there used to be one at the appropriately named Dingman's Ferry, Pa. across the scenic upper Delaware river to New Jersey. It has long been replaced by a privately owned toll bridge, one of only three in the entire United States. Anyone know the other two? I'll answer that later if no replies........

I guess no one seems interested in this, but in case they are, the other two are the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, and the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado.

 

I knew about the Ambassador Bridge but was drawing a blank on the other one. I guess I consider the Royal Gorge Bridge to be more of a tourist attraction than

an actual means of transportation, but I suppose you're technically right that it's a toll bridge

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In addition there is a car ferry between Victoria and Port Angeles....https://cohoferry.com/

 

I've been on that one. It's a very scenic ride and it drops you off right in downtown Victoria. We parked on the Port Angeles

side for a few dollars a day and then got around Victoria by foot or on public transit. Saves you a lot of money versus driving

your car across (and likely having to pay to park at a Victoria hotel).

 

 

As for more inland ferries....there used to be one at the appropriately named Dingman's Ferry, Pa. across the scenic upper Delaware river to New Jersey. It has long been replaced by a privately owned toll bridge, one of only three in the entire United States. Anyone know the other two? I'll answer that later if no replies........

I guess no one seems interested in this, but in case they are, the other two are the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, and the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado.

 

I knew about the Ambassador Bridge but was drawing a blank on the other one. I guess I consider the Royal Gorge Bridge to be more of a tourist attraction than

an actual means of transportation, but I suppose you're technically right that it's a toll bridge

I consider the Royal Gorge Bridge, another one of those "bridges to nowhere"... :P

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