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Driving to New Foundland
I am wondering if anyone has any tips or advice for making the long drive to New Foundland. I am located in Iowa so I believe I am looking at 30 hours just to get to the ferry.
I did that drive a couple of years ago from Michigan with a friend. We stayed in the states as far as we could entering Canada at the Maine border. Back then the exchange rate was close to the same and gas and motels were more costly there. Now with a more favorable exchange rate you might be ok entering in Michigan or NY. I enjoyed the drive which took us two full days. We stayed in Sydney over night and took the ferry the next am. Once on the Rock we spent the night in Deer Lake and on to our outfitter the next day. I know some guys like to take the ferry over at night and get a cabin but the day trip worked for us. When you are on the island everyone will be reminding you to watch for moose. They've got lots of them. If you have the time I think driving is a great option.
I think you're going to find you are more than 30 hours away from the Ferry.
We left from Pittsburgh early in the morning (can't remember what time,it was a few years ago),drove all day and stayed in a campground in northern Maine the first night,about 5 miles from the Canadian border (we called and reserved a spot ahead of time,it cost us $15,might be $20 now)Got up early the second day,ate breakfast,showered,drove through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia,got to the ferry a couple hours ahead of schedule.When we booked the ferry ride,we paid a few bucks extra for a bunk.When we got off the ferry,we drove the whole western coast of Newfoundland,and arrived at our destination in Portland Creek mid afternoon,paid for a room for the night,then flew out the next morning.Long drive,but I would do it again in a heartbeat,loved it! PS Don't expect to get a real good nights sleep on the ferry,it was noisy:crying kids,loud drunks,etc.It's just a huge room with dozens of army style bunks.We were pretty tired on the next morning's drive. Bob
They have those dormitory type berths, But They also have private rooms with either two or 4 bunks and a bathroom with shower. Just like a small hotel room.
I am driving from NY, I figure about 16 hours to the ferry without the border crossing . We are taking the 11:45 pm ferry crossing.
bb,I didn't know that at the time. I will definitely take that option on my next trip!
You may be able to take two ferry rides, I think there is a ferry to Nova Scotia from Portland Maine. But I don't know if it would be faster, probably more expensive but would be less driving
Book your ferry ride in advance, and don't be late. Especially on the way back with moose/caribou meat. If you miss your ferry can be a 6 hour layover. Get a bunk on the trip over and a room with shower on the way back.
Not sure where in Iowa you are, but 30-35 hours driving time is about right. I have done the drive 3 times, but much closer from Vermont. It's an enjoyable trip through eastern Canada. Only issue with the ferry is if it is too windy for it to leave port or dock on the other side.
I don't believe the ferry from Maine to Halifax runs anymore.
I'm 16 hours with the hour time change from CT. I can make Waterloo IA in about 19 hours. There is two time changes. I'd plan for 35-36 hours + you're going to hit traffic.
I'm as close to Illinois as I can get in Iowa. Everything I have looked at is telling me 31 hours drive time.Going to be a long ride no matter what!
Used to live in NNY and made the drive/mid-night ferry run headed for central NL. Very slow going through New England to Canadian border. Stayed in Moncton overnight. The last five trips have been from OK and I and my buddy have taken a far different route...We take the TransCanada from Cornwall,Ontario, overnight in Montreal, then overnight in Fredericton, NB; then overnight on the ferry to Port au Basque. Very good highways. I have had the meat processed on the island and it comes back perfect. Plan on ferry delays as it will not run if high winds at sea. We have had to overnight 3 times in Port au Basque on the way back. If you intend to use cash in Canada; best to exchange at your US bank. Some places will take US $$$ at par! Going back in 2017 for the 7th trip. Will drive as just enjoy a great vacation. If you can, leave extra time and enjoy the trip.
I went last October and we slept in regular seats or on the floor - if you could fine enough free floor space without someone already there!
Yes, reserve the ferry in advance.
Ferry was cancelled for 2 days, which overlapped the end of our moose hunt by one day. Our Midnight crossing was cancelled and it finally sailed the next day at about 2 PM. Once we got clear of land, it was rough - to say the least! Dinners hit the floor in the dining room, the gift shop looked like it was looted with stuff all over the floor and even the cafeteria was shut down. Some people prayed, some slept, some barfed. I sat in the middle of the boat & read a book. My 2 hunting partners stood at the front of the boat and watched waves coming over the bow. One time (of many) the ship listed to one side. They thought they should plan an escape route. They went to an outside rail area and cracked the door open, and saw that ship staff was outside checking the readiness of life boats and life preservers!
We drove from central NYS and I think it was 12 hours to North Sidney in Nova Scotia where we boarded the ferry. We traveled into N Maine, then crossed into New Brunswick.
I did the drive from central Indiana with 2 other guys on a spring bear hunt. We drove straight through, did the ferry crossing and drove to camp. Nice to have wheels on the rock.
1. Expect traffic and construction delays. 2. Have a partner. 3. If you have the time, drive during the day and see some amazing scenery that you won't get in corn and bean country. 4. Have a great hunt. 5. When crossing back into the U.S. from Canada, remember to stop at the border crossing. The Canadians don't seem to mind (you are leaving their country) but the Americans can be a bit testy.
Fly if you can.
I have done both and unless you are retired I find the drive not worth the effort. It's a beautiful drive but the hours of driving take a toll.
You aren't saving money and if you are going on a fly-in hunt you only have so much you can take.
If you are going with a buddy it would be better to share the driving.
I know some hate flying but I do it often and would choose it almost every time unless I had 3-4 days each way to stop and fish along the way :).
Either way good luck.
For hunting [purposes, I am firmly in the driving camp. We came home last year with processed and frozen meat from 2 moose. I shudder to think what the cost of delivery would have been for 793 pounds of meat.
Many years ago, I flew to Colorado for an elk hunt. Getting the meat home by UPS Next Day Air cost over $500. This years trip will see our 2 sons (with little ones at home) flying out with us 2 older dads doing the driving and hauling all the gear.
Yes to sharing the driving. Have done it with 2, 3 & 4 guys in the truck. 4 & 3 are better than 2; but 2 is doable.
Never would go any other way than driving! Easy for me as I live only 14 hours from the ferry. There's something special about lining up for the ferry and seeing the 100's of other hunters heading over!
I Always go over on the midnight departure and sleep for the night. Those rooms are nice and comfy! Morning departure coming home is an hour and a half faster so that's my return ferry. Make sure you talk to the Newfies on the boat but don't expect to understand! Takes a few days!
CurveBow there is a shipping service that cruises round the country it for relatively cheap.
Charlie you are one of those lucky retired guys :).
I'm still a working guy so flying got me an extra day or two of hunting vs. driving.
The drive and ferry ride were part of the experience. For your first trip I'd say it's a must. You won't regret it.
Sleeping in a berth is way better than trying to sleep sitting up in the truck!!! Don't waste your money on a "sleeping chair" you're better off laying on the floor.
Newfoundland is great and I can't wait to go back!!!
We always do the 2-person berth and it works out well. Also the mid-night run. The ferry folks will not allow you to remain in your truck. You must leave it and go up decks. I am like Charlie....RETIRED and the real nice thing is I will start to hint about another trip with my hunting buddy and the wife says ...'just go'...she doesn't like him for some reason and I do not ask!
out of curiosity, how long is the ferry ride?
only 24 hours to the ferry for me, my advice is allow plenty of time and bring plenty of gas money, gas in Canada is sold by the liter, and runs more than twice as much as in the States, Speed limits are in kilometers, try the Poutine, and bring seasick meds, even if you "never get" seasick
Canadian monetary exchange is like 25 to 28%! Either exchange US for Canadian cash before going or use a credit card for gas, hotel, etc. If you pay US cash for $50 of gas Canadian, you pay a lot extra as you do not get the exchange rate!
FYI - On the ferry, you are not allowed to return to your vehicle until the ferry arrived at the destination and they call for drivers to return to their vehicles.
A lot of folks came equipped with pillows and blankets.
All the locals we conversed with were friendly and none were/or seemed of the anti-hunting variety.
The ferry from Portland Mane to Yarmouth N.S. is running again, it is a catamaran and i believe it is about a 6 hr trip.It is aprox.7 driving hrs from Yarmouth to North sydney .Google Bay ferries
That catamaran to Yarmouthis expensive. Over $400 one way.
Don't remember how much the ferry ride from Portland to NS was when I went around 15 years ago but remember it was an overnight trip and I hit the roulette wheel pretty good which more than paid for the ferry.