Newfoundland is a large island on the east coast of the North American mainland. It’s a part of Newfoundland and Labrador, the easternmost province of Canada. The island is famous for its archeological sites, historical sites, and natural beauty, and it’s great for a weekend trip. When it comes to traveling to the island, ferries to Newfoundland can be a great option.
However, ferries aren’t for everyone, and you should do your due diligence and weigh their pros and cons before deciding. Let’s discuss whether you should take ferries to Newfoundland, along with the best ferries to choose.
Should You Take Ferries to Newfoundland?
The answer to this question is yes and no. Before delving in, you need to understand that Newfoundland & Labrador has two distinct parts. Labrador is a part of the Canadian mainland and is connected to Quebec. You can easily reach there by road. However, Newfoundland is an island, so the only two ways to reach there are by air or water.
Flying to Newfoundland has its own benefits. It’s fast, and you can reach St. John’s, its capital, which is a few minutes from airports in Labrador and Quebec. However, boarding a flight has its own challenges. You need to reach the airport in advance and go through the transit process.
Ferries, on the other hand, are fun. Many ferries to Newfoundland are there, all having amazing amenities and friendly staff. You can find ferries from North Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Port aux Basques. However, ferries are slow, and you’ll need to travel for at least eight to ten hours.
In all, if you’re in a hurry, go for a flight to Newfoundland. If you have the time and want to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience, opt for a ferry.
Best Ferries to Newfoundland
Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of taking a ferry to Newfoundland, let’s look at some of the best ferries you can take. There are two ferry routes to Newfoundland. One starts from North Sydney and goes through Nova Scotia and Port aux Basque. The other also starts from North Sydney but goes through Argentina to reach Newfoundland.
The former ferry route functions all year round, whereas the latter is open in June-September. A total of 12 ferry services operate in the region.
St. Pierre Ferry
Saint-Pierre et Miquelon (SPM) is a ferries services provider that provides regular ferries to Newfoundland. The company has a regular ferry service with daily crossings to Newfoundland. The ferries take you through the archipelago of the North American coastline, so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery on your way to Newfoundland.
SPM’s staff is also amazing and friendly. They assist you with each step, from ticket booking to onboarding. So, if you’re looking for a blend of fantastic scenery and devoted staff, St. Pierre Ferry will be ideal for you.
Nunatsiavut Marine Inc.
Nunatsiavut Marine is a company that operates port facilities in various parts of Newfoundland, including Goose Bay, Black Tickle, Cartwright, Postville, and more. The company offers freight and passenger services along the North Coast of Labrador during the shipping season. You can board the ferry from Labrador to Happy Valley and Goose Bay in Newfoundland.
When you board a Nunatsiavut Marine ferry, you’re in for a five-day adventure on the North Coast of Labrador. You will travel through several communities of Nunatsiavut and meet local residents, see historical sites, and taste local foods.
Bell Island — Portugal Cove Ferry
The Newfoundland and Labrador government has a ferry service from Bell Island, Labrador, to Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. The operator currently operates two ferries: MV Beaumont Hamel and MV Flanders, on a two-vessel schedule. The ferries have a capacity of 200-250 passengers.
Since Bell Island and Portugal Cove are the extreme ends of Labrador and Newfoundland, respectively, the distance between the two points is only 5 minutes. It takes only 20 minutes to cross the waters and reach Newfoundland.
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador also has a ferry service from Ramea to Grey River and Burgeo. Ramea is a small village located in the northwest of Newfoundland. Burgeo is located on the south coast of Newfoundland.
Please note that this ferry doesn’t connect Newfoundland to Labrador or any other province in Canada. Instead, it connects two extremes of Newfoundland — Grey River and Burgeo to Ramea. MV Gallipoli is the ferry for this route, and it has a capacity of 100 passengers.
The distance from Ramea to Burgeo is 22 km and takes 75 minutes. The distance from Ramea to Grey River is 20 minutes and takes 80 minutes. Therefore, the total distance is 41 km and takes 3 hours.
Marine Atlantic is a popular ferry service provider that offers ferry services from Nova Scotia and North Sydney to Newfoundland. The company has one MV from North Sydney: MV Blue Puttees and two MVs from Port Aux Basques: MV Atlantic Vision and MV Leif Ericson. However, MV Leif Ericson is commercial only.
Marine Atlantic is renowned for its top-notch onboard experience and amenities. You can choose from a standard, deluxe, or fully accessible cabin as per your preferences.
How Much Do Ferries to Newfoundland Cost?
The pricing of a ferry depends on myriad factors, such as distance, accommodation, amenities, etc. In general, the one-way passenger fares for ferries are;
- Adults: $100-150
- Children: $40-70
- Children under 5: Mostly free
- Senior Citizens: $90-125
Don’t forget the accommodation costs. A standard cabin costs $150-200, whereas a deluxe cabin costs $225-275.
There are other costs as well that you should keep in mind. These include vehicle rates to reach the ferry. The price will depend on your mode of accommodation — autos, campers, vans, motor homes, or minibuses.
Conclusion: Ferries to Newfoundland
Do you want to take ferries to Newfoundland? You have numerous options to choose from. However, before deciding which ferry to take, understand its pros and cons and determine whether a ferry is right for you. If you don’t have enough time, reaching Newfoundland by air will be the best approach. If you are comfortable with a ferry, do your research and find the ferry that suits your needs.