Island Girl’s First Boat Ride

map_atl_canadaPrince Edward Island (PEI), where we are headed next, is the smallest province in Canada; 2,170 square miles in size and with a population of over 140,000.

pei flagThere are two ways to get to and from PEI, one is to take a ferry which connects it to Nova Scotia, and the other is by crossing an eight mile bridge which connects it to New Brunswick.

hector  034hector  022They have an interesting model; you only pay (whether the ferry fee or the toll for the bridge) when you leave PEI.  And, since we planned to take the ferry from Nova Scotia to PEI and to drive out of PEI on the bridge to New Brunswick, our ferry ride was free.  There was one catch, we had to standby for the ferry as reservations are allowed only for those that pay (round-trip either way or one-way departing PEI).  Confused yet?

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hector  044hector  043 (1)Anyway, we weren’t going to complain since we were about to take a free 1 hour 15 minute ferry ride across the Northumberland Straight.  But we did plan to leave Pictou in time to standby for the first ferry of the day, just in case we didn’t get on.

And, when we arrived, there were already quite a few RVs , cars and large trucks lined up already.  We were advised that more truckers with reservations were expected, so there definitely was a possibility that we wouldn’t get on.

While we waited for the first ferry, we started chatting with the couple from the RV that was next in line, Beth and Dave.  We were amazed at how many RV’s and trucks there were but they told us that the next ferry due was the larger one of the two.  Finally, the ferry arrived and they started loading cars, then trucks, then RV’s.  It’s quite incredible how many big rigs they loaded on board, but alas, we didn’t get on.

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The GPS Ferry upper left is kinda cute!

The GPS Ferry upper left is kinda cute!

But we were third in line for the next ferry, so it seemed that we had a pretty good chance of getting on, even though that was going to be the smaller ferry.  We continued chatting with Beth and Dave, who are from Nova Scotia and were taking a brief vacation trip to PEI.  That made the time go a lot faster and in no time the next ferry came and we made it on.  Island Girl boarded that ferry like a seasoned boater!

hector  027hector  029RV’s, trucks, and, interestingly motorcycles (which get strapped to the deck) are boarded onto the lower deck.  Cars get loaded on the upper deck.

We had the option of bringing Angel upstairs as long as she stayed outside, but she’d have to climb three really long staircases so we chose not to.  There was a nice sea breeze and we left the windows  in Island Girl open for her.hector  030hector  031

hector  032hector  045Once we reached the top deck, we ran into Beth and Dave once more and spent the ferry ride getting acquainted.  Beth has a blog – Summer Friends – in which she features her vintage trailer, a cute and well loved “Glendette”.

hector  033hector  038The crossing was calm and beautiful.  Beth and Dave gave us a few tips about PEI, and once again time went by really fast and before we knew it there was an announcement for everyone to prepare for arrival at PEI.

hector  040hector  041So we said our good-byes and headed back down to get ready to drive Island Girl off the ferry.  Angel looked comfy and relaxed and ready for the next adventure.  And off we went onto the beautiful Prince Edward Island.

~ Brenda

7 thoughts on “Island Girl’s First Boat Ride

  1. I am just glad that Island Girl did not have to SWIM across. I cannot imagine driving that huge rig and car, with all the accoutraments, onto a boat. I worry about bringing a large cooler onto mine! Another day, another adventure. Looks like fun. Still wish we were there! Enjoy!

  2. Your post reminds me of taking the ferry across Lake Champlain from New York to Burlington every time I went to the airport, or sometimes to go to the Healthy Market, or even to get my haircut!! I love the ferry! Isn’t it so much fun?!! The most amazing sunrise I ever saw was when I was traveling from NY to VT so I could fly to Colorado to see my family. The colors were unreal! The entire sky was gold, and peach, and pink, and purple. Gorgeous!!

    • Wow, that sunset sounds stunning. I’ve only had a few experiences on ferries; the last was when I traveled the Caribbean on business and I used to take the ferry from St. Thomas to Tortola sometimes instead of taking a small plane, so much more relaxing for me. Brenda

      > Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2013 03:39:14 +0000 > To: >

  3. Hello Brenda! Good description of how the whole ferry service to PEI works. When we crossed back to NS on the 15th we inquired about booking with an RV. They told us that we can only reserve for the first two and last two crossings each day (when there is less truck traffic). We have tucked than nugget of info away for next year. Thanks for the link to my little blog. You never know, my page visit count might just go up!
    Happy travels,
    PS- Could you ask Hector to photoshop my hair so it’s not sticking up 🙂 ?

    • Hi, Beth. Good inside scoop on the ferry. And, in regards to our photos, don’t get me started. Take a look at my hair in the same photo. Also, take a look at Hector’s hair in the last photo of the next post. At least we’re all in the same boat – windy place!
      Take care,

    • The ferry crossings are easier than I expected. For longer crossings, I recommend reservations if possible – just posted on this. For standby, always allow lots of extra time in case you don’t get on your first choice.

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