Ferries, Ferries, and still more Ferries

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NS VIA Fan

Conductor
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
1,975
Location
Nova Scotia
Yup.....take the Ferry or just walk under the Harbour Channel.

The pedestrian tunnel opened in 2015 so the ferry is now mainly used by airport vehicles and those that have authority to cross. No public/passenger vehicles. Pedestrians are allowed but most are just dropped off on the mainland side.....take the elevator down to the tunnel and walk over to the airport.

It would have been nearly impossible to make the tunnel accessible to vehicles as no room is available for the length of road grade/slope required on either side to reach that depth. Even on the mainland a elevator is required to go straight down to the tunnel but there is room for the escalator bank slope on the airport side.

The Island Airport is convenient to anyone going downtown and is a competitor to VIA. There are numerous hotels within walking distance and pedestrian friendly. Just walk to/from your gate to your hotel! Trip report here:

 

John from RI

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 6, 2021
Messages
25
Location
Bloomfield NJ
I have good memories of the Algiers Ferry at the foot of Canal Street in New Orleans. Just take any Canal Street Car to reach it. Or from the center of the city you can walk. Also just sitting on the Moonwalk on the Levee and watching the river go by is a way to connect. Then you can stop by the Morning Call for coffee and beignets and wander through the French Market.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,661
Location
Austin Texas
I have good memories of the Algiers Ferry at the foot of Canal Street in New Orleans. Just take any Canal Street Car to reach it. Or from the center of the city you can walk. Also just sitting on the Moonwalk on the Levee and watching the river go by is a way to connect. Then you can stop by the Morning Call for coffee and beignets and wander through the French Market.
Yep, another Free Activity in the Big Easy!😍
 

JontyMort

Service Attendant
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
214
Location
United Kingdom
Here’s the final ferry of our Canada trip. BC’s Northern Expedition is a serious vessel, seen in the first photo at Port Hardy with her bow visor up. She also has a substantial (post-Estonia) inner bow door, and the stern ramp is pretty solid too. The 22-hour crossing to Prince Rupert includes calls at Bella Bella and Klemtu. Operationally that involves some thought to loading at Port Hardy, since any cars bound for intermediate ports need to go on first. Five cars, a burger van, 25 foot passengers, and a dog got on at Bella Bella at 0130. Why do I know this? Travel at night is exciting, and night port calls doubly so. The scenery on the Inside Passage route is stunning.99C96FB3-AE86-4B5C-BA84-8310EF3BF1C9.jpegDF3B6726-4F98-4601-8933-2F4F96B33778.jpegE40913A5-CAC8-4A3A-92EC-CDE9BCDF477C.jpegE5F7A4B3-0107-4913-B3BE-732A22028D4C.jpeg
 

flitcraft

Conductor
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
1,109
Sad news on the Victoria Clipper, the passenger-only ferry between Seattle and Victoria--it had just resumed service only a few weeks ago, but now, with no warning, has shut back down again. They are arranging alternate transportation for folks stranded as a result of the sudden shutdown. We were planning a trip to Victoria next month...
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,661
Location
Austin Texas
Sad news on the Victoria Clipper, the passenger-only ferry between Seattle and Victoria--it had just resumed service only a few weeks ago, but now, with no warning, has shut back down again. They are arranging alternate transportation for folks stranded as a result of the sudden shutdown. We were planning a trip to Victoria next month...
🥺Is this due to lack of Staff, Ridership, COVID or all 3???
 

flitcraft

Conductor
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
1,109
Regarding the reason for the shutdown of the Clipper--it probably boils down to all of the above. Staffing issues have crippled the Washington State ferry system--they've cut the Seattle-Bainbridge commuter ferry sailings in half, and all the other routes are similarly impacted. There just aren't a lot of qualified people to staff all of the many positions needed for the ferries in the best of times, and these are not the best of times. I would guess that the staffing issues are similar for the Clipper. Ridership is likely down as the weather gets cold and damp here in the Pacific Northwest, though the Christmas season in Victoria is magical. And the rules regarding the border, even though loosening, are still not conducive to short trips over the border. Western Washington and southern BC both have lighter than average COVID rates, but that is partly of function of people taking precautions seriously--and those are precisely the folks inclined to say, "Travel is for after the pandemic!" So, the website says to check back this spring...we'll see.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,661
Location
Austin Texas
Regarding the reason for the shutdown of the Clipper--it probably boils down to all of the above. Staffing issues have crippled the Washington State ferry system--they've cut the Seattle-Bainbridge commuter ferry sailings in half, and all the other routes are similarly impacted. There just aren't a lot of qualified people to staff all of the many positions needed for the ferries in the best of times, and these are not the best of times. I would guess that the staffing issues are similar for the Clipper. Ridership is likely down as the weather gets cold and damp here in the Pacific Northwest, though the Christmas season in Victoria is magical. And the rules regarding the border, even though loosening, are still not conducive to short trips over the border. Western Washington and southern BC both have lighter than average COVID rates, but that is partly of function of people taking precautions seriously--and those are precisely the folks inclined to say, "Travel is for after the pandemic!" So, the website says to check back this spring...we'll see.
Thanks for the info, hopely all my friends that live in the San Juans,BC and the NW aren't too inconvienced too much by this.

I have many fond memories of riding these Ferries when in the NW and hope to be able to ride them again in 2022!!
 

BCL

Engineer
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
3,953
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Just curious if anyone has tried the buffet on BC Ferries. I suppose 95 minutes is generally long enough for lunch or dinner, and maybe there's more time if one boards early. Sounds like it's been suspended for now, but maybe it'll be back the next time I'm there.

 

JontyMort

Service Attendant
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
214
Location
United Kingdom
Just curious if anyone has tried the buffet on BC Ferries. I suppose 95 minutes is generally long enough for lunch or dinner, and maybe there's more time if one boards early. Sounds like it's been suspended for now, but maybe it'll be back the next time I'm there.

When we were there, the buffets were out of action on the short crossings. It was operating on the long Port Hardy-Prince Rupert route, and actually wasn’t too bad.
 

BCL

Engineer
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
3,953
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
When we were there, the buffets were out of action on the short crossings. It was operating on the long Port Hardy-Prince Rupert route, and actually wasn’t too bad.
Really? I remember seeing people going in when I took the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay ferry in 2015, but we were hungry and already got something to eat at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. They were pretty good there. Certainly great compared to the limited stuff at the Sidney Ferry Terminal serving Washington State Ferries.
 

JontyMort

Service Attendant
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
214
Location
United Kingdom
Really? I remember seeing people going in when I took the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay ferry in 2015, but we were hungry and already got something to eat at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. They were pretty good there. Certainly great compared to the limited stuff at the Sidney Ferry Terminal serving Washington State Ferries.
Sorry, I should have made clear that our experience was last month. The closures were Covid-related and - one hopes - temporary. The short crossing we took were Horseshoe Bay-Langdale, the one further north (to Powell River), and Powell River to Comox.
 

BCL

Engineer
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
3,953
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Sorry, I should have made clear that our experience was last month. The closures were Covid-related and - one hopes - temporary. The short crossing we took were Horseshoe Bay-Langdale, the one further north (to Powell River), and Powell River to Comox.
OK. I understood that they're currently suspended, but I didn't quite get when you had tried it.
 

Maglev

Conductor
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
1,160
Location
Orcas Island, Washington
Here is a view of the MV Tillikum sailing to Anacortes, with Orcas Island in the background. I am aboard the MV Samish, docked at Lopez. There is an alert for the return sailing of the Tillikum that I can't quite decipher, but I don't live in Friday Harbor so it doesn't apply to me.
The daily 10:05 a.m. departure from Anacortes to Friday Harbor will be limited to smaller oversized vehicles until further notice starting today, Nov. 10. No standard-sized vehicles will be loaded onto this sailing. Limiting this trip to box trucks, delivery vans and other oversized vehicles will increase the loading efficiency for that sailing and improve on-time performance for interisland travel throughout the day
IMG_8329.jpeg

This is a view from the Embassy Suites at King Street Station showing ferries in storage due to crew shortages:

IMG_8338.jpeg
 

AmtrakMaineiac

Streetcar Motorman
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
161
Location
Lubec, ME
In the area of Maine where I live there are a number of interesting ferries.

During the summer my hometown Lubec has a ferry that runs Friday thru Sunday several times a day to the city of Eastport across the bay, a 20 minute trip by boat but an hour by car due to the circuitous route around Johnson's Bay. The MV Quoddy Dam can carry around 20 people no cars. There are Friday evening trips for Eastporters to partake of the restaurants in Lubec.
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The nearby Campobello Island which is part of New Brunswick has a car carrying ferry to Deer Island, from where one can drive to the North end of the island and catch another ferry to the New Brunswick mainland. The latter ferry runs year round as there is no other way to reach Deer Island. The Campobello ferry is summer only as Campobello has a bridge to the US but there is talk of making that ferry year round also due to the need for Canadians on Campobello to have to drive through the US to reach the rest of Canada which has been difficult during the COVID crisis due to travel restrictions.

The last ferry I will mention is from the New Brunswick mainland to Grand Manaan Island. This is a serious ferry with car carrying capacity and even has a cafeteria on board. We rode it a few years ago as walk ons and it was a great trip. This also runs year round being the only access to the island
 

AmtrakMaineiac

Streetcar Motorman
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
161
Location
Lubec, ME
Is it possible to get to Lubec without a car?
Basically no. The closest you can get is the daily West bus from Bangor to Calais that stops in Whiting which is about 12 miles from Lubec.

Once you actually get to Lubec the town is pretty walkable, although there are a number of attractions like the West Quoddy Light, Campobello and the FDR cottage, etc. that would require a car. In the summer there are restaurants and places to stay downtown.
 
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