Marine Atlantic Ferry from North Sydney, Cape Breton Island to Argentia, Newfoundland

This day was a day of ferry rides!

On our way from Ingonish Beach to North Sydney we crossed the mouth of St. Ann’s Bay on the Englishtown Ferry.

From North Sydney we departed with Marine Atlantic on a 16 hour crossing of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to Argentia, Newfoundland.

We did not have a cabin booked and were a part of those who slept in the air lounge chairs because we didn’t book months in advance to reserve one.  So any travelers like us who decided last minute to take this ferry to Newfoundland had to plan ahead as best as possible as to how to make the ride more comfortable.  So we preplanned and borrowed sleeping bags, pillows and a mattress with plans to sleep on the floor.  We later find out on the ship that sleeping on the floor is against safety regulations. The crew member who walks around and checks the rules turned a blind eye to the majority of cabin-less travelers who ignored the rule and slept on the floor.  We didn’t use the mattress because it was too large.  The air chair lounge is very similar to a cabin in an airplane with three long rows of reclining seats.  Some people slept on the floor in front of their seats.  We slept in the aisle.

I tried to sleep – but was too worried about our dogs – more accurately one of them who does not travel well when confined to her carrier.  Regulations state that all dogs must be in hard bottomed carriers and stored in the pet room for the duration of the voyage.  Our dogs were in their soft bottomed airplane regulated to travel in-cabin sized carriers.  This was a bit of an issue as they could not be properly stored away on the steel piped shelving provided to store dog crates. We tucked the carriers on the floor against each other along the only wall space available. Michael and I took turns looking in on the dogs to take them out and let them stretch their legs.  But we took issue with the space.  Yes, there is an enclosure set up like a large sand box with kitty litter for dogs to relieve themselves.  But there is zero room for dogs owners to sit with their dogs.  And the room smells strongly of urine.  It was very difficult for me to leave our highly stressed little fur baby locked in her travel bag for such a long time.  I debated actually laying on the floor in the cramped, urine smelling room with her – but other dog owners would have had to walk over me to get to their dogs and I didn’t want to lay the borrowed sleeping bag on such a smelly floor.

We didn’t spend a lot of time roaming the ship.  We were either with the dogs or at our claimed seats in the air chair lounge.  We did have a drink at the bar (and have a great laugh with the bartender who nicknamed me “giggles”) while waiting for the lineup to calm down for the all-you-can-eat supper buffet.  The line up for the supper buffet was already 20 people deep as we walked up from our truck to the main level to locate where those without cabins put themselves!  And the line up stayed that way for hours!!!  Even at the buffet’s closing time there was a line-up – that finally included us!!  LoL!!!  This meant all the good food was basically gone… But we filled up best we could to add some comfort to the LONG night ahead……..

Love, Stephanie  xo

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tish Millette says:

    16 hours. Yikes. I’m sure the visit will be worth it. 😀

  2. It has been so far!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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