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Can't decide on day or night ferry from N. Sydney to Port aux Baux

Can't decide on day or night ferry from N. Sydney to Port aux Baux

Aug 19th, 2009, 02:27 PM
  #1  
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Can't decide on day or night ferry from N. Sydney to Port aux Baux

If I take the day ferry on Thursday, Sept. 3 it arrives at Port aux Baux at 18:30. Seems to me that I wouldn't arrive at lodging at Corner Brook until 9:30 or 10:00 p. m. (I'd want to spend some time eating dinner). I never like arriving so late and in the dark, especially in a place I've never been.

Is there any decent place to stay in or near Channel Port aux Basque or on the road to Corner Brook, where I'd not arrive too late--say within an hour of the Port?

If I were to take the night ferry on Thur. Sept. 3, I'd arrive at 7:00 a.m. in Channel Port. Is either Corner Brook or Deer Lake worth visiting or is it best to keep going toward Gros Morn? Driving, on a not very good night's sleep, from Channel Port, through the Tabelands onto Rocky Harbor, seems less than desirable to me, if there is an alternative.

If I had my druthers, I'd prefer the day ferry--but don't like arriving at lodging so late at night (9:30 or 10:00 p.m.) Any suggestions?
Happyfella is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 07:57 AM
  #2  
 
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This one's a tossup, but I'd be inclined to take the day ferry and press on to Corner Brook for the night. It will take you about 2 and a half hours and it should be light until about 8 pm. After it gets dark watch carefully for moose on the road. I'd book a room in advance and plan to get on your way first thing in the morning.

Don't spend your time sightseeing in Corner Brook and certainly not in Deer Lake.

As you want to visit the Tablelands and then move on to Rocky Harbour, you will have a full day, which is a good reason for taking the day ferry and getting a head start on your way to Gros Morne. Plan on lunch in Trout River as I indicated one of your other threads.
laverendrye is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 12:10 PM
  #3  
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Thanks, laverendrye, that's exactly what I intend what I intend to do: take the day ferry and press on to Corner Brook that night, watching out for moose at it becomes dark. Do they sell sandwiches, or better still, something hot on the ferry, since I don't want to waste precious daylight stopping to eat dinner?

I will plan on lunch in Trout River, per your suggestion.

If I spend day 1 as you outlines, would this be reasonable (and enjoyable) for the following days:

Day 2: Take boat tour of Western Brook. (I've never seen a fjords in person.) I don't imagine taking more than one boat tour during my trip up the Northern Penninsula. How does the Western Brook tour compare to the Trout River boat tour?
Happyfella is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 12:21 PM
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Continuing my reply (I hit a key by mistake and the reply was posted.)

I'd spend day 2, after the boat tour of Western Brook, again in Rocky Harbor. (Unless you or someone else suggests an alternative further north.)

Day 3: I'd like to visit Port au Choix (is it worth a visit?) and view (though not eat) the thrombolites at Flower Cove. Is it too much to do Port au Choix and Flower Cover and drive still more hours to spend the night in or near L'Anse aux Meadows? If it is, where in or around Port au Choix might I stay; any suggestions?

Day 4: Visit site at L'Anse aux Meadows.. If the Tickle Inn is booked, any suggestions?

Day 5: Not sure where I'd stay, since that day or the next day I'd start the trip back to Port aux Basques.

Any comments appreciated, from one and all, and thanks in advance. Robert
Happyfella is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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The ferry will have both a snack bar and a cafeteria serving hot meals.

The Western Brook Pond tour is the one to take, especially as the Trout River tour is not running this year. In your planning make sure to include enough time to walk from the parking lot to the embarkation point. It's a 3km, or about a 45 minute, walk.
laverendrye is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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Just an additional note. As you will be going to the top of the Northern Peninsula, one boat tour that I can highly recommend is Northern Discovery Boat Tours in St. Anthony. You will be too late for the icebergs but the humpback wales should still be there in abundance.
laverendrye is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 01:17 PM
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Sorry, replied before I saw your 3:21 post.

You could take the tour of Western Brook Pond and continue on to Port aux Choix on Day 2, spend a few hours on Day 3 looking at the archaeological site at Port aux Choix and then head on to l'Anse aux Meadows. We have done that on a previous trip.

If you want to stay in Port aux Choix, I'd recommend Jeannie's Sunrise B&B where we have stayed several times. The place to eat is the Anchor Café and be sure to have shrimps. The shrimp plant is right across the street.

If you want to head straight to L'Anse aux Meadows on Day 3, with an early start you could stop for lunch and have a quick look at the archaeological site.

On Day 4 you will ant to visit the National Historic Site first. Take the guided tour as otherwise the various dig sites will not be terribly meaningful. Then visit the reconstructed buildings. Be sure to talk with the animators--the chief, his wife, the blacksmith. After visiting the NHS, there is Norstead Village, a commercial recreation of a Viking village which is well worth seeing. It includes a full size reproduction of a Viking ship (the Snorri)which sailed from Greeland to Newfoundland in 1997. These two sites will take up a good portion of your day.

For accommodation, I had mentioned the Tickle Inn where we have stayed several times. It's a fabulous place, but you should be aware that it is a restored fisherman's house (so it might not have the amenities you are looking for) and Cape Onion (although within sight of L'Anse Aux Meadows across the bay) is about a 40 minute drive away. Check out their website to see if it appeals to you.

http://www.tickleinn.net/

Otherwise, I have heard good recommendations for the Valhalla Lodge, but have not stayed there myself. The Norstead website has a good listing of accommodation and restaurants in the area. We have eaten several times at the Norseman and I can recommend it.

http://www.norstead.com/main.asp?nav...eid=MCYBMexr75

You should try to visit St. Anthony to take the Northern Discovery Boat tour and see the Grenfell Historic Properties. If you do good, have lunch at the Lightkeeper's Café.

If you do go straight to L'Anse aux Meadows on Day 3, you could stop overnight at Port aux Choix on your return. It would be a long drive the next day, however, to get to Port aux Basques. I would try to split the trip at Rocky Harbour.

I hope this helps your planning. I'm sure that you will come to love Newfoundland as we do.
laverendrye is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 08:07 PM
  #8  
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Lavernedrye, thanks so much for your invaluable suggestions. I'm too tired to write much tonight but will digest your replies, which I read over quickly but already found so helpful, with more care tomorrow. Just from reading guidebooks, this forum, your comments, and from a conversation with an old friend who was there four years ago, I'm already half in love with Newfoundland--and I haven't even stepped foot in the place. Best, Robert
Happyfella is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 08:36 PM
  #9  
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Lavernedrye, by the way, I tried to book two nights at the Tickle Inn, but, no surprise, it is full. I'm not too worried, for I'll find lodging elsewhere. I appreciate your suggesting how, and where, to break up the long ride back to Port aux Basque from the top of the peninsula.

If I may still take advantage of your knowledge and ask about departing for Port aux Basque from N. Sydney: I've booked the ferry for the 11:30 a.m. trip on Sept. 3. I have booked a room in Ingonish on Sept. 2. But it dawned on me, after being told by the person at Marine Atlantic that I need to be at the ferry terminal by 10:00 a.m., that I'll be rushed to get to N. Sydney on time that morning--especially when I have a bad sense of direction (but a great nose for good food and places), and will probably get a little lost. So, I'm thinking I ought to stay in Baddeck the night before the ferry trip or some place closer to N. Sydney than Ingonish. It would be my second visit to Baddeck, for I'm staying there before taking off for my clock-wise trip around the Cabot Trail. What do you think? If I cancel my reservation in Ingonish, is there any place besides Baddeck I might want to stay the night before the ferry, although Baddeck would be fine. Or is Igonish worth the rush in the morning to the ferry? You no doubt have a life, so thanks once more for taking the time--and time it is--to answer my and other queries.
Happyfella is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Plan on about two hours from Ingonish to North Sydney, versus less than an hour from Baddeck. It really depends on how early a start you want to make, and how concerned you are about arriving late.
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