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Labrador - car hire & MV Northern Ranger

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Feb 15th, 2007, 02:04 PM
  #1
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Labrador - car hire & MV Northern Ranger

My wife and I (from UK) are planning a couple of trips to Canada for 2009 and 2010. We're at a very early stage at present but would welcome some advice on general principles on this particular trip .

We hope to spend a few weeks in Newfoundland with a hire car which seems reasonably straightforward, but we also want to get across into Labrador. In Labrador we hope to drive north then do a round trip on MV Northern Ranger to Nain and perhaps fly out, presumably from Goose Bay.

This leads to a number of specific questions.

1) I'm assuming it would be best to have two car hires, one for Newfoundland and one for Labrador. Is that right?

2) I understand there is now a reasonable gravel road to Cartwright which is being extended to Goose Bay. Is that correct, and when will Goose Bay be reached?

3a) What would be the cost penalty/practical implications of a one way hire to/from Cartwright/Goose Bay? Or would we have to bring the car back ourselves after it had stood idle for a week?

3b) Similarly are there likely to be any particular issues about a one way hire St John's/St Barbe?

4) On the Northern Ranger service how much time is actually spent in exposed waters? (I suppose I'm really saying how rough might it be?)

5) Does anyone have experience of Northern Ranger?

6) I understand that in some years Northern Ranger sailings may not begin until July due to ice, which suggests that it would be imprudent to aim to come too early. Would it be better to do Newfoundland before (longer days) or after Labrador? Are there any other particular considerations as to when to come, eg flies or weather?

Thanks.

Michael

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Mar 2nd, 2007, 09:59 AM
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I'm bumping this in the hope that somebody has some knowledge of Labrador.
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Having lived for a year in Western Newfoundland in the recent past, I have only enough knowledge to know that I can't answer all your questions adequately. What you need to do is to get hold of the NL Tourism authorities for their excellent guide book about travel in NL for 2007. It will have contact points for local car rental firms.You may also find it helpful to check out LeGrow's Travel, a local travel consultancy.

It takes a long time for the icebergs to clear the passage between the island (Newfoundland) and the mainland of Labrador, so it is possible that the service may occasionally in the past not have started until July: that strikes me as unlikely in light of climate change-the weather has definitely been milder in Western NL, and Lab. in recent years.
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Mar 5th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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LJ,

Thanks for response. I have already ordered a copy of the guide. Responses from the Tourist Board have been of limited help, and from the ferry company non-existent.

The Link to LeGrow's is useful and I will pursue that in due course.

Michael
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Mar 5th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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Michael-This week the local newspaper travel column had an ad for a Western NL-Lab adventure trip. They were talking about June departures (murder for black flies in Lab, but that's another story!).They also talked about the fare including a car rental, singular, so I think that one will do. It is a car ferry, as I recall.
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Mar 6th, 2007, 09:18 AM
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LJ,

When do the black flies disappear?

Michael
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Mar 6th, 2007, 11:07 AM
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I am going to say late June to mid-July as I am judging by my own experience on the mainland of the island and then adding a couple of weeks, but I think that this is one that LeGrows might be able to help you with or maybe with some clever "googling" you can get more info. I'll also ask around and see if I can find out.
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Mar 6th, 2007, 07:31 PM
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Hi: with reference to the blackflies: We've made three trips to the Labrador Straits area (Forteau, Red Bay, etc.) in July and August. On days with no breeze there were swarms of blackflies. I was told by several local people that they don't disappear until after Labor Day.
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Mar 7th, 2007, 08:14 AM
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LJ
 
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Yep, just got a detailed email from my pal in Western NL and she confirmed the news about black flies and days without a breeze. She also gave me a bundle of other very pertinent information including names and adresses of further contacts and personal reccomendations. If you care to give me your email address, wasleys, I would be happy to forward it to you.
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Mar 7th, 2007, 09:18 AM
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LJ,

Many thanks.

Address is:

(Fodor's name)@btinternet.com

Michael
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