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Ferry from NS to PEI

Level Contributor
3 posts
8 reviews
Ferry from NS to PEI

I understand that you only pay to get off of PEI, but when I visit the ferry website to leave from NS it states the fare. So where/when do you pay? Do you pay at the ferry and then show the receipt when leaving via the Bridge?

8 replies to this topic
1. Re: Ferry from NS to PEI

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Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
188 posts
67 reviews
2. Re: Ferry from NS to PEI

See link below to Confederation Bridge website:

confederationbridge.com/tolls-fees/tolls-fee…

You only pay when leaving the Island. The fare is for round trip and in fact arriving by ferry and leaving via the bridge is the more economical route as the bridge return fare is less than the ferry,

Nova Scotia
Destination Expert
for Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
14,438 posts
173 reviews
3. Re: Ferry from NS to PEI

To be clear, you do not need to pay when boarding on the NS side. If you do decide to pay, it for the return trip. If you are planning on returning via the bridge or are unsure of your plans, do not pay.

Level Contributor
3 posts
8 reviews
4. Re: Ferry from NS to PEI

Thank you! That is where my confusion was coming from - I wasn't sure if you had to pay, or could even get on the NS side. I thought you had to pay the ferry fee regardless if it was on or off the island, but every thing stated you only had to pay to get off.

I'm still considering my options so I may just take the bridge both ways, but good to have the information!

Lunenburg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Prince Edward Island
Level Contributor
3,950 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: Ferry from NS to PEI

Hi Heather,

The one who told you that you pay in Caribou NS is mistaken, UNLESS you are paying for a return ticket.

Here's an article I wrote on the PEI ferry. First, a bulletin.

One of the two ferries to PEI is out of service for at least the months of June and July. (FURTHER UPDATE JULY 14, 2016 -- RECENT REPORTS SAY THAT THE REPAIRS, BEING CARRIED OUT IN QUEBEC, ARE TAKING LONGER THAN EXPECTED. THE DELAY MAY CONTINUE INTO AUGUST.) This means only half the number of crossings, and possible delays and the chance of being turned away from your first choice. Here is part of a June news report from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

"The MV Holiday Island, one of two vessels that ferries passengers between Wood Islands, P.E.I. and Caribou, N.S., isn't fit to enter service on schedule this year.

"Northumberland Ferries Ltd. issued a news release Monday afternoon saying the vessel needs more steel work beyond what was originally thought necessary.

"Don Cormier, vice president of operations and safety management, said the vessel will likely be out of service for another four to six weeks.

"The MV Confederation will continue to operate along the route, with five regularly scheduled sailings each day instead of the usual nine during peak season."

Now, here's my article. When reading, be mindful that June and July, AND LIKELY AUGUST TOO 2016 may be tougher than usual:

The ferry from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island is run by Northumberland Ferries Limited.

The ferry accepts reservations:

- for round trips in either direction (both sections must be on the ferry. Arriving by ferry but departing by bridge does not count)

- for one-way trips departing from the Island

No reservations are taken for one-way trips departing from the mainland. This is because you pay only when you leave the Island. One-way from the mainland, the ferry company cannot charge you, so no billing arrangements are possible.

[BULLETIN -- THIS PARAGRAPH MAY NOT APPLY IN JUNE-AUGUST 2016] In the summer season, crossings are scheduled to leave every 90 minutes or 105 minutes, in each direction, until Labor Day. Before June 26 and after Labor Day, crossings are less frequent. The ferry ceases operation for the season in early December until early May because of ice in Northumberland Strait.

Occasionally, severe weather or unanticipated troubles can play havoc with the schedule. For instance, in summer 2014 one of the two ships had to be taken out of service for urgent repairs, halving the number of sailings.

In summer 2016, fares on the ferry are CDN$76, and charged only leaving the Island. This fare is per carload, with no extra charge for passengers in the car. Larger trailers and Stanley steamers pay more.

Both ships are drive-on, drive-off. No backing up or turning around is needed.

Most times, even with no reservation, you'll get on the next boat. We sailed at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, a holiday weekend and one of the busiest days of the summer. (This crossing would be convenient for those leaving Halifax about 7:30 a,m.) We arrived about 15 minutes before boarding time. Even though five lanes of cars, plus trucks, buses, and Stanley steamers, had arrived before us, we got on. As the ship sailed, we could see about ten cars left behind, and I suspect that at least some of them had only arrived after boarding ended and the gates had been closed. [BUT IN JUNE-AUGUST 2016, ALL BETS ARE OFF.]

Weekends are the busiest time, with 9-5 people from Halifax making short summer getaways. The rest of the time is quieter, but we had no trouble getting on even in the busy time. You'll greatly improve your likelihood of getting on if you arrive early, but we made it even with just fifteen minutes until boarding started.

In the event you did miss the boat, it takes less time (about 2 1/2 hours) to drive around and take the bridge than it would to wait until the next boat (1 1/2 hours wait plus 1:15 crossing time).

Like most ferries, they don't allow you access to the cars once the ship is under way. It is not permitted to stay in the car. Carry with you a sweater or jacket, even on hot summer days. The air is always cooler over the water, and the speed of the vessel creates a headwind even when it's calm.

Crossings take 1 hour 15 minutes. On board, there's a snack bar serving cooked food, as well as an ice cream take-away. (If you arrive early, there's also a snack bar in the terminal.) There's no gambling. The ship has plenty of seating, and also room for passengers to stand outside. The ship has two passenger decks as well as three car decks below.

David

Level Contributor
3 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: Ferry from NS to PEI

Thanks, David. I am going at the end of the month so knowing they'll be less trips when I'm headed over. I think I've settled on taking the bridge over. I don't mind driving and it'll be a good excuse to see some other things along the way (since I'll be driving the northern coast a bit earlier in my trip).

Nova Scotia
Destination Expert
for Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
14,438 posts
173 reviews
7. Re: Ferry from NS to PEI

I don't know what you mean by the north coast but if you are driving along the Northumberland coast of Nova Scotia across from PEI, check out this link for more information: https:/…The.Northumberland.Shore.html

Lunenburg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Prince Edward Island
Level Contributor
3,950 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: Ferry from NS to PEI

Here's what I'd do, if I very much wanted to get a ferry ride.

If you're crossing Island-to-mainland, or taking the ferry both ways, call for reservations. Most people don't make reservations. If the ferry company knows when you're coming and that you're paying, they'll give you priority over those who just show up with no reservations.

Or, if it's not too inconvenient, try to get there early, say an hour early. Think about having lunch at the snack bar in the ferry parking area, if you're leaving from Nova Scotia. (If you're leaving from the Island, call for a reservation.) Since it's first come first served for mainland-to-Island people, those rolling in later than you will be the ones who have to wait for a later crossing if the ship fills up.

As soon as you drive up to the booth on the Nova Scotia side, ask whether you'll get on the next boat. If they say no, you can turn right around and go to the bridge instead. When you already know you'll be bumped to a later crossing, it takes less time to drive around and take the bridge (2 1/2 hours from Caribou NS to Borden PE) than to wait for the next boat. (Three hours minimum between crossings.)

Exactly where are you planning to go first on the Island? If it's any point west of Charlottetown, the bridge may be faster than the boat anyway. If you're in eastern Nova Scotia, Charlottetown and points east normally take less time by ferry than going all the way west to the bridge, but only if you can get on the very next sailing.

Another possibility is to plan on doing your sailing from PEI. To be sure, leaving the Island on the boat costs $30 more than leaving by the bridge. This very fact creates a deterrent effect, making others more likely to leave by bridge. Result: less mainland-bound traffic by ferry, should there be only one boat running.

In fact, as more people learn of the situation, more locals in Nova Scotia will just resolve to drive around to the bridge anyway. You could well find the ferry no busier than normal!

David

Edited: 4:57 am, July 17, 2016
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