Travelling with Marine Atlantic for the First Time?

Here are some helpful tips to guide your adventure!

Every year, tens of thousands of passengers travel aboard our ferries. While some may be seasoned pros when it comes to ferry travel, those who haven’t travelled with Marine Atlantic are in for a fantastic new adventure — and we want to make sure you have everything you need for smooth sailing. Travelling by ferry can be an exciting way to explore a new place, meet new people, and make new memories — all while we handle the driving!

Keep your mind at ease with these tips to ensure your first ferry crossing is a success.

Sometimes You Want to go Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Newfoundlanders and Cape Bretoners have plenty in common, including friendly demeanours that are certain to charm. And like any friendship, it all starts with introducing yourself! When you travel with Marine Atlantic, it’s essential to always have proper identification with you. When you check in for your crossing, you’ll be required to have your reservation number on hand as well as one piece of government-issued photo identification, or two pieces of government-issued identification without a photo. Make sure to keep these pieces in a safe spot that’s easy to access when you reach the Marine Atlantic terminal. Children under five years of age do not require identification.

Disconnecting at Sea

Depending on your service provider, cellular signal and network connections are available for a significant portion of our Port aux Basques <-> North Sydney route; however, these connections are significantly reduced or nonexistent on the Argentia <-> North Sydney route. No wi-fi? No worries! After all, travelling with Marine Atlantic is a voyage you’ll want to truly experience. Instead of scrolling your phone, try strolling the deck. Take your eyes off the tiny screen and focus on the incredible views surrounding you on the open ocean. There’s plenty of time to be online when you’re off the water — but we think your journey is the ideal time to kick back, relax, and make memories that will last a lifetime with your fellow travellers. Of course, if you think the crossing with Marine Atlantic is the perfect opportunity to catch up on your favourite shows, movies, or games, that’s okay with us! We just suggest that you download your latest binge-worthy media to your device in advance. You can also visit one of our comfortable passenger lounges to watch our large-screen TVs or watch TV in your cabin. 

Prepare a Bag

Due to Transport Canada Cargo Safety Regulations, once you’re aboard a Marine Atlantic vessel, you cannot return to the vehicle deck during the crossing. Because of this, we always recommend packing a bag with essentials you can easily carry. What should you include in this bag? Anything important to you, of course! Some suggestions include: 

  • Identification 
  • Medications 
  • Toiletries
  • Your phone, laptop, or tablet and respective chargers
  • A change of clothes if you’re travelling overnight 

Speaking of a change of clothes, you may also want to pack a sweater or other warm clothing in your bag. Our vessels are air conditioned, so you’re sure to be comfortable inside, but the outside decks can be a little chilly, depending on the time of year. If you want to take in some stunning views and breathe in that salty ocean air, an extra layer of clothing is just what you’ll need to ensure a perfect temperature to complement a perfect view.

Plan Your Route

If this is your first time travelling with Marine Atlantic, the areas around our terminals may be new to you. In advance of your crossing, we encourage you to plan your route to ensure you arrive in plenty of time to board. Since the journey to our terminals is filled with breathtaking views and natural beauty, you’ll want to ensure you have plenty of time to take everything in while still arriving at our terminals two hours before your scheduled departure. So make sure you add this time to your drive! You should also research where you’ll be disembarking. The island of Newfoundland and Cape Breton are both beautiful no matter which road you take, but you’ll still want to make sure you travel in the right direction to your final destination.

Looking For More Marine Atlantic Travel Information? 

Looking for information that hasn’t been covered here? No problem — we have a wide range of travel and trip-planning information here. You can also contact us with any questions you may have. We’re always happy to help!

Make Your First Time Aboard Marine Atlantic One to Remember 

Now that you know everything for a successful crossing with Marine Atlantic, we look forward to welcoming you on board with us soon!