Fundy Rose: Relax on the New Brunswick – Nova Scotia ferry

Fundy Rose FerryWith family in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, we do a lot of travelling between the two provinces. Usually we drive, but if we’re headed to the Annapolis Valley we try to take the ferry instead – it saves time and lets us stretch our legs instead of being cooped up in the car. Thanks to Bay Ferries Ltd, we had the chance this summer to check out the new ferry, the Fundy Rose, which replaced the aging Princess of Acadia this year. It felt a little odd, since we had spent so many hours on the Princess of Acadia, but the Fundy Rose impressed right from the time we stepped into the passenger compartment.

first-impression

Because, let’s face it: while we have many fond memories of the old ferry, it was getting a bit long in the tooth!

Our daughter’s favourite part was the Little Mate’s Quarters, the ferry’s babysitting service.

Little Mate's Quarters, babysitting service on the ferry between Digby and Saint JohnSeriously. This is her complaining that it wasn’t open yet!

She had a great time and the staff seemed lovely. The company holds a weekly colouring contest, and so we shared the artwork she completed while she was at the Little Mates Quarters on Twitter… she won, and was delighted to receive this awesome prize pack in the mail a few weeks after her trip! (note the donair: kudos to Bay Ferries for sending a thoroughly Maritime colouring book)

Prize pack from Bay Ferries

My favourite part of the ship was the main lounge area, which I immediately christened Ten Forward, because it has a vaguely 80’s futuristic lavender vibe. Comfy chairs and plenty of tables with a cafe as well mean that you could easily spend the entire 2-hour trip here. No three-dimensional chess games, but you can’t have everything!Ten-Forward

If you venture further afield – and I recommend that you do! – you will find traditional chess boards on the ship’s outside deck. Another cafe here means that on a warm day, this is the spot to be.

Chess boards on the deck of the Fundy Rose Ferry between Saint John & Digby

Alas, the day we sailed wasn’t especially warm. Truth be told, it’s rarely what I would call “warm” on the Bay of Fundy. Bring a sweater, though, because outside there’s a staff member from the New Brunswick Museum who will tell you about the Bay of Fundy and its sea life. While you’re listening, grab a pair of binoculars (they have a great selection) and keep an eye out for dolphins and whales!

The New Brunswick Museum provides binoculars so you can do some whale watching on the Fundy Rose Ferry

reenactment

These re-enactors were headed to Fort Anne in Nova Scotia, and gave travellers a bonus demonstration during the sailing.

Biography of Rose Fortune, for whom the Fundy Rose was named

The new ship was named in honour of Rose Fortune, and there’s an educational display explaining why near the Mid-Ship Cafe (the web site mentioned in the display doesn’t seem to be operating, unfortunately). My favourite tidbit: she was the first female police officer in Canada!

The Fundy Rose is faster than her predecessor, and your crossing time will be just over 2 hours in peak season. The day we sailed it was a smooth, comfortable journey. YMMV, of course.

We enjoyed the new ship, and it’s an excellent and economical option for walk-on passengers. If you’re bringing a car, the cost can get a bit steep but in the summer it does double as a whale-watching expedition!

Plan your trip aboard the the Fundy Rose:

Disclaimer: Bay Ferries Ltd provided this crossing free of charge. As always, all opinions are my own.

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