For centuries, we have travelled by boats and ships, across rivers, lakes and oceans propelled by human strength, wind-filled sails and thrumming engines. As people shaped by the sea, those of us who live on the east coast of Canada can take it for granted, and sometimes we forget what a wonderful experience it is, being on the water.
So for those who need reminding, and for those from farther away who have never sailed on a ferry, here are five reasons to make the trip.
Reason #5: Ferries give you a chance to disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself, your family, and with other people. Once you are onboard, there is time and space to really breathe, to forget about the day-to-day world you live in, at least for a few hours. Walk around the ship with your partner, your kids, your best friend. Share a laugh with fellow travellers. Watch the sea slip by. Read a book. It’s your time.
Reason #4: When was the last time you went outside to get some air on a plane? Or really slept in seat 27B? There is nothing quite like standing on deck as the sun goes down, watching until it disappears into the sea. Then you can head inside to the lounge before heading to your own cabin to drift off to sleep in your own bed. Ferries give you the space to truly relax.
Reason #3: Bring your stuff with you. When you can travel with your car, your truck, your canoe, your kids, your dog, your trailer, or whatever you need to make this the best trip ever, why would you go any other way? When you have all you need with you, the opportunities to explore are boundless.
Reason #2: When you travel by ferry, the trip itself becomes part of your vacation, an integral element in the overall experience. Unlike flying, sailing is not just a means of getting to your destination, it is something more. It is a more natural experience; being on the water is somehow more human – and more humane – than being in the air.
Reason #1: It is an opportunity to experience part of the heritage of Newfoundland & Labrador, and to share in the romance of sea travel. Now I don’t mean romance in the Love Boat sense, but in its classic meaning of heroic or adventurous. Travel by sea is truly an adventure, with the distant horizon in front of you and the wind and waves all round.