Île du Cap aux Meules Transportation

  • Islands in the Gulf
    Islands in the Gulf
    by Bwana_Brown
  • Motor Vessel 'Madeleine' Docking in PEI
    Motor Vessel 'Madeleine' Docking in PEI
    by Bwana_Brown
  • Iles de la Madeleine
    Iles de la Madeleine
    by Bwana_Brown

Most Recent Transportation in Île du Cap aux Meules

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    Underway for the Islands

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jun 19, 2005

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    Steaming for the Madeleines

    Due to their islolated location, the Madeleines were plagued by transportation problems for many years - affecting the livelihood of the inhabitants due to shortages of oil, gas and other products required by the fishing industry. As a result, in the winter of 1944 a group of islanders got together to form the "Cooperative of Maritime and Air Transportation" (CTMA) to further advancement of modern links to the islands. In June, 1945 the first regular shipping service was established, to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since then, CTMA has continuously improved its service and now operates three large vessels to serve the needs of the islands. My wife and I both found the 'Madeleine' to be a very comfortable vessel, equipped with many plush reclining chairs in numerous locations throughout the vessel. There is also ample above deck seating for fine weather crossings as well as two or three bar/lounges, a cafeteria, movie theatre, TV viewing rooms and a gift shop. High season one-way fares for the crossing were C$79 per car and C$39/person, making a round trip cost of about C$320 (or US$240 at the present exchange rate of 0.75).

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    How to Get There

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jul 6, 2003

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    Islands in the Gulf

    The map shows the location of the islands off Canada's east coast, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Also shown are the two passenger ferry routes - the blue 2-day voyage from Montreal on the 'Vacancier' and the red 5-hour voyage from PEI on the 'Madeleine'. The islands also have an airport for commercial flights. Shipping gets a little tough in the Feb-March time period when the Gulf usually freezes over. However, the ice-breaking capabilities of the ships usually wins out! See my next tip for a closer view of the island chain. Note: you can drive onto PEI from New Brunswick over the Confederation Bridge engineering marvel. This is a high arch concrete bridge that curves across the Northumberland Strait for 13 km. There is no charge to get on the island but you have to pay C$38 to get off again! Still, it beats waiting for the ferries that used to be the only link to PEI.

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    Joined at the Hip

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jun 30, 2003

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    Iles de la Madeleine

    Once you arrive on the Iles de la Madeleine, you will be greeted by a very good highway system, allowing for easy transportation from one end of the chain to the other. Although we were only on the islands for 3 full days, we ended up putting 500 km on our car just meandering around. We never felt like we had to rush anywhere because it does not take long to drive the entire length of the chain. By the way, the ferry routes from PEI shown on the map are not correct, they actually swing out around the other side of Ile D'Entree to avoid the shallow water between the two islands.

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    Car Ferry MV 'Madeleine'

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jun 29, 2003

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    Motor Vessel 'Madeleine' Docking in PEI

    We booked ourselves for passage on the car-ferry Madeleine, about 2-weeks before we planned to leave. In peak season, it is best to book even further in advance. The Madeleine is a 400 foot, 6800 ton, 20 knot Roll-On Roll-Off ferry, capable of carrying 700 passengers as well as numerous vehicles and semi-trailer trucks. She was built in Cork, Ireland in 1981 and began her life as the 'Isle of Inisturk' in the Irish Ferry service. The Madeleine was purchased in July, 1997 to take over the PEI run for the islands. This particular route leaves Souris, PEI at 2 PM in the afternoon for the 5-hour run, and returns with an 8 AM departure from the Islands. During the heavy ice months of February and March voyages can be dependent on the weather conditions.

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