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Labrador Ferry

(click here to find St. Barbe, NL Ferry Office on the map)

(click here to find Blanc Sablon, QC Ferry Office on the map)

The Labrador Ferry is operated by Labrador Marine. The ferry runs from St. Barbe, NL to Blanc Sablon, QC.

From Blanc Sablon, you can visit Quebec’s Lower North Shore. Quebec Route 138 runs west for 70 km and ends at Vieux Fort, QC. You can also go east a few km and you are in Labrador. You can now cross Labrador on the Trans Labrador Highway all the way to Labrador City, which is 1,125 km by road from Blanc Sablon.

We took the ferry from St. Barbe to Blanc Sablon and returned 10 days later in June 2016. We took our truck and 5th wheel trailer. We made reservations in advance over the phone with Labrador Marine. The ferry was full both ways. With the completion of the Labrador Highway and the Muskrat Falls hydro project, there is lots of truck traffic.

When you make your reservation, they take a small deposit with your credit card. You pick up your tickets and pay for them at the ferry office in either Blanc Sablon or St. Barbe. You should get there an hour or two before scheduled departure. In St. Barbe the ticket office is at the Dockside Motel. In Blanc Sablon it’s in a large grey building part way down the hill, just before the ferry dock.

Time Zones

Newfoundland and the South Coast of Labrador use the same time zone (in the summer, Newfoundland Daylight Time). Blanc Sablon and the Lower North Shore of Quebec is on Atlantic Standard Time year round. That means in the summer, Blanc Sablon is 1.5 hours behind St. Barbe and Southern Labrador. The ferry schedule is done on Newfoundland time. If you are going from Southern Labrador to Newfoundland, you don’t have to worry about what time it is in Blanc Sablon. If you are coming from one of the Quebec communities, you have to remember that the ferry departs on Newfoundland time.

Loading

When you get your tickets, you drive to the ferry dock and they’ll tell you what lane to park in. Before the boat loads they go from car to car asking to see your tickets. If you have an RV, they’ll ask you to turn off your propane tanks. They also want you to fold in your mirrors. They squeeze you in pretty tight on the vehicle deck.

Crossing

Crossing time is about 1½ hours. You cannot remain in your vehicle during the crossing. They make an announcement when you can return to your vehicle on the other side. The Strait of Belle Isle can be rough, so we’d recommend Gravol if you get sea sick. We had a smooth crossing going over and a little rough on the return trip. If it’s rough, don’t try to walk around, you’ll probably do better seated.

On Board

The ship has 3 passenger decks. One has cabins and a gift shop. The next deck has a large seating area and a cafeteria. You also can go outside on the stern of the boat. The upper passenger deck has another seating area and access to another outside deck on the side of the ship.

Gift Shop

The onboard gift shop is really nice. It is operated by a lady that takes a contract for the summer. She lives on the boat during the tourist season. She has a great selection, I bought a Labrador sweater and Linda found a great book she had wanted.

Cafeteria

They have the standard fare that you’d expect. The food is quite good, so you can kill some time having lunch or a snack while you cross.

Scenery

If you are crossing on a sunny day, it’s spectacular. You are always within site of a shoreline. The Labrador coast is rugged and beautiful. The treeline is a few miles inland, so it looks quite a bit different than Newfoundland. In June you’ll probably see icebergs. There were lots on our crossing, with the ship passing between several as we approached Blanc Sablon. The icebergs tend to be closer to the Labrador and Quebec shorelines, not at St. Barbe.

Our return trip was foggy and we did not see anything but choppy water.

Interactive Map

Zoom in and click on the icons for photographs.