on May 15, 2006
The Confederation is a great deal of fun for traveling back and forth to PEI, but you do need to plan for it.The boat leaves on a bizarre schedule, so you should check ahead on the website http://www.peiferry.com/route_schedule/index.php, or my preferred method .. calling (800)565-0201. You can even ask someone what the traffic situation is like if you call them.The Confederation is one of the newer boats making the crossing from Wood Islands PEI to Caribou NS. It has three car decks and two passenger decks. The cost is $49 per car, passengers included, more if you have a camper or something.You are not allowed to stay in your car during the crossing, but that's ok, you'd miss all the fun anyway. The main deck has a cafeteria and a lounge. The cafeteria serves standard fare (pizza, hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches) at standard prices (we paid $18 for 2 slices of pizza, 1 bowl of chowder, 1 hot dog with fries, and some gravy). Luckily they take credit cards now (this is a new thing).The lounge has 2 TVs (both on the same 1 channel you can get on the strait), and a small playground for toddlers/preschoolers. The second floor has 2 more lounges with chairs and tables for playing cards (because you should never get on a ferry boat without a deck of cards!), a gaming room (about 8 video poker machines) and best of all, a Cows ice cream shop.Cows ice cream is known for their ice cream in flavours like Oowie Moowie (with toffee and skor bars) and Monkey Moo (banana ice cream with skor bars), their homemade waffle cones (the best), and even more for their T-shirts with cows filling in for famous characters. For example: a new one was Hello Cowie, where a cow is dressed like Hello Kitty; or Moovivor (Outgraze, Outmilk, Outmoo); Desperate Housecows (Heifer-one has a little dirty laundry).Anyway, there is lots to do to make the 75 minute crossing go quickly. It is a great break from driving and only costs a few dollars more that the bridge (which you can make up for with the price of gas by saving driving time, if you are starting from Nova Scotia anyway).Also, it's great to be able to tell the kids that the ferry used to be the only way to get to PEI, back in the dark ages before 1997.
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