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I love ferries and sub-Arctic coastlines. With Google Maps, I found the following itinerary between Havre st. Pierre and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador:

Ferries around Labrador

Google Maps draws ferries between many places along the coast of Labrador, suggesting one can travel almost all the way by ferry between those two places, as pictured above. It doesn't actually use those ferries for any itinerary unless forced; the itinerary above is for “walking” and only works if I pull it over the ferry routes by hand at 11 places.

It tells me to take a whopping 23 ferries:

4) Take the Havre-Saint-Pierre, QC - Baie Johan-Beetz, QC ferry

5) Take the Baie Johan-Beetz, QC - Natashquan, QC ferry

6) Take the Natashquan, QC - Kegaska, QC ferry

7) Take the Kegaska, QC - La Romaine, QC ferry

8) Take the La Romaine, QC - Harrington Harbour, QC ferry

12) Take the Harrington Harbour, QC - Tête à La Baleine, QC ferry

13) Take the Mutton Bay, QC - La Tabatière, QC/Tête à La Baleine, QC - Mutton Bay, QC ferry

14) Take the La Tabatière, QC - Saint-Augustin, QC ferry to Saint-Augustin

15) Take the Saint-Augustin, QC - Rivière-Saint-Paul, QC ferry

16) Take the Rivière-Saint-Paul, QC - Blanc-Sablon, QC ferry to Blanc-Sablon

28) Take the Red Bay, NL - Henley Harbour, NL ferry

29) Take the Henley Harbour, NL - Cape Charles, NL ferry

30) Take the Cape Charles, NL - Marys Harbour, NL ferry to Mary's Harbour

31) Take the Marys Harbour, NL - Port Hope Simpson, NL ferry to Port Hope Simpson

32) Take the Port Hope Simpson, NL - Fishing Ships Harbour, NL ferry

33) Take the Fishing Ships Harbour, NL - Charlottetown, NL ferry to Charlottetown (Labrador)

34) Take the Charlottetown, NL - Snug Harbour, NL ferry

35) Take the Snug Harbour, NL - Hawke Harbour, NL ferry

36) Take the Hawke Harbour, NL - Sandy Islands, NL ferry

37) Take the Sandy Islands, NL - Batteau, NL ferry

38) Take the Batteau, NL - Cartwright, NL ferry to Cartwright

41) Take the Cartwright, NL - Paradise River, NL/Paradise River - Cartwright ferry

42) Take the Paradise River, NL - Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL ferry to Happy Valley-Goose Bay

It appears unlikely this itinerary is actually possible as described by Google Maps. What I've found so far:

Phase II of new construction, costing $130 million (CAD), began in 1999 and saw Route 510 extended 323 km over 4 years from its terminus in Red Bay northeast to the port of Cartwright. When this southern portion of the TLH was completed in 2002 the Labrador coastal ferry services were transferred in a controversial move from Lewisporte on the island of Newfoundland to Cartwright.

  • The Trans-Labrador Highway Ferry page has a map drawing a black dashed line between Natashquan and Blanc-Sablon and between Cartwright and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, but also other dashed and dotted lines; the map does not include a legend. The ferries drawn with black dashed lines confirm the information from the first two bullet points above.

A number of ferries claimed by Google Maps remain. Generically, is this itinerary possible at all? Specifically, is there any ferry service between Red Bay and Cartwright? Is this perhaps a service only run when the road is closed due to bad weather or so?

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I think this is a really cool question! –  hippietrail Mar 31 '13 at 5:18
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1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted
+50

I think you found most of the available information about this itinerary. A few things could be added to your research though.

Let's start with the Québec part.

The tourism website for North Shore of the St Lawrence and Relais Nordik indicate that the M/V Nordik Express has many stops on its way. Starting from Rimouski, on the South Shore of St Lawrence, the ship will stop at Sept-Iles, Havre St-Pierre and Natashquan. It also makes all the minor stops you gave, except Rivière St-Paul and Baie Johan Beetz that are not mentioned on their website, for passengers at least (note the group Desgagnés, which runs the ship, is mostly a cargo transportation company and therefore they serve more places for this purpose). If you are interested in travelling on this ship, know that it seems to operate year-round (schedule) and you can bring a bike or car with you. It has some nice passenger facilities. The ship also stops in Port-Menier, on the Anticosti Island.

Next, after Blanc-Sablon, you will cross the Québec-Labrador border by car. You can reach Red Bay, which, unlike Google Maps says, does not seem to host any ferry stop. Some cruise ships have stopped there, like the Holland America Maasdam in 2009.

So your main question is for ferries between Red Bay and Cartwright or Black Tickle, as you found ferries north of Cartwright.

Unfortunately, it appears as you mentioned that Newfoundland and Labrador Transportation ministry wants to rely more on the TLH. It seems clear that this road linking Goose Bay and Blanc-Sablon is a major axis for Labrador freight and passenger transportation. So from Blanc-Sablon, you can reach Red Bay, Goose Bay and Cartwright thanks to this road.

Map of Trans-Labrador-Highway

If you are interested in the area and ferries, you can visit Battle Harbour. It is accessible by ferry from Mary's Harbour.

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Nice answer! :) –  DarkLightA Apr 6 '13 at 17:44
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