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Tour company from cruise ship pier in St. John's to Hopewell

Labadie, Missouri
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144 posts
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Tour company from cruise ship pier in St. John's to Hopewell

Hello

My friends and I (6 people all together) are going on a cruise which stops in St. John's on 10/7/2013. We would like to find transportation to go to Hopewell Rocks. (The ship offers an excursion there, but I know from past experience that they usually stop at several other places and there are often difficulties because people do not return to the bus in a timely fashion.) Is there a company running custom tours or would it be possible to rent a large van? We'd pretty much have to get the car at the pier, due to the short time involved. Any suggestions?

Thanks so much!!

5 replies to this topic
Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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1. Re: Tour company from cruise ship pier in St. John's to Hopewell

Hi MO!

Six people, huh? Cruise passengers write in all the time to complain about the inflated cost of excursions, and those outfits charge per-person! If you're worried that they'll also waste your time, why not rent a van yourself. You can drive direct from St. John, NB to the Flower Pot rocks at Hopewell Cape in about two hours, each way, plus stops. There are two routes you can take;

(1) the fastest, but not the most scenic or the most direct, is to follow the freeway as far as Moncton. The Route 1 freeway, which merges automatically to Route 2 freeway, is 88 miles to Moncton, about 1 hour 20 minutes. At Moncton, take Exit 446 for Route 128, then Route 15 "West" (though you're actually heading south at this point) to cross the Petitcodiac River. These routes offer a by-pass around Moncton traffic. Across the river, Route 114 "West" (although you'll initially turn east) takes you south 23 miles to Hopewell Cape. The whole journey takes about 2 hours with no stops. On a weekend it may be slightly faster than on a weekday. Traffic in summer is usually lighter than at other seasons in the Moncton urban area.

(2) The second way takes you through Fundy National Park. Take the Route 1 freeway 55 miles east from St. John to Exit 211. Then follow Route 114 West through Fundy National Park and on to Hopewell Cape. The speed limit is lower here, 50 mph compared to 70 mph on the freeway, It should take a few pennies longer than driving the freeway to Moncton, but your reward is that it's more scenic.

You can see how in about six hours, including a quick meal and the visit, you could be back in St. John.

Four additional points:

- Hopewell Flower Pot Rocks are only fun if you're there at low tide or within three hours before to three hours after low water. At high tide, you'll just see islands and you can't go down to the base.

- If you go down to the rocks, bring cruddy clothing and shoes. The Bay of Fundy floor consists of red mud, a kind that will permanently stain your clothes and footwear.

- I don't really think Hopewell Rocks is a wise investment of your time, if you have only a short port-of-call from St. John. It's too far, and frankly we don't think the attraction is worth that much of a journey, unless you have a strong wish to see it.

- Want to see a lesser version that's closer? Flower pot rocks are not as uncommon as you think. There's another one along the Fundy Trail Parkway, under an hour east of St. John on Route 111. With a smaller investment of time, you can see the flower pot and also a lot of other Fundy coastal scenery, including sea cliffs that aren't accessible at Hopewell Cape, and sea caves that at low water you can wander into, located at St. Martins along the way.

Happy travels!

David

capetien10@gmail.com

Labadie, Missouri
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144 posts
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2. Re: Tour company from cruise ship pier in St. John's to Hopewell

David- Thank you so much for your very informative reply. I really appreciate it!

I just googled the sea caves at St. Martins and that looks like something we would definitely be interested in doing. I need to check the tide chart, but thank you for putting it on the radar for me!

Take care. Thanks again. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to send them my way!

Debbie

Lunenburg, Canada
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3. Re: Tour company from cruise ship pier in St. John's to Hopewell

Thank you, Debbie!

Let me know with any other questions, or if you need help with the tide tables.

David

Labadie, Missouri
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4. Re: Tour company from cruise ship pier in St. John's to Hopewell

Hello again, David

I checked the Tide Tables for the Fundy Trail (which I hope is the table I should be checking!), but I am confused. On October 7, it states that the low tide is 8AM, high tide 1:49AM, Second low tide, 8:25pm, high 2:07pm. We are in port from 8am-4pm, and are really hoping to walk on the ocean floor, maybe enter one of the sea caves, and watch the water begin to rise. Will that be possible, given the tide schedule?

Any suggestions you can make as to where to stop along the way? I think we are planning to see if Enterprise Car Rental will drop the car off at the port so we can get on our way asap!

Thanks for all your help!

Debbie

Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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5. Re: Tour company from cruise ship pier in St. John's to Hopewell

Hi Debbie!

At St. Martins, between 9:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. that Monday morning, October 7, 2013, you'll see the strongest rise. From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., the water level increases by 7 1/2 vertical feet, and the same again between 11 and noon. That's an easily noticeable 1 1/2 vertical inches per minute. In two minutes, the water would rise from the base of my toes to cover my ankles (not counting the effect of wavelets, of course).

What does that mean on a rather gentle slope, like a beach? For a 2% grade, the water creeps up the beach at 6 feet per minute, or one normal desk-ruler length every 10 seconds. Do your King Canute imitation on the beach and see for yourself!

It's not dangerous, though. A person walking at a brisk clip can stride at 3 mph, or 264 feet per minute, almost 50 times faster than the ocean. You'd have to stand perfectly still for 40 minutes to drown.

The earlier you get there, the more sea floor is exposed. If you wait until late, the flattest part of the beach and the sea caves will become submerged.

Between St. Martins and the cruise pier in St. John, NB, there's little of interest to a visitor. It's mostly suburban scenery until you get close to St. Martins. The big-box stores of the city are located near McAllister Drive in east St. John (Exit 128 off the Route 1 freeway), if this kind of shopping were your cup of tea. Otherwise, save your time for the Fundy Trail parkway.

If you want an alternate scenic route back to the city, and have a bit of leftover time, take Route 111 north from St. Martins through the rolling countryside to Sussex, then the freeway back to the city. The cruise pier is 45 minutes from Sussex.

There’s a covered bridge at St. Martins. If you decide you want to see more covered bridges, Sussex has three of them in close proximity:

When you’ve followed Route 111 all the way up to the Route 1 freeway near Sussex, you’ll see a sign for Route 114 and the Route 1 freeway. Don't go into Sussex. Turn right onto 114, but then DON’T get on the freeway. Continue on Route 114 instead. Go east on 114 about one mile and, at the sign for Ch Plumweseep Rd. turn left.

Just around a gentle bend will be covered bridge no. 1.

Once you’ve crossed the bridge, take the first left, Plumweseep Cross Road. Follow it west about two miles until it ends. At the stop sign, turn left, and just down the hill, within sight of that stop sign, is covered bridge no. 2.

After that, make a U-turn and go north, away from the bridge. A mile up from the bridge is a sign for Ch Roachville Rd. (The “Ch” stands for Chemin, the French word for Road, by the way.) Turn left onto Roachville. There’s a blue Covered Bridge sign at the intersection to help you.

Follow Roachville southwest about 1 mile, and there’s covered bridge no. 3.

Naturally, you should stop and walk through the covered bridges. That’s part of the fun on these quiet country roads.

Now, to get home, just keep going straight, southwest on Roachville. In about 2 miles, you’ll see freeway signs. You want Route 1 WEST. Drive past the 1-East sign, then follow the 1-WEST, Saint John sign. And you’re 45 minutes from the cruise pier!

David

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