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Ferry tidbits

The price on the website for a one-way ferry trip, not including the $4 for portage and customs fee, is US$28. The price posted at the ferry terminal in Rochester for the same is US$20.

As of next week, there will be three return trips between Rochester and Toronto a day.

The prices posted on the ferry, such as for food, are listed in US Dollars. They said they'd be willing to convert if necessary.

In theory, the Toronto terminal will take three months to construct. They have telephone and electricity lines laid. They are waiting for the city to install water pipes before beginning construction.

You can bring bicycles, motorcycles, trailers, and trucks onto the ferry - for an extra charge. They will check your luggage if you like - no extra charge.

The ferry has wireless internet available.

The Rochester ferry terminal has an espresso/coffee stand with muffins, bagels, and cookies available. There are lots of "coming soon" signs for a sushi bar, a burger joint, and a Quizno's.

The TTC bus which services the ferry terminal-to-be area runs from Union Station to Pape station (and vice versa) via Cherry Street and the docks area. Taxis seemed scarce, although there was someone there to call more for us. Only three were waiting when the ferry pulled up.

They offer a reasonable array of food on board, real meals, fruit, juices, beer, danishes, and hot dogs, among other things. The staff has been working less than a week and is still learning their way around their highly computerized cash registers. Prepack danishes are apparently listed under Staples, then Breakfast, then Sides.

There are two small movie theaters and a games room. All seemed aimed primarily at keeping kids busy during the voyage. The "games room" is called the "Kidz Cove". The movie theaters showed Starsky and Hutch, and one of the Scooby Doo movies.

The four frontmost prize seats in the Panorama Lounge have their backs to the view, conversationally facing those with better views.

There's a business class section. It's one floor up from "coach".

For more official information and to book tickets: http://www.catsfastferry.com/Index.asp

You can't tell from my comments, but I really loved the ferry trip. I want to travel everywhere this way. I'll tell you more about it later.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2004 08:24 pm (UTC)
Rochester is one of those places that I know an enormous amount about but have never visited. The town I grew up in, Cobourg, ON, is right across the lake from Rochester, so all our American TV stations were from there. Until the middle of this century, there was a regular Cobourg-Rochester ferry to bring rich Americans to their summer homes.
Jun. 23rd, 2004 10:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow! Thanks so much for sharing this info. I'm intrigued now. :)
You must have really enjoyed the trip. Is there much to do within walking distance of the terminal on the US side?
Jun. 24th, 2004 06:50 am (UTC)
Charlotte looked like a commuting suburb of Rochester. There's a regular bus line that runs through it to the terminal, so there's public transit to connect it with the rest of the city. Right around the terminal, there are a dozen or so restaurants and a custard ice cream shop. There's a beach with a pier, on which lots of people were standing to wave us off - and a bicyclist who raced the ferry down the pier for a while. The beach is surrounded by a park. And that's what there seemed to be within walking distance.

Kodak Park was on the bus route and driving route leading into Charlotte, maybe 3 miles away, although that looked primarily industrial rather than touristic, but since I was only driving by, maybe they do tours.
Jun. 24th, 2004 02:18 am (UTC)
That's really great! I'm so glad you have a way to get to the US that doesn't involve a plane. :)
Jun. 25th, 2004 09:13 am (UTC)
And even better, it meant I could fulfill a promise I'd made to go visit Ithaca at some point this summer! It all worked out very nicely.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 24th, 2004 06:54 am (UTC)
That's a real incentive to book a cabin for the long-distance ferry routes. Thanks for the advice!

I know I took the ferry from Dover to Calais when I was young, but I have only the fuzziest memory of it. I don't think it was nearly as slick and shiny as the ferry I was just on, but the Channel ferries have probably been renovated since I was last on them. At least once.
Jun. 24th, 2004 06:08 am (UTC)
On the Kodak company office tower in downtown Rochester is a nest of peregrine falcons. Mariah and Kaver have returned to the tower for several years running to raise broods of pigeon-killing falcon-lets (technically called eyases, but the word fails, in my mind, to capture the true pigeon-ripping spirit of the young'uns). This year they have five-- Grissom, Alkyonis, Hafoc, Pride and Gahastey, all banded by U.S. conservation officials and therefore readily identifiable one from another, even at a distance-- all now newly fledged and testing their wings around the downtown area-- the top of the High Falls Brewery is a popular landing spot.

It's a 15-20 drive from the ferry, and probably an equivalent-length bus ride. Here's a map of downtown showing the nestbox location:

And here is a picture of female eyas Alkyonis stretching her wings in the sun.

They are more active in the early morning and early evening, but are beautiful whenever you catch sight of one!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )