Travelling to Newfoundland from Europe

After I shown my lectures about Newfoundland and give people time to ask me questions, the most frequent question by far is undoubtedly about the price for travelling and accommodations. A lot of European people still think that travelling to Newfoundland is very expensive but I can assure you that it is not when you know exactly when and where to book your journey. Internet is welcome source to plan and organize your entire trip. I book via internet since many years and never had any problems so far. Direct bookings on Internet usual are much cheaper too.

Since Air Canada stopped their flights from Heathrow to St John’s – Halifax there are no direct flights from Europe to Newfoundland anymore. At least not as far I know and there is lots of confusion about this subject as well. What you certainly will find on the Internet are speculations. On several websites and blogs there are indeed talks about direct flights from Gatwick to St John’s or even to Deer Lake but as far I am informed all are still on hold. It also seems that Finnair had plans to start a direct flight from Gatwick to Newfoundland during summertime but so far they only are allowed to fly to Canada from Finland. I also read that a rule change and has been agreed, allowing any European airline to fly to Canada from any European city, but it has not actually been ratified and so this is another speculation again.

To get to Newfoundland by air from Europe, you first have to fly to Halifax or even worse, to Toronto or Montreal what means that you always have to change planes and loose a lot of valuable holiday time and have to pay a lot extra money as well. Flying from Amsterdam or Frankfurt to Newfoundland it is really terrible nowadays and in worse case scenario it even takes you up more then 32 hours before you are able to set feet on Newfoundland soil. If you are lucky you have switch planes even 3 times. It can be acceptable to travel that long but not when the price for two persons is quite expensive too. Such a long journey by plane for a trip that actually never should take more then 5 or 6 hours maximal is not a very relaxing start of your holiday.

Planning my holiday(s) is part of my trip already and I am used to prepare things extremely well. I always have a plan A and B and sometimes even C, maybe because my military background and it helps me a lot while digging deep in finding real nice offers too. When you give a good lecture you also want to be well informed, just to be sure that you being able to answer as many questions as possible! So it must be easy to understand that when people are so interesting in prices, they are even more interesting to know the cheapest price too. However, personally I still prefer quality above quantity.

If you seriously have intentions to go to Newfoundland you absolutely need to know a few things a little closer and I think I really can help you to save some money and start you Newfoundland trip in much more relaxing way as well. By knowing that it will take you quite some time to get to Newfoundland anyway, I only can say: take you time and travel relaxed and try to take the best offers too. For example, renting a car in Newfoundland is much more expensive then in Nova Scotia and beside that are the rules and regulations for rental car users in Newfoundland a little different too. Perhaps because the numbers of moose are so abounded and car accidents happen more frequent as well.

Kevlavik Airport Quiet and peaceful

There is a huge difference in prices in flights to Halifax and there you can save your first money too. There are several companies that offer flights to Halifax and you only need to check on a regular basis for special offers and price changes. To start my holiday I like a journey as stress less as possible and when I can’t travel fast away then I go for the relax way. I hate it to switch planes on big airfields, so that’s why I chose to fly from Amsterdam to Keflavik and then to Halifax. If you book early the cheapest way to get to Halifax is via Iceland and travel by Icelandair. The company is quite good and reliable as well. I travelled with them for many years now and must admit that I am very satisfied with them. As soon as I arrived in Canada, I pick up my rental car at Halifax airport and take a hotel somewhere on my way to North Sydney in Cape Breton Island. The best you can do is to take a good rest first because you arrive around 8pm in the evening and therefore I advice to try to get used to the time difference first. After a good sleep, a nice shower and English breakfast you take you time and drive slowly to the Ferry terminal in North Sydney while enjoying the beautiful nature of Cape Breton Island. There is plenty of time and when you are early spend a few hours enjoying the scenic route around Bras d’Or Lake and counting Bald Eagles and other wildlife or just visit the wonderful town of Baddeck.

In the evening you take the 100 miles Marine Atlantic passage from North Sydney to Port Aux Basques in Newfoundland.

(Reservation is required)

It is an excellent trip crossing the Cabot Straight and if you take a cabin you arrive in the early morning in a perfect shape and start your Newfoundland journey without any stress and frustrations.

In June 2009 we took the brand new boot – the Atlantic Vision – and it was a wonderful experience.

the Atlantic Vision

We also used the brand new ONLINE booking system to make our bookings and were extremely pleased about it. It was simple, effective and easy to use which I think is very important for tourist like us coming from Europe. We also tried one of deluxe cabins and it was superb.

Deluxe cabin at the Atlantic Vision

The Atlantic Vision leaving for Newfoundland: Shot take from the Caribou

Conclusion: If you want to go Newfoundland, do it the easy way, fly to Halifax via Keflavik, book your car in Nova Scotia and take the Marine Atlantic passage to Newfoundland. You will see a lot more from Atlantic Canada as well! The money you save instead flying to St John’s or Deer Lake you can use for your rental car even up to 4 weeks! Always book your rental car from your home country as well!

Leaving Newfoundland, shot taken from the Caribou

Websites and extra information

Icelandair: website www.icelandair.com

Marine Atlantic: (00)1-800-341-7981 www.marine-atlantic.ca