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Saint John, NB (Bay of Fundy)


itsanita
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We just booked our cruise for this fall and we are looking for a tour in Saint John to the reversing falls, Fundy Trail Parkway, etc.   

Most of what I have found is already booked.  So we are thinking of renting a car and driving ourselves.  We are 4 adults.

Has anyone done this?  Are their any rental areas close to the port or would we have to go to the Airport.  The airport looks pretty far away, maybe a good 30 minute drive.  

 

Any help/suggestions would be appreciated. 

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It was 10 years ago that we were last there (so prices listed below are from 2013).

 

Saint John, New Brunswick (Bay of Fundy)
8:00am - 4:00pm. We berthed at the Marco Polo Terminal (formerly known as the Pugsley Terminal), which is literally right in town and close to the Harbour Passage Walking Trail. Upon arrival, women were presented a rose and men were given a lapel pin souvenir.

We prearranged for an Enterprise Rental Car and set out for the Village of St. Martins, about 45 minutes northeast of St. John. St. Martins, located on the Bay of Fundy, is a fishing village, home to two covered bridges, sea caves, and the gateway to the Fundy Trail. The Bay of Fundy tides are the highest tides in the world, rising and dropping as much as 47 feet. St. Martin's tides on Mac's Beach are a relatively pedestrian (but still amazing) 26-feet, rushing in and out of the bay twice a day. At low tide you can walk on the ocean floor. Mac's Beach is covered in smooth rocks, a result of the tidal action. It's also where you can find "Wish Rocks" --- a rock with a white line that encircles the entire rock. Local lore suggests that whomever possesses such a rock can make a wish. Once the wish comes true, you pay it forward and pass the rock on to someone else to make a wish. We arrived near low tide and could walk out into the rock-covered ocean bottom for a couple hundred yards without getting wet, and were able to collect a few cool "Wish Rocks".

From here, we drove 10 minutes to the Fundy Trail Parkway. There is a small admission charge. Due to the extreme fog that day we opted out and returned to Mac's Beach in St. Martins to search for more Wish Rocks. With the tide coming in, more than half of our hunting ground remained. Within another hour, the beach shrank to a just a few feet of rocks on higher ground. The time between low and high tide is about 6 hours.

We drove back to town and made a stop at Reversing Falls. It's really not a "falls" in the classic sense. It's really just rapids. The rapids occur when the rising tide coming in is fighting the out flowing river water. If you get there while the tide is rising you'll see the river water running inland from the ocean, which is quite an interesting sight.

I'd like to make a quick shout-out to Enterprise. This was our most pleasant rental car experience ever. We were picked up at the pier, driven to their office about 5 minutes away, were promptly assisted by one of their young representatives and were in an upgraded car (at no additional charge) within another 5 minutes. The return was also prompt. We filled up with gas at a station a couple of blocks away, returned the car and were dropped off back at the pier.

On our last trip, we walked to Reversing Falls along the Harbour Passage from the cruise area in about 50 minutes. Exit the pier and turn left. Follow the red sidewalk along Water Street until you see a Moose on your left. Turn left and walk towards, and then around along the boardwalk in front of, the Hilton. Once you clear the Hilton you'll see an entrance to the Harbour Passage with a sign overhead and the red sidewalk once again. Follow the riverside trail until it dead ends under a bridge, then backtrack a little and follow the red concrete trail to the road. (Ignore all of the other forks you encounter along the way). Turn left and stay on the sidewalk next to the highway all the rest of the way. Don't worry that they failed to paint this sidewalk red. You will eventually get to the Reversing Falls lookout which once again will feature a Harbour Passage sign overhead and a red walkway. Most folks continue from here and cross over the bridge to the other side of the river for more impressive views. There are two restaurants and one has a short movie you can view. There are a number of good lookout points as well as a dock for river tours. Across the parking lot is an elevated park with great views of the surrounding area. If you don't want to walk back, you can catch the #2 Bus back into town. Catch the bus at the corner of the parking lot, at the entrance, across from where the restaurants are. Bus fare is $2.50 pp and it runs every 20 minutes. The ride will take just 10 minutes. Get off at Barbours General Store, about 2 blocks from the ship.

Back in town we visited the New Brunswick Museum ($8.00, AAA Gem) in market square. This family museum has dioramas of logging operations, intensive shipbuilding exhibits, artifacts recovered from sunken ships, art, whale and mastodon skeletons, a hall of stuffed birds, and children's discovery exhibits. Worthwhile.

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16 hours ago, Ashland said:

Did you check booking with "Dave's Taxi Tours" ? Hopefully they might have an opening. 

 

Their Website is down so I am thinking are no longer in business.  

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Success!  We have a car booked with Enterprise.  Now to decide our route. 

 

It looks like high tide for us everywhere we go.  So a little disappointed that we will miss the low tides.  Low tides are around 5am and 5 pm.   The ship leaves at 6pm.   

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  • 2 months later...
On 6/20/2023 at 11:50 AM, itsanita said:

Success!  We have a car booked with Enterprise.  Now to decide our route. 

 

It looks like high tide for us everywhere we go.  So a little disappointed that we will miss the low tides.  Low tides are around 5am and 5 pm.   The ship leaves at 6pm.   

 

We've decided to do the same thing and rent a car from Enterprise for our cruise in October. Avis, which is right there at the terminal did not have a car available so went with Enterprise instead. I imagine we'll just Uber up to their office, pick up the car and head on over to Bay of Fundy/Sea Caves. Low Tide should be happening around that time if we get off the ship and get moving quick enough. Looking forward to going at our own pace.

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On 6/20/2023 at 11:50 AM, itsanita said:

Success!  We have a car booked with Enterprise.  Now to decide our route. 

 

It looks like high tide for us everywhere we go.  So a little disappointed that we will miss the low tides.  Low tides are around 5am and 5 pm.   The ship leaves at 6pm.   

How did you look up the tides? Thank you.

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On 6/20/2023 at 10:50 AM, itsanita said:

Success!  We have a car booked with Enterprise.  Now to decide our route. 

 

It looks like high tide for us everywhere we go.  So a little disappointed that we will miss the low tides.  Low tides are around 5am and 5 pm.   The ship leaves at 6pm.   

Which Enterprise did you use? I see they have 3 locations, any close to port?

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I have determined when the low and high tides will occur during the two days we will be in Saint John. However, I'm wondering when, in relation to those, that the "rush", or most interesting viewing, happens.  Any recommendations?

For us, on September 18, low is at 8:33am and high at 2:38pm.

On September 19, low is at 9:08am and high at 3:14pm (shortly after we depart).

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