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Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

Liverpool, United...
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Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

My partner and I will be in NB / Nova Scotia on honeymoon in September and want to travel back through Maine to Boston. We aren't having much success at finding a car hire company that will allow a pick up in NB (Moncton/Saint John?) and a drop off in the USA. We would also be perfectly happy on a train/bus but can't either to make the connection. Help!!

Spain
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1. Re: Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

You will rarely find car hire firms who allow you to rent in one country and return the car in a different country.

One possibility would be to take the ferry from Yarmouth NS to portland Maine and then you could get a bus or train from there or rent a car to return in Boston.

You could get a bus from St John (NB) to Bangor (Maine, USA) - Arcadia bus lines - assuming they are still running. Then go to Boston by bus - Greyhound.

Lunenburg, Canada
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2. Re: Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

Hi Liverpool!

Public transport options between New England and Canada are sharply limited.

There is no train. Canadian trains from Halifax go to Moncton and continue up the east coast of New Brunswick to Montreal. Amtrak passenger rail service from Boston stops at Portland, Maine.

There is no ferry. (I see where one writer recommended a ferry, but this information is out of date. The ferries from Maine to Nova Scotia have been eliminated due to government budget cuts.)

Renting a car in one country and dropping off in another is not likely possible at all. If it is possible, you'll likely face a prohibitive charge, sufficient to pay for someone from the renting company to travel to get their car and drive it all the way back. But check on-line. You never can tell when, through the magic of the internet,, you'll learn of someone else who is going to have the same itinerary as yours in reverse.

I think your best shot for a rental company will be National Rent-a-Car, one of the big international firms. Nation's Canadian cars at least carry insuance for driving into the US.

That leaves air travel, which you'll find unnecessarily expensive due to lack of competition, and bus lines. Acadian Lines bus company runs to Maine, with a bus leaving Halifax at 10 a.m.

Good luck. This may be a case where a professional travel agent can help better than me.

Happy travels!

David

capetien10@gmail.com

Edited: 08 June 2011, 04:19
Spain
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3. Re: Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

capetien - thanks for the update on the ferry service.

Liverpool, United...
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4. Re: Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

Thank you both! I agree, very difficult! We have managed to hire a car to get from Boston to Toronto and were planning on taking the Ocean train from Montreal to Halifax, but given the transport issues we're now thinking we'll come back and do Nova Scotia another time.... It's not going anywhere! And I'm still determined to cycle around PEI like Anne did! Thanks again for your help, it was useful to know that we weren't missing something.

Rothesay, Canada
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5. Re: Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

You might be able to rent a car to drop off in one of the Border Towns ( likely Saint Stephen) and then arrange to rent another from Calais that you could drive to Boston.

Such a shame if you were to miss out on this part of Canada. And PEI is a lovely place to visit :o)

Saint John, Canada
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6. Re: Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

The bus from Bangor to Moncton (via Saint John) has now been cancelled.

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

We are desperately trying to get a Bus or Train from Saint John NB to Bangor or down to Boston NY. Is there one?

West Grey, Ontario
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8. Re: Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

Welcome to TripAdvisor, Jenny;

The only passenger train that crosses the border into the US, does so near Montreal Quebec, approx. 580 miles / 933 km west of Saint John NB.

www.viarail.com

Best Regards

Lunenburg, Canada
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9. Re: Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

Hi Brisbane!

As a practical matter, no.

Here's a flip side article I wrote recently for an asker who made the inquiry for the opposite direction, from Bangor, Maine to St. John, New Brunswick. It would be nice if it could help you, but I'm not optimistic. The best person to ask may be a professional travel agent, who possibly know of some ideas that wouldn't occur to me, since we're locals and we always take our own car.

Best of luck!

David

and here's the article:

There was once bus service between St. John, NB and Bangor by Acadian Lines, the leading intercity bus company in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. They discontinued the service due to lack of interest.

There's no rail.

There was once a major ferry service to Nova Scotia from Bar Harbor, ME. The government canceled the subsidies, so this ferry is gone.

You do have ferries across Passamaquoddy Bay from Campobello Island to Deer Island and from Deer Island to the New Brunswick mainland, Also from Eastport ME to Deer Island. These are remote corners, though, difficult for you to reach without your own car.

There may be a few possibilities, but I don't think of them as very practical:

There's a local bus service from Bangor to Calais, ME following a roundabout route via Ellsworth. Acadian Lines buses run from St. Stephen, on the Canadian side, to St. John. It's neither convenient nor is the service frequent, and the two bus routes do not connect, either geographically or schedule-wise.

You could take a taxi. Bangor to St. John, NB is about 3 hours one-way, so do not expect it to be economical. On the other hand, if multiple people are traveling, you could share the cost.

Cruise ships stop in St. John. This is not scheduled service for casual passengers, of course, but keep it at the back of your mind as a completely different option.

When all else fails, bring your own car! Driving is easy, and our roads are no worse than those in the northeastern states. Your standard North American auto insurance policy routinely covers you Americans in all Canadian provinces. We're Canadians, and we frequently cross the border to travel in New England on long weekends, without giving it a second thought.

Happy travels!

David

capetien10@gmail.com

Edited: 13 July 2012, 01:30
Portland, Maine
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10. Re: Public transport / car hire from NB to Maine??

This may not meet your needs, but on several occasions we've flown to Bangor, rented a car, done a tour of eastern Canada (as far as Newfoundland and the Magdalen Islands) and then returned the car to the Bangor Airport. There's absolutely no problem in doing this.

I don't think this affects the OP, but be aware that Canadian citizens cannot bring U.S. rental cars into Canada.

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