What's the longest boat ride you've ever been on?
The Scotia Prince ferry from Portland, ME to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. As a kid, it was thrilling to go to sleep with a view out to the open seas, and wake up in another country. And then also I'd never been on a car ferry before. They had a small and limited on-board casino and I managed to sneak in there a few times and lose some american quarters.
When I went back to Halifax as an adult with my then-girlfriend, I don't remember if we took the Scotia Prince from Portland or the CAT from Bar Harbor, but I remember the trip was a really good time, including the ferry ride over. It's a beautiful place. We sought out some of the foods that had left an impression on me as a kid, like Tim Horton's donuts, exotic and foreign to a Dunkin Donuts kid, and Bud The Spud's truck. We also got spa treatments at some fancy spa. I was impressed with the Halifax arts scene and a unique brand of low-irony hipness that's a little more genuine than you'll find in bigger and less isolated cities. It's endearing. I could just about almost live in Halifax I think, but the geographical isolation and harsh winters might be too much to handle.
Sadly, in researching the link to the ferry line, I came across this:
2004 Scotia Prince Cruises discovered dangerous levels of
toxic mold in the terminal facilities we leased from the City
of Portland â€” known as the International Marine Terminal
or IMT. As a ship operator our first priority is safety â€”
both at sea and on land â€” so we immediately relocated
our employees and passengers out of the terminal and finished
the season operating out of tents in the parking lot…On April 5th we were forced to cancel the 2005
season. This was not a decision we took lightly as it put
the company into a precarious financial position having exhausted
a significant amount of our cash in preparation for the 2005
hours of our announcement that the 2005 season was canceled
for safety reasons, the City of Portland, publicly and without
any warning to us, unilaterally terminated our lease. They
gave no consideration to the 2006 season or proper remediation
of the IMT. The City of Portland simply put us out of business
after 35 years."