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QM2 for the move- with dogs

QM2 for the move- with dogs

Old Oct 22nd 2020, 10:41 pm
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Default QM2 for the move- with dogs

We are planning on moving from Staffordshire to Calgary appx. 2022/2023. We currently have a 20 m/o Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, and are on the wait list for a second next year, so we will be looking to travel over with the dogs. Both of us would feel much more comfortable taking the boat travel route as the breed are notoriously emotionally sensitive and we don't want to cause any unnecessary distress, and then it gives us a fantastic opportunity for a cross country road trip once we arrive, something we already love doing for holidays.

Does anyone have any personal experience of the Queen Mary 2 for travel and dog transport, either to New York or Halifax, and the road trips thereafter?
Or any discussion of the dog export process?
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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 12:10 am
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

I haven’t used the QM2 kennels but I have travelled on the ship quite a few times. I have seen the kennels, they are quite basic but are OK. You can go and spend time with your dog and there is a small area where you can walk. I believe the kennels are full within 12 months of sailing, but we have had members who have secured cancellations. Due to COVID...who knows when the QM2 will be sailing the Transatlantic route. My husband thinks the Southampton/NYC route will be open earlier than other ports...but that’s just his wishful thinking.


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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 3:31 am
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

Just watch your timing ........... there really is no way that one would want to drive across Canada and having to walk dogs in very cold weather and/or deep snow! You could be travelling in -30C or below any time between November and March. Alternatively you could be in +40C in summer.

You will also have to watch out for hotels and motels, or BnBs ................... many will not accept even 1 pet, let alone two.

You will enter Canada at a New Brunswick crossing as there is no land connection between the US and Nova Scotia, and the ferry connection seems somewhat uncertain.

Last edited by scilly; Oct 23rd 2020 at 3:35 am.
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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 3:43 am
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

If you have the choice to go to NY and then drive to Calgary that would be the route I would take. The US interstate system is much nicer to drive, US tends to have more amenities along the interstates, and more rest stops.

As for hotels and pets, eh I have taken road trips with dogs and cats and never had trouble finding hotels to stay at, sure you need to be a little more flexible and need to plan ahead a bit and make reservations but in all my years of owning dogs and cats, I have never been unable to find hotels in any city I have travelled in both the US and Canada.



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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 3:59 am
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

Originally Posted by scilly View Post
Just watch your timing ........... there really is no way that one would want to drive across Canada and having to walk dogs in very cold weather and/or deep snow! You could be travelling in -30C or below any time between November and March. Alternatively you could be in +40C in summer.

You will also have to watch out for hotels and motels, or BnBs ................... many will not accept even 1 pet, let alone two.

You will enter Canada at a New Brunswick crossing as there is no land connection between the US and Nova Scotia, and the ferry connection seems somewhat uncertain.
Residence Inn by Marriot usually accept dogs...some Sheraton Hotels do too.
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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 2:28 pm
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

We have plenty of planning time, so would hopefully be able to organize our crossing for April/May or September/October, and we would of course plan the road trip on the other side around the dogs needs. The intention is to buy a car at our soft-landing and to store it near to wherever the boat will dock, so we don't need to worry about hire car across borders and with dogs. I'll have an advance look at accommodations which allow dogs just so we can gauges which route might be more suitable for us.

I don't mind basic for the kennel space, we do crate train as we show the dogs and travel a lot any way. It'll definitely be great to see the space where they stay and to be able to visit/walk/play with them there, of course temperature and human interaction are huge bonuses compared to the plane travel.

I'd be interested to hear any bad experiences anyone has had with dogs on the boat.
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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

Originally Posted by jordanleanne View Post
We have plenty of planning time, so would hopefully be able to organize our crossing for April/May or September/October, and we would of course plan the road trip on the other side around the dogs needs. The intention is to buy a car at our soft-landing and to store it near to wherever the boat will dock, so we don't need to worry about hire car across borders and with dogs. I'll have an advance look at accommodations which allow dogs just so we can gauges which route might be more suitable for us.

I don't mind basic for the kennel space, we do crate train as we show the dogs and travel a lot any way. It'll definitely be great to see the space where they stay and to be able to visit/walk/play with them there, of course temperature and human interaction are huge bonuses compared to the plane travel.

I'd be interested to hear any bad experiences anyone has had with dogs on the boat.
Are you saying you hope to buy a car in NY? If so I would not do that. We moved from the US to Canada. Transferring the car was too much of a headache, in the end we took it back across the border, sold it and bought a car in Canada.
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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

Obtaining vehicle insurance when you are not currently residing in Alberta - and won't have an Alberta license, may be an issue as well.
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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

My advice don't buy a car on arrival in the US rent one.
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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
My advice don't buy a car on arrival in the US rent one.
Good plan. Some rental companies will allow you to hand the vehicle back to an office in Canada...although it will probably cost quite a bit more. You are allowed to cross the border in a rental vehicle. The problem is that most rental campaniles do not want the hassle of taking it back to the US.
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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 6:06 pm
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

I would rent a car much easier, if you have trouble finding an affordable one way rental car, there is also Uhaul, but would be cramped with 2 humans and 2 dogs, but in a pinch they might be an option.

When I was under 25, Uhaul was about the only place I could rent from, so on vacations where I needed a vehicle, Uhaul it was.

Alamo doesn't always have one way rentals between cities but when they do, I have found they are often one of the lower cost ones and don't tend to charge as many fees for one way rentals as some companies do.



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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
If you have the choice to go to NY and then drive to Calgary that would be the route I would take. The US interstate system is much nicer to drive, US tends to have more amenities along the interstates, and more rest stops.

As for hotels and pets, eh I have taken road trips with dogs and cats and never had trouble finding hotels to stay at, sure you need to be a little more flexible and need to plan ahead a bit and make reservations but in all my years of owning dogs and cats, I have never been unable to find hotels in any city I have travelled in both the US and Canada.
Totally agree on recommending driving trans-continentally down in the US, then ducking up into Alberta through Montana; crossing the border at Wildhorse & picking up the Trans-Canada Highway east of Medicine Hat. I travel with my dog & I always just use the "BringFido" app to find hotels in the US & Canada that'll take dogs, easy-to-use & reliable.
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Old Oct 23rd 2020, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

We looked into it - not from NY but from NS, for May/June this year - the move didn't happen due to COVID amongst other things.

In the end it got mighty expensive mighty quickly. My google sheets on the matter suggested for 35 days (10 on ship and 25 on land) averaging 200km a day (which seemed sensible with wanting to see the country, and have a couple of rest days here and there, understanding we'd be stopping every couple of hours to let dogs have water and bathroom - would want time for a shower/evening meal/dog walk etc and its not like we could just check into Motel at 10pm and fall asleep) costed up as below.

Cruise cost £4600
Pet transport £1900 (2 dogs, 1 in large kennel, 1 in small)
Car hire £2800 (one way, largish SUV, being dropped Cranbrook,BC, Calgary was a little bit cheaper according to notes).
Fuel £500
Airbnb + Motel costs for 25 nights - £2800 (this was scoped out on airbnb +booking.com and came to £2572 - but without concrete dates would vary, so added an extra £10 per night just in case)
Food costs on Journey - highly variable depending on cooking facilities and taste but we budgeted £25 p/p per day including road trip snacks £1250

Suddenly we were looking at £15,000ish - couldn't really take much more stuff than flying (as it had to fit in a car we were losing the boot space on, and needed to pack for a cruise too! as well as needing to take dog beds, bowls, food etc in the car) and had the possible stresses on the dogs being at sea for 10 days.

Compared to flights for £400 and then circa £200 per dog, meant the 4 of us (2 humans + 2 dogs) could get across in a day for £1200ish.

Realise you could batter the numbers down quite considerably if you wanted to go 4 up in hyundai i40 and drive 1000km a day, and all my figures were rounded up for both cases

It would have been a really nice way to start our new lives - but balancing risk/cost it didn't seem viable for us. Other options but they didn't seem to save too much included renting a campervan from cruisecanada, or upon soft landing and sorting somewhere to live for our first few months, buying a car - doing 5000km across the country and parking car up in NS before flying home to pick up other half and dogs.

Last edited by Stumpylegs; Oct 23rd 2020 at 11:41 pm.
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Old Oct 28th 2020, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Are you saying you hope to buy a car in NY? If so I would not do that. We moved from the US to Canada. Transferring the car was too much of a headache, in the end we took it back across the border, sold it and bought a car in Canada.
Hmm, yeah that was the thought, or soft-land in Calgary buy a car there and move it to New York to wait for us. We'll have a think around other options here, we were hoping to avoid the cost and headache of car hire...
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Old Oct 28th 2020, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: QM2 for the move- with dogs

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
I would rent a car much easier, if you have trouble finding an affordable one way rental car, there is also Uhaul, but would be cramped with 2 humans and 2 dogs, but in a pinch they might be an option.

When I was under 25, Uhaul was about the only place I could rent from, so on vacations where I needed a vehicle, Uhaul it was.

Alamo doesn't always have one way rentals between cities but when they do, I have found they are often one of the lower cost ones and don't tend to charge as many fees for one way rentals as some companies do.
This is something we hadn't thought of, it definitely gives us an option- thank you!

Originally Posted by vinegarboy View Post
Totally agree on recommending driving trans-continentally down in the US, then ducking up into Alberta through Montana; crossing the border at Wildhorse & picking up the Trans-Canada Highway east of Medicine Hat. I travel with my dog & I always just use the "BringFido" app to find hotels in the US & Canada that'll take dogs, easy-to-use & reliable.
We would prefer this route, I've definitely heard better about US amenities, and we could manage some sightseeing in places we're unlikely to visit again. Part of moving to Canada will be holidaying and traveling across the country, so we can go east across Canada some other time anyway
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