SYDNEY, NS, Nov. 24, 2011 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Fletcher,
Minister of State (Transport), Wayne Follett, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Marine Atlantic (MAI), and Colonel (Retired) Ian
Macintyre, Honorary Colonel of the Nova Scotia Highlanders and the Cape
Breton Highlanders, today officially welcomed and dedicated the MV Highlanders, the namesake vessel honouring the Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Highland
Regiments. The vessel, in tandem with her sister ship the MV Blue Puttees, has significantly improved Marine Atlantic's ability to provide
on-time, reliable service and meet increasing traffic demand between
North Sydney, Nova Scotia and Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and
"Our government recognizes the importance of the ferry connection
between Newfoundland and Labrador and the mainland as a transportation
link for goods and travellers which is why we have invested
significantly in the revitalization of Marine Atlantic," said Minister
Fletcher. "These new vessels have substantially improved Marine
Atlantic's ability to provide on-time, reliable service to meet the
needs of the people and businesses of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and
"The addition of the MV Highlanders and MV Blue Puttees to our fleet has helped to significantly improve Marine Atlantic's
service," said Mr. Follett. "We just completed one of the most
successful summer seasons in recent history and our customers have told
us that they are pleased with the improvements that have taken place to
all aspects of our service. Through the Government of Canada's
continued co-operation and support, our Corporation will make
additional improvements to our infrastructure and business processes.
Our employees and customers are embracing this positive change and we
look forward to the many opportunities that will be presented in the
"It is with great pride that we are here today to participate in the
dedication of the MV Highlanders and to thank Marine Atlantic, on behalf of this province's two Highland
Regiments, for such a noble gesture, particularly as we are celebrating
our 140th year of service to Canada. Tapah leibh/Thank you," said
Colonel (Retired) Ian Macintyre, Honourary Colonel of the the Nova
Scotia and Cape Breton Highlanders.
Acquiring these new vessels was made possible by the Government of
Canada's recent five-year, $521 million investment to revitalize Marine
Atlantic and renew its fleet and shore facilities at North Sydney, Nova
Scotia, and Port aux Basques and Argentia, Newfoundland and Labrador.
This initiative builds on the Government of Canada's strategy,
announced in February 2007, to revitalize Marine Atlantic's ferry
Marine Atlantic Inc., is a federal Crown corporation that provides a
vital ferry link between Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia
supporting the economies of the Atlantic Provinces, facilitating the
import and export of goods, and helping grow the region's tourism
Wording of the Highlanders Plaque
The following is the wording of the plaque to be placed on board the MV Highlanders in honour of the Highland Regiments of Nova Scotia:
This vessel is proudly named after the strong history of military
service of the Highland regiments throughout Nova Scotia.
The origins of the Highlanders has been traced back to 1871 and their
strength is rooted in the citizens of Nova Scotia, from all regions,
who joined as regiments were established throughout the province.
Through their storied history, the Highland regiments have been awarded
56 Battle Honours as a result of their service in the South African
War, World War I and World War II.
In 1955, the three Highland regiments of Nova Scotia were amalgamated
into a two-battalion regiment known as The Nova Scotia Highlanders. The
regiment was made up of the 1st Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders (North) and the 2nd Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders (Cape Breton). In 2011, the 2nd Battalion was renamed The Cape Breton Highlanders. The men and women of
these two Highland units continue to provide humanitarian assistance,
peacekeeping services and peace support operations that are recognized
throughout the world.
MV Highlanders Facts and Figures
96 cabins, double what was previously available.
Approximately 500 reclining chairs providing customers with comfortable
options to relax during their travel.
50 per cent more vehicle capacity than the vessels replaced.
Designed to efficiently carry both passenger and commercial vehicles
with its high deck heads and wide open decks that make loading and
Open air sections of the deck where restricted cargo and larger loads
can be stored.
Three areas for passenger dining provide a range of options. Passengers
can avail of quick service meals such as hot dogs and sandwiches or
full course meals.
Various areas on-board provide entertainment options for children, teens
and adults. There is also Internet access, gift shops and games for
passengers to enjoy.
Televisions in cabins and seating areas allow passengers to select a
variety of entertainment options.
Elevators to each deck and many amenities to assist persons with
Animal kennels that allow passengers to put their pets in climatically
controlled conditions. Passengers have access to their pets in the
New way-finding signage that is colour-coded and guides passengers to
amenities, entertainment options, car decks, cabins and other
Open access decks that permit passengers to go outside and enjoy
panoramic views and fresh air during crossings.
Summer Season Improvements
The following information highlights some of Marine Atlantic's
improvements since the introduction of the new fleet:
Significant improvement in on-time performance; from 59 per cent in 2010
to 91 per cent in 2011.
Ease of access to a reservation; available up to the time of departure
on 99 per cent of sailings.
Overall satisfaction is up, with 74 per cent of customers highly
satisfied compared with 51 per cent in 2010.
The expectations of 92 per cent of passengers were either met or
Approximately 93 per cent of customers are likely to recommend Marine
Atlantic to friends or family.
Wait times for commercial customers were significantly better; reduced
by 63 per cent.
Additional cabins were in high demand, with 25 per cent more sold than
Employees rose to the challenge to deliver a high level of customer
service and adapt to the new vessels.
SOURCE Marine Atlantic Inc.
For further information:
Office of the Minister of State (Transport)