OTTAWA, July 15, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, along with Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John, and Greg Kerr, Member of Parliament for West Nova, today hosted open houses of the MV Fundy Rose, the replacement vessel for the MV Princess of Acadia, which serves the Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia ferry route. The open houses provided local residents with an opportunity to go on board, tour the vessel, see the many upgraded amenities and meet the crew before the vessel goes into official service on July 18, 2015.
- On June 24, 2013, the Government of Canada announced it would replace the MV Princess of Acadia. In October 2014, a purchase agreement was signed to acquire the MV Blue Star Ithaki from a private ferry operator located in Greece at a cost of approximately $31 million EURO ($44.6 million CAN).
- The vessel arrived in Canada on December 2, 2014 after an approximately 9,375-kilometre journey from Greece. It then travelled to Halifax for an engine overhaul and the conversion of the engines from heavy fuel to marine diesel. Additional refit work was also done to the vessel including replacing flooring surfaces, adding vessel fenders, installing a truckers lounge, constructing a children's play area and a business lounge; and painting of car decks and exterior surfaces.
- The vessel's name - Fundy Rose - is a combination of the top names submitted by Canadians as part of a public naming process launched earlier this year. The first part of the name reflects the renowned tidal level and water volume, the ocean conditions and world-wide appreciation of the Bay of Fundy. The second part of the name reflects Rose Fortune, a woman born into slavery and relocated to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia after her family escaped the British colony of Virginia during the American Revolution. Ms Fortune went on to develop a successful business transporting luggage from the ferry docks to Annapolis hotels and over time, became known as the first female police officer in Canada – an unofficial title she earned by maintaining order and safeguarding property at the town's wharves.
- The Saint John-Digby ferry service is operated year-round by Bay Ferries Ltd. (BFL). Since 2006, the Government of Canada has provided approximately $45 million to support this service.
"This is an exciting time for all Canadians, especially those in the Maritimes, as the MV Fundy Rose enters into service. This ferry service provides safe transportation for residents and visitors; moves goods; generates jobs; and stimulates the regional economy and enhances the efficiency and reliability of the transportation corridor, as a whole. May all who sail on her enjoy a safe voyage, fair wind, and following seas."
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
"Anyone who comes from the Atlantic region knows the long history and the important role that this ferry service plays in the life and the economies of local communities here. Today's launch into service of the MV Fundy Rose further demonstrates the Harper Government's continued commitment to supporting transportation links in Atlantic Canada. I look forward to sailing on her and wish all who travel on board a fine wind at your back."
Member of Parliament for Saint John
"The beginning of service for the MV Fundy Rose is a much-anticipated day for Nova Scotians and affirms the Government of Canada's support of this ferry service. I wish all who experience this unique crossing, a pleasant journey and good wind to follow you."
Member of Parliament for West Nova
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MV Fundy Rose
- The MV Fundy Rose is a Roll On-Roll Off (RO-RO) passenger ferry vessel built in 2000 by Daewoo Industries.
- The vessel is 124 metres in length and 19 metres in breadth and has capacity for 1,317 passengers and 245 cars.
- There is a segregated vehicle and truck deck for ease of loading and disembarking.
- With a cruising speed of 20 knots, the MV Fundy Rose can make the passage from Saint John to Digby in approximately two hours.
- There are 774 seats on board, including 250 airline seats that were installed for improved comfort.
- More than 2,500 litres of interior and exterior paint were used to freshen her up and to put the vessel's new name on her.
- The galley has brand new appliances, making food preparation quick and easy, and allowing for an efficient servery.
- All the passenger table tops were refurbished using a local not-for-profit group which has supported mental health since 1972.
- By using the free WiFi, the Internet is accessible from anywhere on the vessel.
- Two movie lounges are available, as well as live entertainment on scheduled occasions.
- The dedicated children's play area is outfitted with cushion flooring, is stocked with toys, and has windows for ocean viewing.
- An on-board pet kennel allows passenger access to their pets as they travel in a climate-controlled environment.
- Open decks allow passengers to go outside and enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the Bay of Fundy and the fresh air during their passage.
- Dining options include a cafeteria with varied menu options for full daily breakfast, lunch and dinner – everything from healthy salads to pizza, burgers, seafood, and snacks. Lighter fare is available in a mid-ship café and when weather permits, an outdoor café will operate.
- On-board elevators will assist those with mobility issues or young children. As well, an accessible washroom is available on the main passenger deck as are accessible ramps throughout.
SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information: Zach Segal, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055