SAINT JOHN, NB, Dec. 2, 2014 /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 announced that the replacement vessel for the MV Princess of Acadia, which serves the Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia ferry route, has safely arrived in Saint John.
The MV Canada2014, as it has been temporarily named for the transit voyage, departed from the Port of Piraeus in Greece on November 18, 2014, with a port of call in the Port of Funchal on the Island of Madeira on November 23, 2014. The approximately 9,375-kilometre journey saw the vessel sail from Greece across the Mediterranean Sea, through the Strait of Gibraltar, and arrive in Saint John.
From Saint John, the vessel will make its way to Digby for a sea trial and to undergo a check in its future berth. The vessel will then head to Halifax, where engine work will take place alongside the dock to perform a 72,000-hour engine overhaul and the conversion of the engines from heavy fuel to marine diesel.
The vessel's introduction into service is expected in 2015.
- On June 24, 2013, the Government of Canada announced it would replace the MV Princess of Acadia.
- On October 27, 2014, the Government of Canada announced that 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 is a Roll On-Roll Off (RO-RO) passenger ferry vessel built in 2000 by Daewoo Industries. It is 124 metres in length and 19 metres in breadth, with a cruising speed of 20 knots. It has modern onboard amenities and segregated car and vehicle decks.
- The Saint John-Digby ferry service is operated year-round by Bay Ferries Ltd. (BFL), using the Transport Canada-owned MV Princess of Acadia. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has provided approximately $41 million to support this service.
"I am pleased to welcome the MV Canada2014 and her crew home, safe and sound. The Government of Canada understands the importance of this ferry service to the economic sustainability of Eastern Canada. Our investment in this new ferry will enhance the safety and efficiency of the service, while greatly benefitting the transport, trade and tourism industries in the region."
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
"This new ferry is good news for our region and is a reflection of the Government of Canada's commitment to maintaining and enhancing key transportation links in Atlantic Canada. Ferry services connect people, generate trade and tourism opportunities, and bring many economic benefits to the region."
Member of Parliament for Saint John
"The arrival of our ferry in Canadian waters is good news. It confirms our Government's commitment to keeping this important service in place into the future. We will provide a further update in the new year."
Member of Parliament for West Nova
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information: Ashley Kelahear, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055