Canada receives replacement vessel for Saint John to Digby ferry service

3 December 2014 (Last Updated December 3rd, 2014 18:30)

The Canadian Government has received the replacement vessel for the MV Princess of Acadia to serve the Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia ferry route.

The Canadian Government has received the replacement vessel for the MV Princess of Acadia to serve the Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia ferry route.

In October, Canada acquired a new ferry called MV Blue Star Ithaki from a Greek ferry operator at a cost of around $31m.

The vessel, temporarily named MV Canada 2014, is a roll-on / roll-off (Ro-Ro) passenger ferry vessel constructed by Daewoo Industries in 2000.

The 124m-long and 19m-wide ferry will be able to cruise at a speed of 20k and is capable of carrying wheeled cargo such as automobiles, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers and railroad cars.

"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."

Canada Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said: "I am pleased to welcome the MV Canada 2014 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 vessel will now undergo modifications to meet Canadian safety regulations and compatibility with the current shore-based infrastructure in the Bay of Fundy.

Engine work of the vessel will take place at Halifax, where it will see a 72,000-hour engine overhaul and the conversion of the engines from heavy fuel to marine diesel.

The vessel is expected to start its operation in 2015.

The Saint John to Digby ferry service is operated by Bay Ferries (BFL) and the Government of Canada has invested around $38m since 2006 to support the ferry service.