Damen Shipyards Group has delivered the first of two RoPax ferries, MV Veteran, to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Province (GNL), Canada.

The 80m-long ice class ferries are part of the vessel replacement programme initiated by the provincial government to replace the old ferries and expand capacity on the route.

MV Veteran was designed by Canadian engineering firm Knud E Hansen in association with Danish firm Fleetway.

The vessel, which has a beam of 17.2m and cruising speed of 14k, will have roll-on, roll-off capacity for 60 vehicles and will accommodate 200 passengers.

Damen North America manager Jan van Hogerwou said: “GNL wants to provide service continuity.

“These highly durable ferries can handle the impact of 40cm-thick floating ice at 4k.

“Their rudders, hull and propellers have been strengthened and are outfitted with extra plate thickness for heavy winter conditions.”

“These highly durable ferries can handle the impact of 40cm-thick floating ice at 4k”

MV Veteran will replace the MV Earl Windsor built in 1975. Meanwhile, the sister ship, MV Legionnaire will replace the MV Beaumont Hamel built in 1985.

The vessel is expected to start services from Fogo Island and Change Islands before the end of November this year.

MV Legionnaire will operate from Portugal Cove to Bell Island upon its delivery by mid 2016.

Additionally, a Canadian service and support hub for the vessels is being established, as well as a certified Damen maintenance centre that will be located in Newfoundland and Labrador region.

Image: The MV Earl Windsor, built in 1975. Photo: courtesy of Damen Shipyards Group.