top of page

Marine Atlantic shares update on new vessel

Marine Atlantic’s newest addition to its fleet will likely replace the MV Atlantic Vision before next summer’s tourism season. – Courtesy of Marine Atlantic

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

PORT AUX BASQUES — Construction on Marine Atlantic’s new vessel is well underway, with the newest addition to the fleet expected to be delivered in 2024. The vessel, a Stena E-Flexer model, boasts dual-fuel engines and a battery-hybrid combination, which will increase efficiency while minimizing the vessel’s carbon footprint. Working with Stena, one of the world’s leading innovators in the roll-on/roll-off cargo and passenger vessels, is not new for Marine Atlantic who have procured vessels from them in the past, including the MV Blue Puttees and the MV Highlanders. The ship will be just over 200 metres long, which means it will be fully compatible with the current service and won’t cause any difficulties in docking in the Port aux Basques or North Sydney harbours. “In terms of length and in terms of width, the new vessel is about the same size as the vessels we currently have; however, the way this vessel is laid out and configured is quite different. For instance, this vessel will have 146 cabins. That’s almost 50 more cabins than the Blue Puttees and the Highlanders,” said Murray Hupman, President and CEO of Marine Atlantic. “It’s also going to have 42 passenger pods, which is something that doesn’t exist in any of our ships today.” According to a news release published by Stena in June 2021, the exact specifications of the ship are as follows: Length: 202.9 m Draught: 6.45 m Beam: 27.8 m Capacity: 1,100 persons on board and 2,571 lane metres, which includes 476 lane metres for private cars. The ship will offer energy efficient, green ship technology, including measures to reduce underwater noise, thereby reducing the impact on marine life. It will also have enhanced power and thruster capabilities for improved maneuvering during docking and undocking, but these aren’t the only considerations that factored into the decision to procure a new vessel. “The number one reason is it’s all about fleet renewal and long-term fleet stability,” said Hupman. “We were basically getting to the point in time where we were going to have to replace a vessel with a new vessel to continue to provide the service. It really comes down, fundamentally, to just providing and delivering the service. The timing was up and the timing was right to have a new vessel built. It wasn’t really about the ship itself. It was about the overall service and being able to continue to provide that service.” If delivery continues as scheduled, the new vessel will be crossing the Gulf in time for the 2024 summer tourists. “We’re thinking the delivery is going to be around the February-March month of 2024, and if everything goes smoothly we are hoping to bring the vessel into service by late May to early June of next year in time for the summer season,” said Hupman. The vessel that will be replaced hasn’t been set in stone, but the most likely ship to be replaced will be the MV Atlantic Vision. “It’s not 100 per cent confirmed, but that’s most likely the one that will be retired, there’s no doubt about that,” said Hupman. Even though the Leif Ericson was anticipated to be the vessel that would be replaced, the decision to possibly retire the Atlantic Vision instead makes more financial sense for Marine Atlantic. “At this point in time, we actually own the Leif Ericson, where the Vision we currently lease, so we are still paying for the Vision,” said Hupman. “When it comes down to the comparable operating conditions and size, the Vision is relatively (speaking) the vessel that compares the best with the new ship, so it makes the most sense that it would be the one that we would probably replace.” No matter what date the new vessel comes into service, there will most likely be some overlap with the vessel it replaces. “We will have some time to try the new vessel on for a little bit, and once that period of what we call ‘integration into the service’ is completed, the other ship will go,” said Hupman. “So it’s a couple of months in the difference. The new ship will be here for two or three months and be brought into service before we would retire any of the other vessels.” The new ship has yet to be named, but that is coming soon. “The new ship has not been named, but internally we are going through the naming process,” explained Hupman. “We’re getting pretty close, and I would suggest that, over the next couple of months there will probably be a formal announcement from Marine Atlantic about what the vessel’s name will be, and we’ll go out and promote that to the different media outlets and the general public as a whole when that time comes. It’s not far off though, and it will be named long before the vessel comes into service.”

1 view0 comments


bottom of page