Upgrades Announced for Labrador Transportation
Minister of Transportation and Works Steve Crocker announced an enhanced marine transportation network for Labrador that will see two modern vessels servicing the Strait of Belle Isle and the north coast for years to come.
The two new vessels will improve the way passengers, freight, and vehicles are transported throughout Labrador and across the Strait of Belle Isle. Both are highly maneuverable, can dock and unload bow or stern first, and are 1A ice class certified and capable of operating to standard in heavy sea ice conditions. In addition, the new vessels boast features such as full accessibility for passengers with disabilities, a full service cafeteria and modern washrooms. Residents on the north coast will receive freight service weekly and for the first time in the province’s history, communities in northern Labrador will have roll-on, roll-off ferry services for a minimum of 20 passenger vehicles. This will change the way residents travel to and from their communities.
The MV Hiiumaa will replace the 48-year-old MV Apollo to service the Strait of Belle Isle beginning in March 2019. The vessel is just seven years old and has a capacity of 300 passengers, 120 passenger vehicles and eight tractor trailers. It will mean significantly increased capacities for the route between Blanc Sablon and St. Barbe, with room for an additional 60 passengers and an additional 35 vehicles over the former vessel.
The MV Grete will replace the 47-year-old MV Astron and the 32-year-old MV Northern Ranger beginning in June 2019. The eight-year-old vessel will bring increased capacities to the route from Happy Valley-Goose Bay through Rigolet, Makkovik, Postville, Hopedale, Natuashish, Nain and Black Tickle with room for 140 passengers and 125 units of freight