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After delays, new ferry Ala’suinu starts transporting passengers between NS and NL

After delays, new ferry Ala’suinu starts transporting passengers between NS and NL
After delays, new ferry Ala’suinu starts transporting passengers between NS and NL

ST. JOHN’S, NL — After delays caused by repairs, a new Marine Atlantic ferry is expected to make its first passenger trip between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia tonight.

ST. JOHN’S, NL — After delays caused by repairs, a new Marine Atlantic ferry is expected to make its first passenger trip between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia tonight.

Darrell Mercer, spokesman for the ferry service, says about 427 passengers will board the Ala’suinu for the crossing from North Sydney, NS, to Argentia, NL, at 5:30 p.m. local time.

The name of the newly built ship is the Mi’kmaq word for “traveler.”

The ferry was originally scheduled to enter service on June 14, but Mercer says the date has been pushed back after debris was found in fuel lines and lubrication systems, which had to be flushed to prevent engine damage.

Mercer says the delays affected passengers who had booked travel between the provinces, with most being rerouted via Port aux Basques, NL, a 530-mile drive.

The passengers were given a refund and compensation of $200 for adults and $100 for children, which could be used for the crossing from Port aux Basques or kept for later use.

Marine Atlantic announced Wednesday that there would be further cancellations for voyages booked on July 17 and 18 due to safety training for personnel who were unavailable for earlier port trials.

According to Mercer, a total of around 9,500 trips have now been cancelled, with passengers being offered alternative routes via Port aux Basques.

“We are very pleased to welcome Ala’suinu to our fleet and welcome customers for this season’s Argentia service,” said Murray Hupman, president of Marine Atlantic, in a press release.

“I would like to apologize to all customers who have been inconvenienced by our adjusted timetable.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2024.

The Canadian Press