The greek ferry Blue Star Ithaki, will be the replacement for the Princess of Acadia. The federal Government previously announced that the Ferry would be replaced, and Greek media are reporting that the ferry has been sold and will be sailing for Canada, having completed her last Greek trip October 26th.
Built in Korea, she was delivered in 2002. She can carry 1500 passengers, and has few cabins due to the short runs in Greece. Shipfax reports she is due for 4 months of work (and presumably interior renovations) at Pier 9, before going into service.
She Evidently can Take heavy Weather:
The Princess of Acadia is currently at the shipyard in Mechins PQ for Bow Thruster repairs.
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport and the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, today announced that the Government of Canada has entered into an agreement for the purchase of a ferry vessel to replace the MV Princess of Acadia, which serves the Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia ferry route.
A purchase agreement was signed on October 10, 2014 to acquire the MV Blue Star Ithaki from a private ferry operator located in Greece at a cost of approximately $31 million EURO ($44.6 million CAN).
On November 27, 2013, the Government of Canada issued a Public Notice for the planned purchase of an existing ferry on buyandsell.gc.ca. Following an extensive evaluation process, which involved identifying and assessing the suitability of candidate vessels from all over the world, including Canada, the MV Blue Star Ithaki was selected as representing the best value for Canadians and having the capacity to meet the operational requirements of the Saint John-Digby ferry service. The vessel’s introduction into service is expected in 2015.
Upon arrival of the vessel in Canada, modifications will need to be made for the vessel to meet Canadian safety regulations and compatibility with existing shore-based infrastructure and operation in the Bay of Fundy.
- The MV Blue Star Ithaki is a Greek-flagged Roll On-Roll Off (RO-RO) passenger ferry vessel built in 2000 by Daewoo Industries. It is in excellent condition with at least 20 years of useful life remaining. A RO-RO vessel is designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as automobiles, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars that are driven on and off the vessel on their own wheels.
- The MV Blue Star Ithaki is 124 metres in length and 19 metres in breadth, with a cruising speed of 20 knots. It has modern onboard amenities and segregated car and vehicle decks.
- The Saint John-Digby ferry service is operated year-round by Bay Ferries Ltd. (BFL), using the Transport Canada-owned MV Princess of Acadia. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has provided approximately $38 million to support this service.