St. John’s, NL – Following a competitive procurement process, open to domestic and international bidders that was overseen by an independent fairness monitor, Marine Atlantic announced that the Corporation has entered into a 5-year charter agreement with Stena North Sea Ltd. to supply a new Ro-Pax vessel for the fleet. Following the five-year charter agreement, Marine Atlantic will have an option to purchase the vessel ordered by Stena from the CMI Jinling (Weihai) Shipyard in China.
The new vessel will offer energy efficient green ship technology. The vessel’s design will incorporate dual-fuel technology and will be equipped with batteries to further reduce its carbon footprint. The ship will be constructed with specific measures to reduce underwater noise, thereby reducing the impact on marine life. The ship will also offer enhanced power and thruster capability for maximum maneuvering ability during docking and undocking.
The ice-classed vessel will be approximately 200 metres in length, with the ability to carry commercial and passenger vehicles. It will incorporate the latest accessibility standards, carry up to 1000 passengers, have 146 passenger cabins (including pet friendly cabins), 40 passenger pods, a variety of food service options, seating lounges, a children’s play area, and a kennel for pets.
The ship will be compatible for use on both the Port aux Basques and Argentia services and is expected to enter service in the 2024-25 fiscal year.
In Budget 2019, the Government of Canada provided funding for Marine Atlantic to replace an existing vessel. The funding allowed for the charter of a new vessel for 5 years with an option to purchase after 5 years. The Corporation launched a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in July 2019, with successful bidders moving to an RFP stage in June 2020. (Artist rendering of typical Ro-Pax from Stena North Sea)