After delay, new ferry Ala’suinu begins carrying passengers between N.S. and N.L.

By The Canadian Press

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — After delays due to repairs, a new Marine Atlantic ferry sailing between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia is expected to made its inaugural passenger trip yesterday.

Darrell Mercer, spokesman for the ferry service, says about 427 passengers are to board Ala’suinu for the crossing from North Sydney, N.S., to Argentia, N.L.

The newly constructed vessel’s name is the Mi’kmaq word for “traveller.”

The ferry was originally scheduled to begin service on June 14, but Mercer says the date was delayed after debris was found in fuel lines and lubrication systems requiring them to be flushed in order to avoid engine damage.

Mercer says the delays impacted passengers booked to travel between the provinces, adding that most were redirected through Port aux Basques, N.L. — an 850-kilometre drive.

The passengers were provided with a refund and compensation of $200 for adults and $100 for children that could be applied to their crossing from Port aux Basques or saved for later use.

On Wednesday, Marine Atlantic announced there would be more cancellations for trips booked on July 17 and 18 because of safety training for staff who weren’t available for earlier port trials.

Mercer said that in total there have now been about 9,500 trip cancellations, with passengers being offered alternative routes through Port aux Basques.

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

“I want to extend my apologies to all customers who have been impacted by our schedule adjustment.”

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

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