Marine Atlantic

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Marine Atlantic
Type Crown Corporation
Industry Transportation
Founded Moncton, New Brunswick (1986)
Headquarters St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Key people Paul Griffin, President & CEO
Products Ferry service
Revenue Increase$68.47 million CAD
Website www.marine-atlantic.ca
Marine Atlantic route map

Marine Atlantic Inc. (fr: Marine Atlantique) is an independent Canadian Crown corporation offering ferry services between the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

Marine Atlantic's corporate headquarters are in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Current operations[edit]

Marine Atlantic operates ferries across the Cabot Strait on two routes:

The 96-nautical-mile (178 km) Port aux Basques route is operated year round and is mandated under the Newfoundland Act, which is a part of the Constitution of Canada. This service was assumed by Canadian National Railway in 1949 from the Newfoundland Railway when Newfoundland entered into Confederation.

The 280-nautical-mile (520 km) Argentia route is operated seasonally during the summer (June–September). This service was established by CNR in 1967.

Marine Atlantic ferries Leif Ericson (right) and Joseph and Clara Smallwood.

Fleet[edit]

Marine Atlantic owns and operates four Ro-Pax (roll-on, roll-off, passenger) vessels:

The MV Leif Ericson, purchased in 2001, is significantly smaller and a less-capable ferry than other vessels in the fleet. This ferry's dimensions are 18,500 registered tons[specify] and 157 metres long, carrying 500 passengers, and 250 automobile-equivalent vehicles.

MV Atlantic Vision joined the fleet in 2008 on a five-year charter.

MV Atlantic Vision is under charter from the Estonia-based Tallink for five years from October 2008 onwards.[1][2] At 30,285 GT, Atlantic Vision is the largest ship in Marine Atlantic fleet[3] and the largest ferry in North America.

On May 21, 2010, Marine Atlantic announced that the company had agreed to charter two vessels from the Stena Line to replace the aging "Gulfspan" class vessels Caribou and Joseph and Clara Smallwood. The new vessels, built in 2006 and 2007, will boost capacity and lower operating costs, since they consume less fuel.[4] On September 29, 2010, Marine Atlantic announced the names of the new vessels: MV Blue Puttees and MV Highlanders.[5] Blue Puttees started operating March 2011, while Highlanders started operating April 2011.

Historical Fleet[edit]

Marine Atlantic inherited numerous vessels from CN Marine in 1986, all of which have since been disposed of. Many of these vessels have gone through numerous ownership changes and, given their advanced age, many have also been scrapped.

Cabot Strait

Joseph and Clara Smallwood and Caribou were among the largest ferry vessels operating in North America. Classed "100A1" by Lloyd's with an ice classification of "Northern Baltic 1A Super," these vessels have similar dimensions as medium-sized cruise ships. They are based on a unique Canadian hull-design called "Gulfspan". Their dimensions are 27,000 registered tons[specify] and 179 metres long, carrying 1,200 passengers, 100 crew, and 370 automobile-equivalent vehicles. Joseph and Clara Smallwood was retired in March 2011. After a 6 months layup the ships were sold in August 2011 to a scrapyard in Alang, India.

Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy
Labrador coast
Newfoundland south coast
Northumberland Strait
For further information on ferries which operated on Northumberland Strait prior to Marine Atlantic's service (1986-1997), see Confederation Bridge.

Corporate history[edit]

Marine Atlantic was established in 1986 to take over the provision of ferry services in Atlantic Canada which had previously been operated by CN Marine, a subsidiary of Canadian National Railway. Its headquarters were in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Extensive budget cuts by the Government of Canada during the latter part of the 1990s led to a drastic downsizing of Marine Atlantic's operations, precipitated by the 1997 opening of the Confederation Bridge which replaced Marine Atlantic's most heavily used ferry service, the constitutionally-mandated ferry to Prince Edward Island.

Later in 1997, the company transferred the operation of its Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine ferry services between Saint John, New Brunswick-Digby, Nova Scotia and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia-Bar Harbor, Maine to the private-sector company Bay Ferries Limited, a subsidiary of Northumberland Ferries Limited.

That year also saw Marine Atlantic remove itself from the provision of coastal ferry services in Newfoundland and Labrador with the transfer of operations to the provincial government at the end of the 1997 shipping season. This agreement was reached between the federal and provincial governments in exchange for federal funding to extend regional roads such as the Trans-Labrador Highway to service coastal communities. These coastal ferry services had been initiated by the Newfoundland Railway and were assumed by Canadian National Railways, following the province's entry into Confederation in 1949, although they were not constitutionally mandated. Also in 1997 Marine Atlantic sold off its Newfoundland Dockyard, located in St. John's, Newfoundland to a private operator. The dockyard built in the 1880s was at one point in time owned by the Reid Newfoundland Company, then in 1923 was taken over by the Newfoundland Railway company. when Newfoundland joined Canada ownership passed to Canadian National.

In 1998, the company moved its headquarters from Moncton to St. John's, after briefly considering North Sydney and Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador.

In late 2004, the federal government announced the appointment of a three-member committee tasked with examining future operations of Marine Atlantic. One of the options that was reportedly considered included privatization, however the subsequent report called for improved service through fleet renewal, lower fares, increased frequency of crossings, and moving the headquarters to Port aux Basques.

In 2010, Marine Atlantic announced that the Canadian government was planning to invest around $900 million in the ferry operations. Two ferries, the MV Caribou and MV Joseph and Clara Smallwood, are to be replaced by newer ships chartered from Stena Line. On land, all three terminals at Marine Atlantic's ports were planned receive extensive renovations, including the construction of a new terminal building at the North Sydney facility.[4][6]

Former routes[edit]

From its inception in 1986 until 1997, Marine Atlantic operated the following routes:

Newfoundland Dockyard[edit]

Marine Atlantic operated the Newfoundland Dockyard, a dry dock located in St. John's from 1986 until its sale in 1997. This facility had been established by the Newfoundland Railway to build and repair its coastal ferries. In 1949 it was transferred to Canadian National Railways after that company assumed ownership of the Newfoundland Railway when the country entered Confederation. Its responsibility was transferred to the railway's subsidiary CN Marine in 1977 and then to Marine Atlantic in 1986. Upon its privatization in 1997, it was renamed NewDock-St. John's Dockyard Company.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Charter of MS Superfast IX". Tallink press release. Tallink. 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  2. ^ "Atlantic Vision chosen as ship’s new name". The Western Star. 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  3. ^ "Our Ship is coming and she's a beauty". Marine Atlantic. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  4. ^ a b "Government of Canada invests in TWO ferries for Marine Atlantic Inc.". May 21, 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
  5. ^ "New Marine Atlantic Ferries Honour Military Units". September 29, 2010. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
  6. ^ "GOVERNMENT OF CANADA INVESTS OVER HALF A BILLION DOLLARS IN THE REVITALIZATION OF MARINE ATLANTIC INC.". Marine Atlantic. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 

External links[edit]