Fundy Rose ferry makes debut in Saint John
The Fundy Rose made its debut at the Saint John ferry terminal Wednesday, and while some concerns are being raised about its size, the ferry is getting mostly positive reviews.
“The vessel is very impressive, brand new, and quite a contrast to the old one, but the old one was 45 years old,” says former Saint John resident John Brannen.
The new ferry is 124 metres long and can hold more than 1,300 passengers. The Fundy Rose is replacing the Princess of Acadia, which can hold 650 passengers. However, the Princess of Acadia is longer than the new ferry by 22 metres and can carry 22 trucks, compared to 14 trucks on the Fundy Rose.
Truck drivers say that may cause some issues during their busier seasons.
“Maybe certain times, like lobster season and fisheries, but regular use, it probably won’t notice a big difference,” says truck driver Andrew Messer.
“The limited truck space is going to be dealt with by adding sailings so, for instance, when there’s peak traffic of fisheries, as an operator the best thing we can do is actually add more frequency of sailings, so when we traditionally might only do one trip, we’re planning on doing two,” says Donald Cormier, the vice-president of operations at Bay Ferries.
The trip between Saint John and Digby typically takes about three hours on the Princess of Acadia, but Capt. David Doucet estimates it can be done in roughly two hours and 15 minutes on the Fundy Rose.
“The ship has a stabilizer fin, so she’ll be a better ride in the wintertime for passengers, where the other one didn’t,” says Doucet. “She has twice as much horsepower as the other one…she’s got 22,000 more horsepower.”
The inside of the vessel is now equipped with 774 seats, including 250 airline seats, dining areas, a children’s play area and pet kennels.
There is no date set for the Fundy Rose to start making runs. The Princess of Acadia will continue its service until the new ferry is ready to set sail.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ashley Blackford