Ferry passengers travelling between North Sydney, N.S. and Argentia, NL on Marine Atlantic are being forced to take a lengthy detour.

The only ferry serving the St. John’s area – the Atlantic Vision – has a mechanical problem and is tied up in North Sydney with a major glitch in the gearbox.

Three return trips, including Friday night’s scheduled departure to Argentia, have been cancelled so far, affecting the travel plans of 1,100 passengers.

A Newfoundland bound motorcyclist from New Jersey and his wife now have to sail to Port aux Basques and then make the ten-hour drive to St. John’s.

“My places have already been booked in St. John’s so I would like to get there if I can,” says Jim Ferguson. “I assume I just have to bite the bullet and take the other ferry.”

Passengers affected by the cancellations are receiving refunds and being offered free passage to Port aux Basques.

Marine Atlantic is awaiting parts for the Atlantic Vision. It says the earliest the service could resume is Tuesday.