MV CARIBOU RETIRES

Super ferry MV Caribou to make her final run

MV Caribou Steams Through Ice Off North Sydney 

Julie Collins – Cape Breton Post

In this file photo, the MV Caribou travels through ice as she makes her way in to port in North Sydney.

Published on November 23rd, 2010

Published on November 23rd, 2010

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post 

NORTH SYDNEY — The MV Caribou, a vessel that has served the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia since 1986, will make her final voyage later this week.

Topics :

Marine Atlantic , MV Blue Puttees , North Sydney , Port aux Basques , Canada

The Caribou is currently scheduled to leave North Sydney for the final time Thursday at   10:30 p.m., with the last scheduled sailing from Port aux Basques to depart at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

The Caribou will be decommissioned and berthed at an alternate site in North Sydney until future plans for her sale are finalized.

During her 24 years of service, it’s estimated the Caribou made more than 16,000 trips, carried approximately 3,000,000 passengers and over 2,000,000 vehicles.

“The retirement of the MV Caribou from the fleet will certainly be a bittersweet day within our corporation,” said Marine Atlantic’s president and CEO Wayne Follett. “While we are very excited about the potential of our new vessels and moving toward a modern and efficient fleet to better service our customers, we have many fond memories of the MV Caribou and the service she provided over the past 24 years. While the time has come to replace her, we will always recognize the contribution she made to our fleet during her years of service.”

The Caribou made its inaugural voyage May 12, 1986, crossing the Gulf of St.  Lawrence from North Sydney to Port aux Basques. Displacing over 16,000 tonnes and measuring 179 metres in length, the Caribou was the largest ferry ever built in Canada when it entered service. The vessel was named in memory of the SS Caribou that was sunk by German U-boats in the Second World War, killing 137 passengers and crew.

“This vessel has been the flagship of our fleet for many years and we will keep her memory alive and well within MAI.”

The retirement of the Caribou marks another milestone in the transition to a modern and efficient fleet with the arrival of the MV Blue Puttees and the MV Highlanders.

Marine Atlantic is expected to take delivery of the Blue Puttees in early December followed by the Highlanders later in the new year.

“It is fair to say that capacity this summer was just not there to keep up with the demand,” Follett said. “We are very excited about the new fleet. It will significantly expand our capacity, increase our on time service and provide the customers with more modem amenities.”

The Leif Ericson is expected to undergo a mid-life refit in January which will cost approximately $17 million.

“In the spring Marine Atlantic will have a totally renewed fleet with larger capacity and a much higher level of dependability,” he said. “At Marine Atlantic we are very excited to be able to move to an improved level of service starting in 2011.”

(jcollins@cbpost.com)

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