The Government of Ontario has signed a contract with Damen Shipyards Group for the design, build and delivery for two “road” ferries to operate in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes from 2019 and 2020.
The new ferries will be a 68-meter Damen Road Ferry 6819 and a 98-meter Damen Road Ferry 9819, both designed in-house by Damen and fully customized for the local infrastructure. Although one vessel is 30 meters longer than the other, they will share many design features and equipment specifications, and both will be hybrid-ready, enabling them to be fitted with batteries when required.
Based in Kingston and Loyalist Township, Ontario, at the northeastern end of Lake Ontario, the new ferries will be significantly larger than the existing vessels and will help more people, vehicles and goods travel to and from the islands. The larger of the two new ferries will serve the nearby Wolfe Island while the smaller will serve Amherst Island, just a few kilometers to the west. The new ferries – scheduled for delivery at the end of 2019 (Amherst) and at the end of 2020 (Wolfe) – are expected to make crossings faster for the one million passengers and 500,000 vehicles which travel annually between Wolfe Island and Kingston, and the 270,000 passengers and 130,000 vehicles which travel to and from Amherst Island each year.
“Investing in new ferries will keep these beautiful island communities connected to the Ontario mainland,” Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation, said in a statement. “In addition to moving people to and from Wolfe and Amherst Islands, these new ferries will generate local economic opportunities and growth that will benefit all residents.”
Leo Postma, Damen Sales Manager, commented, “A rigorous tender process is always a test of how competitive we are and we are very pleased with the result. This new contract is a continuation of successful sales into Canada
by Damen and the two new ships will take the number of Damen ferries operating in the country up to eight, along with other Damen workboats. More are also currently under construction. As a result of orders such as these, Damen Shipyards Galati is becoming an international center of excellence for the production of ferries.”