Marine Atlantic (MAI) is welcoming the MV Highlanders to its fleet as the vessel docked in North Sydney for the first time yesterday. The MV Highlanders is the sister ship to the MV Blue Puttees which arrived in Canada earlier this year.
"We are excited to have both our new vessels officially part of the MAI fleet and docked at our port facilities," said Rob Crosbie, Chair of Marine Atlantic's Board of Directors. "Making these modern vessels part of our fleet has been a very significant process and we are very pleased with the result of this hard work. With the MV Blue Puttees preparing to enter service soon and our crew familiarization and training activities set to begin on the MV Highlanders , it is only a matter of time before our customers get to experience one aspect of the improvements being made at Marine Atlantic."
"It was great to be in North Sydney yesterday to greet the MV Highlanders and her crew as the vessel docked in Canada for the first time," said Wayne Follett, President and CEO of MAI. "This vessel will be a great addition for MAI and its customers offering the same increased capacity, improved amenities and greater reliability as exists with her sister ship the MV Blue Puttees . With these vessels working in tandem with the MV Atlantic Vision and our refitted commercial vessel, the MV Leif Ericson, we are well on our way to providing our customers with a modern, efficient and reliable ferry service."
The MV Blue Puttees is expected to enter service soon and the crew of the MV Highlanders will begin their familiarization and training activities. A vessel open house on board the MV Highlanders is being planned for both North Sydney and Port aux Basques, with further details to be announced at a later date.
"The arrival of the MV Highlanders is the latest step in our renewal process. We have a five-year funding commitment from the federal government and we will continue to make strategic investments in our fleet, shore infrastructure and business practices to ensure we improve our service. We fully expect our customers to begin experiencing these improvements this year, with more positive changes coming as we continue to implement our revitalization plan," said Crosbie.
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Highlights of the MV Highlanders
The MV Highlanders has 96 cabins, double what is available on the MV Joseph and Clara Smallwood .
The MV Highlanders has approximately 500 reclining chairs providing customers with comfortable and affordable options to relax during their travel.
The MV Highlanders has approximately 50 per cent more vehicle capacity than the MV Joseph and Clara Smallwood .
The MV Highlanders is designed to efficiently carry both passenger and commercial vehicles with its high deck heads and wide open decks that make loading and unloading easier.
The MV Highlanders has open air sections of the deck where restricted cargo and larger loads can be stored to transport.
The MV Highlanders has three areas for passenger dining that provide a range of options. Passengers can avail of quick service meals such as hot dogs and sandwiches or full course meals, depending on their appetite.
The MV Highlanders has various areas on board to provide entertainment options for children, teens and adults. There is also internet access, gift shops and games for passengers to enjoy.
The MV Highlanders has televisions in cabins and seating areas to allow passengers to select a variety of entertainment options.
The MV Highlanders has elevators to each deck and many amenities to assist persons with disabilities.
The MV Highlanders has animal kennels that allow passengers to put their pets in climatically controlled conditions. Passengers will have access to pets in the kennel.
The MV Highlanders has new way finding signage that is colour coded and will guide passengers to amenities, entertainment options, car decks, cabins and other facilities.
The MV Highlanders has open access decks that permit passengers to go outside and enjoy the panoramic views and fresh air during the ocean crossing.