OCTOBER 29, 2014 — The Canadian Government has signed an agreement with Attica Holdings S.A. of Greece to acquire the RoPax ferry Blue Star Ithaki tfor a total cash consideration of EUR 31.2 million (about Canadian $44.6 million). It will replace the MV Princess of Acadia, which serves the Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia ferry route, operated by Bay Ferries Ltd. Delivery of the vessel is scheduled for the first half of November, 2014 at the port of Piraeus, Greece.
According to Transport Canada, the purchase followed an extensive evaluation process, which involved identifying and assessing the suitability of candidate vessels from all over the world, including Canada.
The 124 m x 19 m Blue Star Ithaki was built by Daewoo in 2000 and was selected as representing the best value for Canadians and having the capacity to meet the operational requirements of the Saint John-Digby ferry service. The vessel’s introduction into service is expected in 2015.
Upon arrival of the vessel in Canada, modifications will need to be made for the vessel to meet Canadian safety regulations and compatibility with existing shore-based infrastructure and operation in the Bay of Fundy.