Transportation and Works
May 25, 2018

Provincial Government Enhancing Passenger, Vehicle and Freight Capacity for Northern Labrador Ferry Service

For the first time in the province’s history, communities in northern Labrador will be provided with roll on, roll off ferry services that will change the way residents travel to and from their communities.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) for ferry services for the north coast of Labrador issued today will allow residents to drive their vehicles onto the ferry and drive off at another port on the route.

Travellers who wish to take their vehicles must currently have them transported as freight on the MV Astron and then travel as a passenger on the MV Northern Ranger or fly to their destination.

The RFP requires the successful proponent to use a ferry that can transport a minimum of 20 passenger-vehicles and as many as 140 passengers, and increase the number of freight units it can transport from 110 to 125. The ferry must also travel from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Rigolet, Makkovik, Postville, Hopedale, Natuashish, and Nain and back within a seven-day span.

The vessel must not be older than 15 years old when the service starts and must also be 1A ice-class.

The contract will be 15 years in length and will have an option for extension.

The deadline to submit proposals is July 11, 2018. The contract is expected to be awarded in September for service to begin in June 2019.

The current ferry service for northern Labrador transports approximately 6,000 passengers and 11,000 tons of freight yearly.

Issuing the RFP to continue ferry services across the northern Labrador delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation and deliver better services for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at

“The ferry service is the lifeline for the communities of northern Labrador. This RFP, combined with our investments in the Trans-Labrador Highway, will have significant social and economic impacts for residents and businesses and improve the transportation of goods and services to and from all communities in Labrador.”
Honourable Steve Crocker
Minister of Transportation and Works

“This is welcome news for residents of Nunatsiavut and Natuashish, who have been waiting a very long time for an improved ferry service. A newer ferry will increase capacity, turn-around times and eliminate traffic back-logs, making travel more convenient and accessible.”
Randy Edmunds
Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier and Parliamentary Secretary for Indigenous Affairs and MHA for Torngat Mountains

“Having the ability for passengers, vehicles and freight to travel together from the port in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to communities along the north coast will not only benefit residents, but opens up opportunities for tourist operators and other businesses. I look forward to the awarding of this Request for Proposals and the introduction of a long-awaited addition to Labrador’s transport network.”
Honourable Perry Trimper
MHA for Lake Melville

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Learn more
The Way Forward

Marine Services –

Provincial Government to Increase Passenger, Vehicle and Freight Capacity for Strait of Belle Isle Ferry Services –

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Media contact
Rod Drover
Transportation and Works
709-729-1758, 730-4607

Kristina George
Government Members Office

2018 05 25                             3:40 p.m.