Transportation and Works
September 7, 2018

Minister Crocker Announces Stronger, More Reliable Marine Services Transportation Network for Labrador

The Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Transportation and Works, today announced a significantly enhanced marine transportation network for Labrador that will see two modern and capable vessels servicing the Strait of Belle Isle and the north coast for years to come.

The Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development and MHA for Cartwright - L’Anse au Clair; the Honourable Perry Trimper, MHA for Lake Melville; and Yvonne Jones, MP for Labrador, joined Minister Crocker in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for the announcement. Randy Edmunds, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier and Parliamentary Secretary for Indigenous Affairs and MHA for Torngat Mountains, also joined Minister Crocker and MP Jones in Nain to discuss the announcement with the public.

The two new vessels will improve the way passengers, freight, and vehicles are transported throughout Labrador and across the Strait of Belle Isle. Both are highly maneuverable, can dock and unload bow or stern first, and are 1A ice class certified and capable of operating to standard in heavy sea ice conditions. In addition, the new vessels boast features such as full accessibility for passengers with disabilities, a full service cafeteria and modern washrooms. Residents on the north coast will receive freight service weekly and for the first time in the province’s history, communities in northern Labrador will have roll-on, roll-off ferry services for a minimum of 20 passenger vehicles. This will change the way residents travel to and from their communities.

The MV Hiiumaa will replace the 48-year-old MV Apollo to service the Strait of Belle Isle beginning in March 2019. The vessel is just seven years old and has a capacity of 300 passengers, 120 passenger vehicles and eight tractor trailers. It will mean significantly increased capacities for the route between Blanc Sablon and St. Barbe, with room for an additional 60 passengers and an additional 35 vehicles over the former vessel.

The MV Grete will replace the 47-year-old MV Astron and the 32-year-old MV Northern Ranger beginning in June 2019. The eight-year-old vessel will bring increased capacities to the route from Happy Valley-Goose Bay through Rigolet, Makkovik, Postville, Hopedale, Natuashish, Nain and Black Tickle with room for 140 passengers and 125 units of freight.

The new vessels will increase the overall reliability of the crucial marine services link between Labrador and the island of Newfoundland. Being sister vessels, the MV Grete is capable of providing relief service across the Strait of Belle Isle during its winter off season, when refits and/or planned maintenance are required on the MV Hiiumaa.

Both Request for Proposals processes have awarded contracts to Labrador Marine Inc. The contract for the Strait of Belle Isle is valued at approximately $11.9 million per year for a 12-year term. The contract for the north coast of Labrador is valued at approximately $14.6 million per year for a 15-year term, delivered in partnership with Nunatsiavut Marine Inc.

These initiatives deliver on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation and deliver better services and better outcomes 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

“We are proud to deliver enhanced marine services for coastal Labrador and across the Strait of Belle Isle. These are modern vessels with greater capacities to reliably serve the needs of our communities and increase economic opportunities for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. We are confident that Labrador Marine Inc. has presented a sound plan to deliver the level of service these routes require, and we are particularly pleased that the contractor has partnered with Nunatsiavut Marine Inc. for the new service to communities on the north coast.”
Honourable Steve Crocker
Minister of Transportation and Works

“Enhanced marine service for both the North Coast and Straits will create new opportunities for businesses throughout Labrador, particularly with respect to the supply of goods and services and the tourism sector. The Labrador North Chamber of Commerce is pleased with the government’s continued commitment to improve key transportation infrastructure in Labrador, and looks forward to future developments that positively impact the standard of living for all Labradorians.”
Sterling Peyton
Chair, Labrador North Chamber of Commerce

“Labrador Marine Inc. is very pleased to be awarded the contracts to provide new vessels and an enhanced marine transportation service for the North Coast of Labrador and the Strait of the Belle Isle. In response to the Request for Proposals issued by the Provincial Government, we have acquired two modern, ice class vessels that we are confident will double the capacity to transport passengers, freight and vehicles to and from communities on the North Coast, and between Blanc Sablon and St. Barbe on the Island-Labrador Straits run. As a Labrador company providing a vital service to Labradorians and other users of these marine transportation networks, we are extremely proud to be part of positive developments for trade and tourism in this region and the province. We are also pleased that this is our first joint venture with the Nunatsiavut Group of Companies and look forward to the new relationship.”
Peter Woodward,
President and CEO, Labrador Marine Inc.

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Learn More
The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador:

Marine Services:

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

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

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

Sterling Peyton
Labrador North Chamber of Commerce

Peter Woodward
Labrador Marine Inc.

2018 09 07                              10:55 a.m.