The government of Ontario and Damen Shipyards Group have signed a contract for the design, build and delivery for two “road” ferries to operate in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes. The ferries will be a 68-metre Damen Road Ferry 6819 and a 98-metre Damen Road Ferry 9819. Although one vessel is 30 metres longer than the other, they will share many design features and equipment specifications. Both will also be hybrid-ready, enabling them to be fitted with batteries when required. Both vessels are being designed in-house by Damen and will be fully customized for the local infrastructure.
The ferries will be based in Kingston and Loyalist Township, Ontario, at the north-eastern end of Lake Ontario. The new ferries will be significantly larger than the existing vessels and will create more economic benefits – helping 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 kilometres to the west. The new ferries 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.
The ferries are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2019 (Amherst) and at the end of 2020 (Wolfe).