The MV Apollo is expected to set sail at 6 a.m. on Friday from Corner Brook, much to the relief of ferry passengers who have been stranded in Corner Brook or Blanc Sablon since Jan. 2.
The ferry, which runs between western Newfoundland and the south coast of Labrador, has been prevented from making its regular crossings because of ice clogging the Strait of Belle Isle.
The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Cornwallis will escort the ferry to Blanc Sablon, in Quebec, just across the border from Labrador, on Friday. The ferry has then been scheduled to depart from Blanc Sablon on Saturday morning.
Passengers stranded for days
Steve Geronazzo of Blanc Sablon figured he has spent about $1,500 in Corner Brook on food and hotel rooms since Jan. 2, and he said he wants answers from Labrador Marine's customer service.
"Are we going to get compensation? It doesn't seem like they are trying very hard to help us," said Geronazzo.
Geronazzo has a reservation for the Friday crossing.
However, Alice Moores of Red Bay, Labrador does not have a reservation on the MV Apollo, and she said she had no idea when she might get a spot on the ferry.
Moores said she has been sleeping on a cot in her daughter's basement in Newfoundland for almost a week.
Ferry route may change
To complicate matters for Moores, Labrador Marine has said if an icebreaker can get to St. Barbe, on Newfoundland's northern peninsula, the company may re-route weekend crossings from Corner Brook to St. Barbe on the Newfoundland side.
"What are people expected to do?" said an exasperated Moores.
"Are you expected to travel those distances, 3.5 to 4 hours just to get there and find that she's on her way back to Corner Brook? You know, it's just crazy."
Moores said she and her family are so frustrated, they have arranged a charter flight home to Red Bay, leaving their car and belongings behind.
Labrador Marine has said it is not accepting new reservations until it deals with its backlog of traffic.