Eastern Quebec ferry docked indefinitely, passengers offered flights until Christmas

A ferry linking towns in eastern Quebec is out of service indefinitely due to technical problems and passengers are being offered flights in the lead-up to Christmas.

F.-A.-Gauthier has capacity to transport 500 people per trip

Passengers with tickets aboard the F.-A.-Gauthier are being contacted about the situation. (William Bastille-Denis/Radio-Canada)

A ferry linking towns in eastern Quebec is out of service indefinitely due to technical problems. Passengers are being offered flights instead in the lead-up to Christmas.

The F.-A.-Gauthier Ferry has been docked since Monday as the provincial ferry service — Société des traversiers (STQ) — investigated the problem. 

"It's an unfortunate situation that's come about at a really bad time," acting STQ CEO François Bertrand said.  

Flights are being offered to passengers up until Dec. 24. The ferry service is advising passengers to book a seat on the chartered aircraft ahead of time. 

The STQ is promising to offer more information about the post-Christmas period shortly. 

As of Jan. 8, another ferry will be put in service to take over the F.-A.-Gauthier Ferry route until it is fixed. 

The F.-A.-Gauthier Ferry transports 500 people per trip between Matane and Baie-Comeau, and Matane and Godbout.

The STQ was hoping to have the ferry back in operation by Christmas Eve, but the service announced Thursday that won't happen.

With files from Franca Mignacca