Nfld. & Labrador

MV Legionnaire on its way to N.L. after long wait in Romania

The MV Legionnaire is on its way to Newfoundland and Labrador — eight months after it was expected to make its first Bell Island run.

Passenger ferry was expected to make its 1st Bell Island run eight months ago

The MV Legionnaire was officially launched in Bucharest, Romania, in July 2015. The ferry, which was originally expected to begin its first Bell Island run in March, is only now on its way to Newfoundland. (Damen Shipyards)

The MV Legionnaire is on its way to Newfoundland and Labrador — eight months after it was expected to make its first Bell Island run.

CBC has learned that the $50-million passenger ferry, built in Romania and launched there in 2015, is heading to the province after being kept overseas while government finished upgrading wharfs in Portugal Cove and Bell Island.

In May, documents obtained through access to information revealed the wharf work was expected to finish $1.3 million over budget.

In addition, the provincial Department of Transportation and Works said it was costing $51,000 a month to keep the Legionnaire in Romania, with an additional $36,000 for dry-docking before its departure.

According to Marine Traffic, an online maritime database, the MV Legionnaire is currently in Gibraltar.

A spokeswoman for the Transportation Department confirmed to CBC the ferry is on its way to the province, but said Minister Al Hawkins was unavailable Wednesday for comment. The ferry is scheduled to arrive Nov. 14.

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