Nfld. & Labrador

Residents 'in awe' of new Fogo Island-Change Islands ferry

People who use the ferry service for Fogo Island and Changes Islands got to ride their brand new ferry this weekend, as the MV Veteran went into service Saturday.
The MV Veteran is officially on duty for the Fogo Island-Change Islands run, replacing the MV Captain Earl W. Winsor ferry. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

People who use the ferry service for Fogo Island and Changes Islands got to ride their brand-new ferry this weekend, as the MV Veteran went into service Saturday.

"Awesome. All I can say is awesome — it's a mini cruise ship," says Maureen Lynch, chair of the Fogo Island Transportation Committee.

Lynch said the high winds Sunday caused service interruptions so she hasn't yet taken the ferry ride, except for a tour when it was in St. John's.

"Everybody that I've spoken to is in awe of the … state-of-the-art boat. I mean, she is just a beautiful ship," Lynch told CBC's Central Morning Show.

"I think people are more excited because of the design of the ship — nobody was expecting that type of a boat to be the ferry for here."

Lynch said the main goal is "no more break downs" in service.

While the new ferry can only accommodate three or four vehicles more than the MV Captain Earl W. Winsor, the ferry previously servicing the run, Lynch said it will hopefully fare better for the busy spot.

"Over the past year, especially this year, tourism is big on Fogo Island and it is growing tremendously. I don't know if this ferry is going to be able to keep up with the demands on her, to be honest, especially doing two islands," she said.

The brand-new Fogo Island-Change Islands ferry, the MV Veteran, went into service yesterday. Here to tell us what it's like is Maureen Lynch chairs of the Fogo Island transportation committee. 4:42

"End up probably having to put another boat on for Change Islands — I'm anticipating that this year because tourism has gone growing in leaps and bounds here."

However, Lynch said it "remains to be seen" how the new ferry handles ice in the cold winter months and that the work of the transportation committee is "definitely not" done.

"We need to keep at government, we need a better schedule than what we do have, because coming Jan. 2, we're going back on the winter schedule," she said.

"I don't know why but for whatever reason the government decided to go with two different schedules for Fogo Island-Change Islands. It [doesn't] make sense."

Government officials were in the Fogo Island area Monday to host an official launch of the vessel. 

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