All aboard MV Pelee Islander 2: ferry service resumes with new vessel

After a quiet celebration at the Leamington dock, ferry service to Pelee Island will resume Friday evening.

The new boat can hold 400 people and 40 vehicles

Ferry service to and from Pelee Island resumes after a quiet celebration of the new MV Pelee Islander 2. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Visitors to Pelee Island will able to step foot onto a brand-new ferry this season.

MV Pelee Islander 2 will officially be in service as of Friday at 6 p.m., leaving from Leamington.

It's got more horsepower and can hold more people than the Islander 1.

Pelee Island mayor Ray Durocher said the Islander 2 can also "sail in more inclement weather and be easier for the people to dock it."

To celebrate the new fleet addition, there will be a soft launch party involving Pelee Island residents and the Ministry of Transportation at the Leamington port on Friday.

Passengers from the island will be transported from the island on the new ferry to Leamington arriving at 12:30 p.m.

After a brief celebration and tour of the new vessel, it will start its official service back to Pelee Island.

The Islander 2 can hold 399 people and 34 cars, or 16 cars and four tractor trailers.

Meanwhile, the Islander 1 only has the capacity for 128 people and eight vehicles, according to Durocher.

The Pelee Islander 1 will be decommissioned once the Jimaan returns from its repairs. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Durocher said having the new ferry will make a difference for tourism on the island, because it will be able to carry double the people and vehicles from the U.S. to the island.

Local businesses and wineries will be able to profit from more visitors to the island, he said.

Currently, the third member of the fleet Jimaan is scheduled for repairs.

"The Islander 1 will be decommissioned as soon as the Jimaan comes back into service," said Durocher.

With files from Robin Brown


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