Matane-Cote-Nord maritime crossing: MV NM Saaremaa I arrives in Quebec

The ship NM Saaremaa I, acquired a few weeks ago to eventually ensure the sea crossing between Matane and the North Shore, arrives in Quebec to be prepared for commissioning in July.
His crossing of the Atlantic Ocean was delayed by bad weather.

The Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ) reports that the vessel NM CTMA Voyageur is crossing the St. Lawrence between Matane, Baie-Comeau and Godbout until May 31st. Effective June 1, the NM Félix-Antoine-Savard will take over with a capacity of 376 passengers and 70 vehicles until NM Saaremaa I is ready to sail on this crossing.

The STQ added that the air link will be maintained until the arrival of NM Saaremaa I, a vessel with a capacity of 600 passengers, 150 cars and 12 trucks. The vessel with a length of almost 100 meters was built in Norway in 2010.

The Société des traversiers hopes that the entry into service of NM Saaremaa I will help put an end to a series of misfortunes that have experienced the crossing between Matane, Baie-Comeau and Godbout for several months.

The trouble began last December when the MV F.-A-Gauthier was placed in dry dock in Quebec City due to recurring thruster problems, even if it is an almost new ship. He will not resume the crossings until August, at the earliest.

The NM Apollo, a boat built in 1970 that was purchased for temporary relief, was involved in two incidents before being deemed unfit for service. Other vessels have been involved, including the MV CTMA Voyageur and the NM CTMA Vacancier, but for short periods.

Temporary air service has been established between the two sides of the St. Lawrence River to transport passengers. However, people having to cross the river with their car or truck were forced to make a detour of more than 800 kilometers.

The business community and citizens on both sides of the river expressed their deep irritation.

At the end of January, the Quebec government announced the firing of the acting president and CEO of the Société des traversiers, François Bertrand, speaking of a breach of trust.

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