Tuesday, December 19, 2023

C.T.M.A. Vacancier - off to scrap

 The veteran passenger / ferry C.T.M.A. Vacançier has been sold for scrap to India. Details are sketchy so far (will it be towed or sail on its own - how about the Red Sea?) but the ship's Canadian registration was closed December 14, and for now the ship is still alongside in "warm" layup in Georgetown, PE.


Running in excess of 20 knots the ship made up time, due to the whale protection "slow zones" in the Gulf of St.Lawrence. 

Starting in 2002 the ship ran a weekly seasonal service between Montreal and Cap-aux-Meules (Grindstone) Magdalen Islands carrying tourists, passengers and cars. The 10 week season allowed for about 30 trips. Its customary early Thursday morning upbound passage off my cottage in Quebec was announced by its two booming V-16 Stork Werkspoor main engines, which could be heard well in advance. In winter, thanks to its Baltic ice class the ship took over the Souris, PE to Cap-aux-Meules service.

At the end of the summer season in October 2019 the ship was laid up. In 2020 it was chartered to the Société des Traversiers du Quebec (STQ) for the Matane / Baie Comeau / Godbout service when the regular ship was in for repairs. It was also available as back up for the C.T.M.A.'s Souris, PE to Cap-aux-Meules service. In 2020 the regular Montreal run was cancelled due to COVID and never resumed.

 The rumoured $100 million cost for a new replacement to run a 10 week summer service could not be justified. However there has been on and off talk of a "used" replacement, and CTMA reps traveled to New Zealand to kick the tires of the Straitsman was but that deal seems to have fallen through. It is getting a little late for another ship to be in service in 2024.

I have covered the details of the 1973 built C.T.M.A. Vacançier several times before on this blog:

February 13, 2015

The new ship for the Souris-Cap-aux-Meules service is still in the design stage by Davie (along with the Holiday Island replacement) and the current "temporary replacement" ship the Madeleine II appears to be in for a long run - until 2029 at least. The recent foofaraw over its stand-in during mandatory drydocking has not been resolved as far as I know. An announcement that the Fundy Rose would be redeployed to the run, leaving no service between Saint John and Digby for four weeks and maybe as much as  eight weeks, caused a huge outcry from southwestern Nova Scotia, and the move was soon rescinded by the federal minister. (Like most ferries it is ownrd by the Federal Government). 

The C.T.M.A. Vacançier on the other hand has been owned outright by CTMA (the Coopérative de Transport Martitime et Aérien). and was never considered for the Saint John - Digby run. (I suspect some of its certificates may have expired.) 

The ship's official name on the Canadian register had periods after the letters, thus C.T.M.A., but it was ofter referred to in various sources as simply CTMA. Similary ts owners aslo have the periods in thir name, but are often called CTMA.

Although I never travelled on the ship, its weekly appearance over many years made it a fixture, and so it will be missed.


No comments:

Post a Comment