11/04/2013 Leave a comment
Quebec-based Groupe Desgagnés and its subsidiary Relais Nordik have announced the arrival of the new coastal passenger and cargo ship Bella Desgagnés in the Gulf of St Lawrence. Built in Croatia and completed in Italy, the Bella Desgagés made her Canadian landfall at Halifax on April 9, and arrived at Blanc-Sablon, at the Quebec/Labrador border on the Strait of Belle Isle, on April 11. The ship was about four days late because of Atlantic storms.
The Bella Desgagnés was built to serve the route from Rimouski, on the south shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence, via Sept Iles and Anticosti, to a range of ports on the Lower North Shore as far downstream as Blanc Sablon. From Blanc Sablon, there is regular ferry service across the Strait of Belle Isle to St Barbe, Newfoundland.
At 312 feet in length, 63½ feet beam and only 14½ feet draft, the Bella Desgagnés can accommodate 381 guests, including deck passengers. The new ship has 63 cabins (some de luxe) accommodating 160 passengers in berths, dining room, cafeteria, lecture room and other passenger facilities. Measuring 6,588 gross tons, she will replace the much smaller 1,749-ton Nordik Express, which has been on the route since 1987.
The Bella Desgagnés can also carry 125 TEU of containers and her own 30 ton long-reach crane to handle them. She is built to Ice Class IA and can reach a speed of 15 knots. Her propulsion system consists of four diesel engines driving two electric motors and two azimuthing stern drives. She also has two bow thrusters and has manoeuverability similar to a large harbour tug.
Relais Nordik is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Groupe Desgagnés Inc. It transports passengers, general cargo and vehicles from the main terminals of Rimouski, Sept-Îles, Havre-Saint-Pierre and Natashquan, and to the eight ports of the communities it serves at Port-Menier, Kegaska, La Romaine, Harrington Harbour, Tête-à-la-Baleine, La Tabatière, Saint Augustin and Blanc Sablon. Round voyages are also offered from Rimouski.
Cruises of 7 nights duration will be offered from Rimouski. Present fares for the Nordik Express start at $1,258.40 per person in a superior cabin, or $1,494.86 in a de luxe cabin. Fares for the Bella Desgagnés will be announced shortly. Summer cruises leave Rimouski every Tuesday at 12:30 pm and return from Blanc Sablon on Fridays.
For details of how to book the Bella Desgagnés‘ weekly round voyage as a cruise please e-mail The Cruise People Ltd in London at firstname.lastname@example.org or in North America e-mail email@example.com.
Photo of Bella Desgagnés courtesy Groupe Desgagnés. Image of Sable I by Quebec artist Jean-Pierre Charest.