Leif Ericson ferry

Former name: Stena Challenger

Leif Ericson ferry current position

Leif Ericson ferry current location is at North West Atlantic Ocean (coordinates 46.85196 N / -59.74387 W) cruising at speed of 15.8 kn (29 km/h | 18 mph) en route to NSY. The AIS position was reported 11 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Leif Ericson ferry

Year of build1991  /  Age: 33
Flag state Canada
BuilderFosen Mekaniske Verksteder (Rissa, Norway)
Classcruiseferry (Ro-Pax ship)
Ferry route / homeportsNorth Sydney-Port aux Basques
Building costEUR 15 million
Speed18 kn / 33 km/h / 21 mph
Length (LOA)157 m / 515 ft
Beam (width)24 m / 79 ft
Gross Tonnage18523 gt
Freight vehicles100
Last Refurbishment2017
Sister-shipsPatria Seaways
Former namesStena Challenger

Leif Ericson ferry Review

Review of Leif Ericson ferry

MS Leif Ericson ferry is a Ro-Pax passenger vessel operated by the Canada-based company MARINE ATLANTIC. The ship has a max capacity of 500 passengers and 480 cars (or 100 lorries). The vessel was launched in 1991 and currently operates on the Canadian (Nova Scotia-Newfoundland) ferry route North Sydney-Port aux Basques (crossing time 7 hours, year-round, 7 days a week).


As cruise ferry, Leif Ericson has a total of 96 berths. All staterooms are air-conditioned and with en-suite bathrooms. Each cabin accommodates up to 4 passengers and offers as amenities en-suite bathroom (WC, shower, single-sink vanity, mirror, 1 power outlet for shaving), LCDTV (in 2-bed and Deluxe cabins only), linens, duvets, pillows, towels, toiletries, mirrored vanity table (writing desk with stool, 1 power outlet), phone, hairdryer, full-length mirror.

Leif Ericson ferry ship (MARINE ATLANTIC)

Leif Ericson stateroom categories include:

  • (deck 6) 2-berth / Twin Outside (2 lower beds)
  • (deck 6) 4-berth "Family Cabin" / Quad Outside (2 lower beds + 2 upper bunk beds)
  • (deck 6) 4-berth "Disabled Cabin" / Quad Outside (4 berths / 2 lower + 2 upper bunks, including 1 bed with grab bars; bathroom with wider door, a wheelchair-accessible shower, grab bars, alarms)
  • (deck 6) Deluxe Outside (1 queen bed, mini-fridge with complimentary beverages/juice, soda, bottled water)
  • Pets (including in pet carriers) are not permitted in passenger cabins.
  • All 2-berth cabins provide TV monitoring of the kennels. Visits of the pet during the voyage are recommended.

All passengers must vacate their suites 30 min prior to homeport arrival.

For reserved seating, passengers can upgrade to the lounge with 500 reclining seats.

Shipboard dining and entertainment options

As facilities, the Leif Ericson ship offers:

  • The Pantry (buffet-style venue during the peak summer season, sit-down table service for the year's remainder)
  • Snack Bar (24-hour open food bar)
  • Cafe Bar
  • Video Games Room (with arcade machines)
  • Children's play area (indoor playground) and Pirate's Hide-away Playroom
  • Reception Desk (passenger services)
  • Internet kiosk, Gift Shop, passenger washrooms, and baby changing room
  • Promenade Deck (open-air viewing / outer deck with an outdoor smoking-allowed area)
  • Public seating lounge (TVs and reclining seats).
  • Open-air viewing / outer deck with kennel stowage area (for pet carriers, outside entry, with a dog toilet)
  • free Wi-Fi service
  • Midship on the top deck (Heli Deck) there is a helipad - helicopter landing area used in cases of emergency.
  • All bars and lounges are fitted with large flat TVs and comfortable seating.

All onboard emergency instructions are displayed in staterooms, on the TV screens and at the ship's assembly stations (aka muster stations). Life jackets are issued at the assembly stations. In case of emergency, the use of elevators/passenger lifts is forbidden.

Leif Ericson ferry ship (MARINE ATLANTIC)

MARINE ATLANTIC ferry terminals

North Sydney (Nova Scotia) is located on the Sydney Harbour's northern side and along Cape Breton Island's eastern coast, North Sydney is a major Atlantic Canada port and the MARINE ATLANTIC service's western terminus that links the Trans-Canada Highway with Newfoundland Island (Port aux Basques and Argentia).

  • North Sydney Ferry Terminal has a new building (opened on June 3, 2015, project cost USD 20 million). Wi-Fi coverage is throughout and complimentary.
  • On Floor 1 are located ticket counters, security offices, public washrooms, waiting hall with TVs (satellite reception), baggage area, gift shop, indoor kids play area, Info Centre, Atrium (lower level).
  • On Floor 2 are located drivers lounge, quiet area, staff lounge, Atrium (upper level, with skylight), terminal administration and staff offices passenger-accessible outdoor/open-air terrace.
  • Food service at the terminal is not available.

Argentia (Newfoundland) is a commercial seaport in Placentia NL, located on the island's southwestern coast. The port benefits from a natural harbor with length approx 3 km (2 ml) By the mid-1960s were upgraded all roads connecting Argentia with the Trans-Canada Highway (at Whitbourne).

  • Argentia Ferry Terminal was opened in 1967, serving the regularly scheduled ferry from North Sydney NS. Initially, the crossing time was approx 19 hours. In the 1980s the facility was upgraded and since 1989 is operated by MARINE ATLANTIC, whose super ferry service (during summer only) reduced the crossing time to 14-16 hours.
  • Terminal building's Floor 1 has ticket counters, baggage area, public washrooms (WC / showers), gift shop, indoor kids play area, outdoor kids play area (unsupervised), a waiting hall with TVs. payphones, ATM machine.
  • Floor 2 has a TV lounge, outdoor patio area (overlooks the harbor).
  • Food service at the terminal is not available.

Port aux Basques (Newfoundland) is a port town located on Newfoundland Island's southwestern tip. The MARINE ATLANTIC ferry port terminal is the island's primary port. The town is also the western terminus of Trans-Canada Highway - transcontinental highway system through all 10 Canadian provinces (from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean).

  • Port aux Basques Ferry Terminal building's Floor 1 has ticket counters, office, lobby lounge, public washrooms, cafeteria, TV lounge (waiting hall), gift shop, Info Kiosk.
  • On Floor 2 are located TV lounge (waiting hall), outdoor patio, ferry reservations office, administration area.
  • Food service at the terminal is provided by Cabot Catering.

The route North Sydney-Port aux Basques has a length of 178 km (111 ml). This year-round service was established in 1949. The route North Sydney-Argentia (Placentia) has a length of 520 km (323 ml). This seasonal (summer) service was established in 1967.

Car decks

Car decks (1 to 5) can be loaded on 2 levels with vehicle access from both bow and stern. Passenger access to decks 3 through 8 is via 1 elevator (red) and a stairway (red), both located aft. Passenger access to vehicle decks 1 and 2, as well as to decks 5 through 9 is via 1 elevator (blue) located midship. Passenger access to decks 3 through 8 is via 1 stairway (blue) located midship. Passenger access to vehicle decks is forbidden during the voyage.

Follows a list of car decks-related safety procedures:

  • Disabled passengers or those requiring specific assistance should visit the ship's Information Desk (open 24-hours).
  • Apply handbrake and place the vehicle in park or 1st gear position. Switch off the ignition, alarm, electrical equipment, headlights. Gas cylinders, if any, must be switched off. Lock the vehicle.
  • From your vehicle take only valuables and essential hand baggage.
  • Make a note of your vehicle's location and garage deck number/stairway before leaving the car deck.
  • Access to the ship's vehicle (cargo) decks during the voyage is prohibited.
  • Smoking on vehicle decks, as well as in cabins and passenger lounges is forbidden.
  • Wait for the onboard announcement before returning to your vehicle.

To avoid air pollution, don't start the engine until instructed.

The operator/ship charterer MARINE ATLANTIC (fleet, 1986-founded, St John's NF Canada-headquartered) is a federal/state-owned corporation operating ferries between the Canadian provinces Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Island.

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Leif Ericson ferry Wiki

The vessel was launched on October 4, 1990 (under the name "Stena Challenger") and entered service (maiden voyage) on May 1, 1991. Ferry's sistership is Patria Seaways (DFDS SEAWAYS).

In the period 1991-2001, it was owned and operated by STENA LINE. Following the purchase from STENA LINE, in 2001 MARINE ATLANTIC did an extensive drydock refurbishment and conversion of the ferry to better serve the new route Newfoundland-Nova Scotia (length 178 km / 110 mi). Following the drydock, the ship was renamed to "MS Leif Ericson". In 2011, the vessel underwent another extensive drydock refurbishment (project cost over CAD 18 million).

The ship is powered by two SULZER marine diesel engines (8-cylinder, model ZAL40S) with total power 10,3 MW. The propulsion system includes two controllable pitch propellers.

Note: MARINE ATLANTIC vessels enter drydocks every 2 years for general maintenance works.