The Government of Ontario and Damen Shipyards Group have signed a contract for the design, build and delivery of two “road” ferries to operate in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.

The ferries will be a 68m Damen Road Ferry 6819 and a 98m Damen Road Ferry 9819.

Although one vessel is 30m longer than the other they will share many design features and equipment specifications.

Both will also be hybrid-ready, enabling them to be fitted with batteries when required and are being designed in-house by Damen to be fully customised for the local infrastructure.

The ferries will be based in Kingston and Loyalist Township, Ontario, at the north-eastern end of Lake Ontario.

The larger of the two new ferries will serve the nearby Wolfe Island while the smaller will serve Amherst Island, just a few kilometres to the west.

The new ferries are expected to make crossings faster for the one million passengers and 500,000 vehicles which travel annually between Wolfe Island and Kingston, and the 270,000 passengers and 130,000 vehicles which travel to and from Amherst Island each year.

They are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2019 (Amherst) and at the end of 2020 (Wolfe).