Weather Challenges and our Commitment to our Customers

by Captain Shri Madiwal, Director of Fleet Operations

Due to the current and extended severe weather forecasts in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, we are anticipating the potential for an extended delay in service over the next several days.

With wind gusts anticipated of up to 100 knots (185 km/h) and sea states of up to 9 metres, our Captains have made the decision to cancel all Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 and Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 crossings.

The current weather forecasts indicate high winds may extend into Saturday, Sunday and Monday and we anticipate potential impacts to our sailing schedule in the days ahead. Our Captains will continue to monitor the forecasts and make their sailing decisions in advance to provide as much information as possible to assist you in making your travel plans.

As we know, winter in Atlantic Canada can be challenging and we are constantly monitoring the forecasts issued by Environment Canada. While preparing for an upcoming crossing, each Captain reviews the forecast and discusses it with the vessel and terminal teams. The three important factors that are considered when making this decision are wind speed, wind direction, and wave heights.

There is no doubt that the weather over the past few weeks has presented challenges for our customers. While we understand the impact this is having, safety is our main consideration when making final decisions to sail.

Our commitment to our customers is that as soon as weather conditions permit, we will resume sailings. If that means a timeframe other than our regularly scheduled crossing, we will do whatever is necessary to begin moving traffic. Our crews are ready, and if necessary, we will add additional crossings to increase our capacity and move traffic as efficiently as possible.

Customers with reservations will receive updates regarding their sailing times as soon as sailing decisions are made.

If there is the potential for disruption, updated information will be posted on our website at All advisories are issued through our Twitter account @maferries, and also available on our Facebook page Marine Atlantic.

For more information on how sailing decisions are made, please visit our blog “How Sailing Decisions Are Made During Poor Weather Conditions.