FREDERICTON (CNB) – The new Grand Manan ferry is en route to New Brunswick from Florida, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claude Williams announced today.

The Grand Manan Adventure departed the Eastern Shipbuilding Group shipyard in Panama City on July 20. The travel time is expected to be slightly more than five days. Upon arrival in Blacks Harbour, the ferry will undergo trials and provisioning as well as additional training for the crew before it goes into service.

"It is exciting news that the ferry and its crew are now on their way home to New Brunswick," said Williams. "The 82-vehicle Grand Manan Adventure will improve ferry service for Island residents and will also open up tremendous growth potential for tourism and other commercial operations."

The Grand Manan V and the Grand Manan will continue to operate between Blacks Harbour and Grand Manan until the new ferry begins service.

The province has invested about $68 million – including $14 million in the 2011-12 capital budget – in the construction of the vessel.