Until today, any passenger travelling with a pet had two options: 1) leave it in the car for the whole crossing or 2) stay with it on an outdoor deck the entire time.
After many initiatives, a third option will now be available: passengers will have access to a kennel. About a dozen cages of various sizes to accommodate that many animals will be installed in a room on the boat deck (deck no. 6) near the cabins section. Passengers will now be able to leave their pet in one of these cages for the full crossing yet visit their animal at all times.
The room is strategically located for user access from the car deck via the elevator, so animals do not have to move through the vessel’s interior spaces to reach it. There will also be direct access to the outdoor deck to walk your pet!
A free service... if users cooperate
The CTMA wishes to provide this service to its passengers free of charge. However, users must cooperate to keep this area clean at all time and pick up their pets’ droppings. Otherwise, we may have to charge a supervision and cleaning fee.
A long-term project
Installing a kennel might seem a simple operation, but this project required many steps to complete. The first was obtaining authorization from Transport Canada. Although this was not the first time the CTMA had submitted the project, a specific supplemental budget was finally approved this year, so we were then able to carry out the following steps.
· Free up a room aboard the vessel (former restroom) for conversion to a kennel.
· Ensure that this room was well located for access from the car deck and an outdoor deck.
· Install a new ventilation, air conditioning and heating unit completely independent from the ship’s system, to avoid risks of allergies and odours.
· Insulate the walls to soundproof the room.
· Comply with Transport Canada and Lloyd’s Register (classification society) restrictions applicable to the CTMA for all types of work aboard the vessel.
The kennel should be available for canine passengers as soon as the Madeleine resumes ferry service.