The MV Caribou left the Marine Atlantic dock at Port aux Basques Friday morning on the last of its more than 160,000 trips to North Sydney, N.S.
The 24-year-old ship is making way for the next generation of ferries ? a pair of modified ferry/cargo vessels from Swedish shipping company Stena Group, scheduled to go into service next year.
The Blue Puttees arrives next month and the Highlanders is scheduled to arrive in April.
Marine Atlantic expects to take possession of Blue Puttees in early December ? just before the ship begins its transatlantic crossing from a German shipyard.
Wayne Follett, president and CEO of Marine Atlantic, said the ferry will go into service by the end of February.
He said he"s often asked why they decided to convert a pair of ferries rather than build new ones.
The answer: a shortage of time and a shortage of ice-strengthened super ferries available for sale or charter.
?We did not have the time to go for new builds, because new builds would take us over five years to complete. So, we had to look at existing vessels,? he said.
?We need that capacity in place to address the growing demand that we"ve seen and we expect to continue next summer.?