CTMA announced that nearly 2,000 spaces have already been freed up for summer crossings in 2021 on its new website.
Nearly 8,700 reservations have been made for the period from June 15 to Sept. 14, with four or five trips currently sold out at the height of the summer season.
This is a normal volume at this time of the year, depending on the carrier, when compared to years prior to 2020.
Ridership numbers spiked on the single day of Feb. 2 when the new online system went live. Summer bookings usually begin in October.
CTMA Director of Communications and Marketing Claudia Delaney points out that other facilities are being developed to optimize loading capacity, particularly to accommodate large recreational vehicles, aboard the Madeleine II.
Overnight trips that will be added to the current schedule during the summer will first be advertised in the local media before being announced on the web.
Delaney added that CTMA will have enough flexibility to accommodate Magdalen Islanders who want to travel in and out of the archipelago this summer, especially for standard size vehicles.
According to Delaney, the greater capacity of the Madeleine II, the procedure for emergency travel, in effect since 2019, and the "stand-by" spaces generally allow residents to enter and leave the Islands in the summer without too many inconveniences.
Although the idea of prioritizing Magdalen Islanders for access to the ferry systematically comes back as the tourist season approaches, Delaney said that the arbitrary application of such a system would be complex for the Magdalen Islands cooperative.
CTMA will limit the number of passengers on the ferry for the summer of 2021 to the same level as in the summer of 2019 which was 87,149.
This number includes visitors such as Magdalen Islanders, outbound and inbound.
At the same time, tourist traffic was estimated at close to 68,000 visitors for the same year, who transited by air or by boat.
Here is Delaney speaking with CFIM (in French only):