Most NWT ferries will now keep regular operating hours

Ferry services in the NWT will mostly stick to their standard 16-hour operating days after the Department of Infrastructure reviewed the territory’s pandemic recovery plan.

Last week, Cabin Radio reported reduced ferry hours of 8am to 8pm were the norm in most communities. While some residents and businesses were unaware of the change, others said they were unhappy at the reduction.

Currently only the MV Lafferty, at the Liard River crossing outside Fort Simpson, is open to transport vehicles. On Tuesday, the NWT’s Department of Infrastructure tweeted that drivers could expect delays with that ferry “due to mechanical problems.”


Other ferries in the territory normally begin running in June as the Mackenzie River ice recedes.

A reduced service was initially expected to remain in place until phase two of the NWT’s Emerging Wisely pandemic recovery plan.

Posting an update to its website, the Department of Infrastructure provided more information about how Covid-19 restrictions will affect ferries.

All ferries will now operate on demand. The Mackenzie River/N’Dulee Highway 1 crossing will be the only ferry continuing with a shortened service.

Last week, the department said it would be “monitoring activity and the changing environment surrounding Covid and will modify hours as required.”


On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the department said: “Following a review of Emerging Wisely … the Department of Infrastructure made the decision to extend the hours of some of its ferries to coincide with the beginning of Phase 1 of the plan.”

Visit the GNWT’s highway conditions map or @GNWT_INF on Twitter for updated information on highway conditions and ferry statuses.