SEPT-ÎLES, QC, April 19, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - It is with great pride and excitement that Desgagnés and its subsidiary Relais Nordik conducted today, at the Port of Sept-Îles, the christening of the M/V Bella Desgagnés, a new vessel specially designed for and dedicated to the maritime service of Anticosti Island and the Lower North Shore. This event was held in the presence of many guests and dignitaries including Mrs. Lorraine Richard, MP for Duplessis and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transport for the maritime sector. This step, marking the beginning of the commissioning of Bella Desgagnés, took place after a familiarization tour during which the ship stopped in all ports she will be serving, allowing the region's residents and users to be the first to discover her. Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu, president and CEO of Desgagnés, said he was " very excited at the idea that in addition to having visited the ship, the residents will soon be able to experience it fully and appreciate its qualities and added value." Julie Boulet, MNA of Laviolette and former Minister of Transport of the Government of Quebec, had the honor to proceed, as godmother, with naming of the ship. Mrs. Boulet was very involved in the decisions leading to the commissioning of this new vessel for the benefit of the citizens of the Lower North Shore and Anticosti Island, and Desgagnés wanted to underline her contribution by granting her this recognition. The Bella Desgagnés had previously been blessed by Father Germain Gagnon, vicar of Saint-Joseph church and chaplain of the Mariners' House of Sept-Îles. The Bella Desgagnés, 97.1 meters long and 19.35 meters wide, has operational and maximum drafts of 4.2 m and 4.6 m respectively. She can comfortably accommodate 381 passengers with her 459 aircraft-type seats, which offer greater incline and footrests. The Bella Desgagnés also offers a total of 160 berths in 63 cabins ranging from 10.5 to 16 m 2, all with private facilities, and of which two 24 m 2 cabins are suitable for passengers with reduced mobility. It has a 112-seat cafeteria and an 88-seat dining room. Where cargo is concerned, she can carry 125 containers and is equipped with a crane offering a lifting capacity of 40 mt with a boom 35 meters long. Mr. Beaulieu declared that "Our users' safety, comfort and the quality of their stay on board were our main concerns. That is why we chose to add components that were not required by the Government of Quebec, such as retractable fins stabilizing the ship in bad weather; an entertainment system integrated into the seats for the distribution of films, television and radio stations; arcade games; a fitness center; a conference room; elevators for passengers and crew; a kennel; and much more!". He also added that in terms of safety and maneuverability, the vessel's structure was built according to the new SOLAS 2009 regulations and has also been reinforced to have superior capabilities for navigation in ice and is classed Ice 1AFS. All security, navigation, propulsion and mechanical systems are monitored by more than 3,700 operating indicators and alarms distributed throughout the ship, in addition to being equipped with a monitoring system of 50 cameras.