The Queen of Coquitlam left for Vancouver Drydock this morning to begin a major upgrade as part of a strategy to improve operational efficiency on the services between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo. The Washington Marine Group
of Vancouver was awarded the contract to upgrade the 26-year-old Queen of Coquitlam following an international competitive bidding process.
The Queen of Coquitlam, built in 1976, is one of five double-ended vessels that operate on major routes between Vancouver Island and the Mainland. The vessel will undergo extraordinary maintenance, regulatory compliance modifications and renovation of the restaurant and passenger accommodation to prepare the vessel for an additional 20 years of service. The passenger accommodation upgrade will include an expansion of the gift shop area, new food service facilities, which will provide more selection and choice, in addition to a new interior design for the cafeteria and snack bar. In addition, the passenger lounge and children’s play area will be redesigned, and study carrels and an enclosed video arcade will be constructed.
The shipyard work is scheduled to May 2003, followed by four weeks of crew training and Transport Canada certification. The ship is scheduled to return to service on or before June 28, 2003.