BC Ferries announced that Victoria Shipyards has been awarded the $9m contract to perform major modification work on the replacement vessel for the Queen of the North.
The vessel, currently named MV Sonia, is being painted in Greece and preparations for its transatlantic crossing are well underway, including engine modifications to enable the use of cleaner-burning marine diesel fuel.
On November 15, 2006, a crew of BC Ferries’ employees is scheduled to sail the ship from Greece to British Columbia. En route, she will travel through the Panama Canal and is expected to arrive at Victoria Shipyards in mid-December.
The modifications that Victoria Shipyards will undertake include:
• Updating safety and security equipment
• Modifying the stern ramp to be compatible with BC Ferries’ berths
• Upgrading electrical, heating and lighting systems
• Expanding, upgrading and reconfiguring the gift shop, galley, passenger food amenities and crew common areas
The vessel will be renamed and reflagged as a Canadian vessel. It will enter service on BC Ferries’ Port Hardy – Prince Rupert – Queen Charlotte Island routes in April 2007.