M/V Columbia, reported to be the largest ship in the Alaska Marine Highway
’s fleet, returned to revenue service on June 5 with its scheduled sailing southbound from Ketchikan. The Columbia begins weekly round trip service between Bellingham, Wash. and Skagway, Alaska
, with intermediate stops in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersberg, Juneau, Haines and Skagway with additional southbound stops in Sitka.
Columbia left Cascade General Inc.
, (CGI) shipyard in Portland, Ore., on May 30 on schedule and within budget, after a major improvement project. In recognition of CGI’s efforts, the AMHS Vessel operations manager, Captain Jack Meyers
, presented Bruce Dummer
, senior V.P. of Finance, with an oversized replica of a $14,000 incentive check in a ceremony at the yard just prior to the ship’s departure. The check represents the monies earned by CGI for the early completion of a significant project milestone.
The five million dollar, federally funded Food Service and Ship Systems Improvement modernization project began in early November. During this six-month shipyard upgrade, the Columbia’s entire food service spaces
, including galley, cafeteria and dining rooms, were stripped out to bare metal
and replaced. Additional significant improvements included installation of a modern linen loading and handling system, a consolidated refrigeration system, and the replacement of all windows in the solarium. The vessel was also drydocked for routine underwater machinery and hull valve maintenance.