Ferries completes deal for new ferry

  • Oct. 20, 2006 5:00 p.m.

BC Ferries has concluded its purchase and has taken possession of the new ferry to replace the Queen of the North. The vessel is the two-year-old Sonia, and cost 34.5-million Euros or approximately $49-million Canadian. It’s now in Greece for painting and other work.
The Sonia will undergo extensive modifications over the winter to improve customer amenities and meet safety requirements to operate in Canadian waters. Then, it will be renamed and reflagged.
BC Ferries is conducting a request for bid process involving local and international shipyards for the refit work. The shipyard that will perform the modifications will be selected by the end of October. The estimated cost of the refit is $18-million.
The ship has 70 staterooms and will accommodate over 600 passengers and 101 vehicles. It is expected to enter service next spring, with restoration of full service to the north coast scheduled for next summer.