Ferry to be renovated in Victoria

  • Nov. 3, 2006 5:00 p.m.

BC Ferries has awarded Victoria Shipyards a $9-million contract to completely renovate the Sonia, the European ship it has purchased to replace the Queen of the North.
Three other shipyards, all located in Europe, also bid on the contract. BC Ferries said Victoria Shipyards was successful based on its schedule, terms, technical competency and overall price.
“BC Ferries is very pleased that Victoria Shipyards was the successful bidder on this project,” said David Hahn, BC Ferries chief executive. “We look forward to the arrival of the vessel in Canadian waters, which will take us another major step closer to restoring full service to our northern routes next summer.”
The Sonia is now being painted in Greece and getting ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean, then through the Panama Canal and up to BC. A team of BC Ferries’ employees will be sailing the ship from Greece, leaving on Nov. 15 and arriving in Victoria in mid-December, according to a news release from BC Ferries.
Victoria Shipyards will then start the renovations, including updating safety equipment, modifying the stern ramp to be compatible with BC Ferries’ berths, upgrading electrical, heating and lighting systems, and reconfiguring the gift shop, galley, passenger food amenities and crew common areas.
The Sonia will be renamed and reflagged as a Canadian vessel. It’s to start serving the northern routes in April 2007.

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