BC Ferries Queen of Prince Rupert

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The Queen of Prince Rupert class contained a single vessel owned and operated by BC Ferries. It was part of BC Ferries' northern fleet. A second vessel was planned to be constructed but never built due to the costs involved. A second northern vessel rumoured to be named, Queen of Kelsey Bay, was eventually secured with Queen of Surrey's conversion to Queen of the North in 1980.

Queen of Prince Rupert

Queen of Prince Rupert
Built 1965, Victoria
Home base Prince Rupert
Route(s) served 11

Queen of Prince Rupert was one of the major vessels in BC Ferries' northern fleet.

During its launch on October 15, 1965, it was involved in a mishap, being launched by accident before it could be christened by a bottle of champagne. Tugboats quickly guided it away from colliding with a nearby dock, and after being tied up the ship was finally properly christened. Queen of Prince Rupert first sailed on May 20, 1966, inaugurating service on the new Inside Passage route connecting Kelsey Bay to Prince Rupert.[1]

Kelsey Bay was then the end of the Island Highway, and a one-way journey took roughly 20 hours to complete, providing 3 round trips per week during the busy summer season. During the off-season in 1977-1978, BC Ferries experimented by extending the route south to Tsawwassen, providing the first direct connection between Vancouver and Prince Rupert by sea. With the extended routing, Queen of Prince Rupert managed two round trips per week. In 1979, the Island Highway was extended north to Port Hardy. A new ferry terminal was constructed in nearby Bear Cove, and Queen of Prince Rupert began using this terminal, shortening its journey by several hours.

In 1980, BC Ferries converted Queen of Surrey to a new northern vessel, Queen of the North. With Queen of Prince Rupert now surplus to the northern routes, it was leased to the BC Steamship Corporation, renamed Victoria Princess, and replaced Princess Marguerite on the Victoria - Seattle route. The Victoria Princess experiment was quickly deemed a failure, and after the summer it was returned to BC Ferries under its original name.

Shortly after being returned to BC Ferries, Queen of Prince Rupert was assigned to inaugurate a new northern route to the Queen Charlotte Islands, now route 11 (Prince Rupert - Skidegate). Queen of Prince Rupert was to be assigned to both northern routes during the quieter off-season.

Queen of the North sank on March 22, 2006, while Queen of Prince Rupert was in drydock undergoing its annual refit. It was quickly returned to service as the only northern vessel in the fleet until the purchase of Northern Adventure in 2007, which necessitated a reduced summer schedule for the 2006 season.

A new northern vessel was ordered in August 18, 2006 to replace the aging Queen of Prince Rupert. The new vessel, Northern Expedition, participated in a decommissioning ceremony alongside Northern Adventure for Queen of Prince Rupert in Prince Rupert on April 19, 2009 - the only time all three vessels were in the same location together. Queen of Prince Rupert was decommissioned the next day, and was sold in 2011 to Groundar Shipping of Fiji, being renamed as M.V. Lomaiviti Princess.

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Four Mirrless KLSSMR8
7,680 hp
18 knots 101.15 m 5,864 tonnes 80 autos 544
132 staterooms


References

  1. M.V. Queen of Prince Rupert, www.westcoastferries.com, retrieved 02-20-2017.