Monday, September 29, 2008

Northern Expedition launched, with a January delivery date expected

BC Ferries much anticipated addition to the north coast fleet has finally commenced its construction phase, as Maureen Mackarenko, a resident of Prince Rupert and director with the Ferry Service launched the Northern Expedition in the Flensburg, Germany shipyard.

At a special ceremony at the shipyard, Ms. Mackarenko began the vessels journey that will see it join the BC Ferries fleet in January of 2009, preparing to replace the Queen of Prince Rupert on the Northern route service in the summer season of next year.

The Daily News and the Northern View both had stories detailing the journey that the Northern Expedition is about to begin.

Prince Rupert's Macarenko formally launches new B.C. Ferries vessel
By Shaun Thomas
The Northern View
Published: September 25, 2008 11:00 AM
Updated: September 25, 2008 11:25 AM

The reality of a new ship sailing along the North Coast became closer to a reality on September 25 as Prince Rupert's Maureen Macarenko officially named the ship during a ceremony in Flensburg Germany.

"It's what used to be called the Christening ceremony. Once I do the naming ceremony, I become the godmother of the ship, which is the position given to the person who does the naming, so I will be the godmother of the Northern Expedition forever," she explained prior to her flight over to Germany, noting that the ceremony is one of the last major things she'll be doing in her capacity with B.C. Ferries.

"This is the last new ship being built at Flensburg, and this is such a huge milestone for me as I’m serving the last year of directorship with B.C. Ferries. I’ve done the maximum number of terms and my current term ends on March 31, 2009."

The Northern Expedition, which will depart Germany in January and is expected to begin servicing in time for the summer season, will replace the aging Queen of Prince Rupert and will operate primarily on the run between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy. The new 150-metre ship will accommodate 130 vehicles and 600 passengers. Among its many features, the Northern Expedition will offer 55 modern staterooms for customers and an expanded range of food services and other amenities.

New era launched for North Coast travellers
Key role for local woman as Northern Expedition is launched in Germany
The Daily News
Friday, September
26, 2008
Page 5

B.C. Ferries' newest vessel the Northern Expedition was launched successfully in Flensburg, Germany yesterday at a special ceremony that included Prince Rupert's own Maureen Mackarenko.

The new 150-metre ship will accommodate 130 vehicles and 600 passengers, with 55 modern staterooms for customers and an expanded range of food services and other amenities for residents and tourists to enjoy.

Passengers can expect to experience the Canoe Café as well as the Vista Restaurant when the northern cruise-ferry begins service between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy at the start of the 2009 summer season.

"Today, with the launch of the Northern Expedition, we are one giant step closer to completely revitalizing BC Ferries' northern service," said David L. Hahn, BC Ferries' president and CEO.

"It's also an important day for our overall fleet renewal program, as the Northern Expedition will be the seventh new ship to join B.C. Ferries fleet since the spring of 2007."

The ship's amenities also include the Raven Lounge with TV viewing and the reserved seating of the Aurora Lounge with reclining chairs to enjoy the views of Northern B.C. while aboard.

The ship is scheduled to depart Germany at the end of January 2009 bound for B.C., which will allow for the retirement of the 42-year-old Queen of Prince Rupert.

Modifications to marine structures to accommodate the Northern Expedition are currently underway at Prince Rupert, Port Hardy, Bella Bella and Skidegate, all of which will be completed in 2009.

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