Set for an Expedition

So the big news this weekend, around these parts, is the arrival of BC Ferries’ new ro-pax ferry MV Northern Expedition. The new vessel docked in Nanaimo last night, after being at sea for a little over a month and traveling just under 10,000 nautical miles from the FSG Shipyards in Flensburg, Germany, where it was built. The new vessel just about caps the company’s massive fleet revitalization program (there is another vessel to enter northern service yet to be built).

The St Vincent and Grenadine registerred vessel is alongside in Nanaimo, at the Departure Bay terminal, until May, for post trip inspections, crew training, and final delivery details from FSG. FSG was already using Nanaimo Shipyards as its base of operations for all guarantee work on the already delivered Super C class vessels.

The Northern Expedition has a standard propulsion system, utilizing the 32 series engine from MAK (Cat Marine), same series as the ones on the Super C, and MAK can be found on a bevy of other vessel for the company. The 150 meter long, 17,800 gt vessel will join the MV Northern Adventure on the Prince Rupert – Pt Hardy run. This will allow the 42 year old, but still operating, Queen of Prince Rupert to retire from its long service history.

It remains to be seen if the Northern Expedition will earn the “Queen of the Fleet” hat held by its predecessor, Queen of the North, before it struck rocks and sank off Gill Island 2 years ago.

You can view an excellent site detailing the construction of the new ferry, and all things related. Here is BC Ferries official press release, with other facts and figures; also check out an overview from a presentation by Mark Collins, of BCF, on the engineering works at BCF given at a SNAME / CIMarE meeting.

MV Northern Expedition
IMO number – 9408413
Call Sign – J8B4038
Type of ship – Passenger/Ro-Ro Cargo Ship
Year of build – 2009
Flag – St Vincent and Grenadines (for now)
Class – American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
Gross tonnage – 17800
Lenght – 150 meter
Breadth – 25 meter
Depth – 5 meter
Capacity – 600 passengers and 130 vehicles, 55 double berth staterooms
Main engines – 2 MAK 9M32C – 4500 KW each at 600 RPM.
Auxiliary power – 3 MAK 8M20 – 1360 KW each at 900 RPM
Speed – 20.5 knots
Cost – $133 millions

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