Thursday, January 31, 2008

End of an Era

I was on the Queen of Vancouver on Tuesday and I mused to Sheila about what was going to happen to these older V class ferries once the new ferries were all in operation.

Now I know. BC Ferries will be selling the Queen of Tsawwassen, Queen of Esquimalt, Queen of Vancouver and Queen of Saanich.

The ships are aging, 50 years old is not long down the road.

The Queen of Tsawwassen and the Queen of Sidney were the first two ships built for the fleet. Part of me thinks this ship should be kept here to remind us of the history of the Dogwood fleet. Moor it somewhere and use the deck space for something.

With the sales, the oldest major ships in the fleet will be the Queen of New Westminster and the Queen of Nanaimo, both built in 1964. The Mill Bat ferry is older, dating from 1958 as is the North Island Princess.

The Queens have been core to my memory and experience of BC Ferries since I was a child. Since they served the Tsawwassen - Swartz bay Route first and foremost, I have been on many crossings with them.

I can remember the process they went through to first lengthen them and then to life them to add another deck.

I can remember the changing interior of the ships over their lifetimes - I really do not like the current seat configuration in the lounges.

Odds are I will ride on one of them at least one more time before the ships are sold.

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