A 555-foot ferry that formerly cruised the Baltic Sea is destined for the Kitimat coast in an effort to solve a worker accommodation shortage.

Dubbed a “flotel”, the ship is currently docked at a shipyard in North Vancouver undergoing more than $4-million in renovations to ready the ship for its voyage up the coast next week.

“Literally we will arrive in Kitimat and within 24 hours you’re housing people and functioning,” said Andrew Purdey, spokesperson for Bridgeman’s Services, the company that owns the ship.

“It’s a plug and play opportunity.”

The workers are expected to come from the Kitimat aluminum smelter and future liquid natural gas projects in the area.

Formerly named the Silja Festival but rebranded the Delta Spirit Lodge, the boat has 575 single occupancy rooms each equipped with a private washroom, bed and sitting area.

The ship also houses a 378-seat dining room, a lunch room, three lounges, exercise facilities and meeting rooms.

Bridgeman’s Services also has a 300-guestroom barge and an 82-guestroom floating hotel they use to provide accommodation along B.C.’s coast.

“We think it’s an absolute solution,” Purdey said. “The services on land aren’t there.”

This isn’t the first time a boat has been used to solve Kitimat’s accommodation needs.

A converted riverboat, the Delta King, spent the majority of the 1950s moored on the Kitimat waterfront housing workers.


With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Scott Hurst.