Princess Marguerite Headed To England?
VICTORIA, B.C. - The British Columbia government has given approval for BC Stena Line to sell the Princess Marguerite to the Mykris Hotels Group of Bristol, England.
Stena marketing-manager Gordon Cross said the company was told late Friday that the provincial government was not exercising an option to buy the ship, which carried cars and passengers between Seattle and Victoria for four decades.
Mykris Hotels will be told formally tomorrow that the deal can go ahead, Cross said. BC Stena Line is prepared to make the necessary arrangements to have the Maggie towed to Bristol at the buyer's expense, he said.
A reported sale price of $1.5 million, less towing, is ``probably a guess,'' and Stena Line is not revealing the selling price, Cross said.
Mykris Hotels spokesman Chris Holt has said the ship will be used as a floating restaurant in Bristol harbor.
The 1948-vintage Marguerite, last of the steam-turbine coastal liners, is being held in Victoria on a claim by the Canadian Merchant Service Guild for more than over $134,000 in severance pay for former ship's officers.
Cross said BC Stena would go to court to try to lift the arrest warrant for the ship.
``We did our best to keep her here,'' he said. ``We have gone to considerable expense to find a local buyer. Presumably the government has now also decided there were no clear-cut local offers.''
The Princess Marguerite was built in Scotland in 1948 for the Canadian Pacific Railway and went into service that year between Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver.
It became a popular tourist attraction in the 1960s, '70s and '80s on four-hour runs between Seattle and Victoria.
The British Columbia government sold the Maggie and other assets of British Columbia Steamship Co. to Stena Line AB of Sweden for $6 million in 1988.
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