MV Malaspina

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M/V Malaspina
Name: M/V Malaspina
Namesake: Malaspina Glacier, Yakutat, Alaska
Owner: Flag of Alaska.svg Alaska Marine Highway System
Port of registry:  United States
Builder: Lockheed Shipbuilding yards, Seattle, Washington
Launched: 1963
Refit: 1972
Homeport: Juneau, Alaska
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Malaspina-class mainline ferry
Displacement: 5,552 long tons (5,641 t)
Length: 408 ft (124 m)
Beam: 74 ft (23 m)
Draft: 16 ft 9.96 in (5.1298 m)
Decks: One vehicle deck
Ramps: Aft, port, and starboard ro-ro loading
Installed power: 8,000 hp (5,966 kW)
Speed: 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph)
  • 500 passengers
  • 88 vehicles

M/V Malaspina, colloquially known as the Mal, is a mainline ROPAX ferry and the original Malaspina-class vessel for the Alaska Marine Highway System. The Malaspina is named after the Malaspina Glacier, which, in turn, is named after Captain Don Alessandro Malaspina, Italian navigator and explorer who explored the Northwest coast of North America in 1791. The Malaspina is nearly identical to its sister ship, the M/V Matanuska.

Designed by Philip F. Spaulding & Associates, constructed in 1963 at the Lockheed Shipbuilding yards in Seattle, Washington and elongated in 1972 at the Willamette Iron and Steel Company in Portland, Oregon, the M/V Malaspina has been in the ferry system for over forty years. As a mainline ferry, it serves the larger of the inside passage communities (such as Ketchikan, Petersburg, and Sitka), its route spans the entirety of the inside passage, beginning runs in either Bellingham, Washington or Prince Rupert, British Columbia and running to the northernmost Alaskan Panhandle community of Skagway. Beginning in the late 1990s, the Malaspina has mostly operated during the summer months as a "dayboat" in the upper Lynn Canal, making daily roundtrips between Juneau and Skagway with stops in Haines, Alaska.

The Malaspina's amenities include a hot-food cafeteria; solarium; forward, aft, movie, and business lounges; gift shop; 54 four-berth cabins; and 29 two-berth cabins. In 2014, the gift shop was closed as a cost-saving measure.[1]

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