(KETCHIKAN, Alaska) – After concluding a request for interest and reviewing four proposals, the State of Alaska has entered negotiations to sell the M/V Malaspina to an Alaska-based domestic buyer, MV Malaspina, LLC (MVM), headquartered in Ketchikan, Alaska. MVM's proposal meets the State's goals to preserve the Malaspina and showcase the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) history for Alaskans and visitors.
MVM and the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) have agreed to negotiate in good faith on the sale of the 59-year-old vessel. MVM's letter of interest outlines a plan to use the Malaspina to showcase Alaska's maritime history and support a Ketchikan-based tourism business. Among other uses, they propose keeping the Malaspina in Ketchikan and using the vessel as a maritime museum. They also propose to explore opportunities for the ship to serve as a training facility for the University of Alaska's Maritime Training Center in Ketchikan.
Constructed in 1963, the M/V Malaspina was the first AMHS mainliner to enter service and is named after the Malaspina Glacier, located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. Due to high repair costs, it has been moored at Ward Cove in Ketchikan in long-term layup since December 2019. Repair estimates were initially around $16 million, but have increased substantially since discovering significant steel damage, along with estimated midlife conversion requirements and the ship's need for a repower, including engines, reduction gears, and propellors.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 9 ferries serving 33 communities along 3,500 marine miles, over 5,600 miles of highway and 839 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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