The MV Kirkland is a former car ferry with a unique Pacific Northwest history. Originally known as the Tourist II, is a 1924 wooden-hulled car ferry that has served passengers all over the Pacific Northwest. Originally, it took passengers across the Columbia River, with a dock in Astoria, Oregon. Currently, it serves as a tour boat for Argosy Cruises on Lake Washington, near Seattle. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
With the exception of the Second World War, from 1924 to 1966, MV Kirkland was in service on the Astoria–Megler Ferry route on the Columbia River under the name Tourist II. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the US Army purchased the vessel as the FB or JMP 535 to lay mines at the mouth of the river. At the end of the war, it returned to ferry service on the Columbia. The ferry was moved from Astoria, Oregon to Pierce County, Washington in 1967 and renamed the Islander of Pierce County. It worked on Puget Sound for many years, but eventually its wooden-hull design was overshadowed by vessels with more modern steel-hull designs.
In 1996, new private owners refurbished the vessel, adding two full-service bars, a galley, and 12-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, making the main deck unique among vessels in the Northwest. The exterior styling, deck plan, and interior and general arrangement were provided by designer Jonathan Quinn Barnett of Seattle. The vessel is listed on the Washington Historic Register and the National Register of Historic Places. In the summer, the Kirkland departs Marina Dock in Kirkland for cruises of Lake Washington.
Early morning, August 28, 2010. the vessel caught fire while docked at its Kirkland, Washington pier. The fire was confined to the engine room. Firefighters were quoted as saying everything below deck was "toast". The Boat was moved from Lake Washington during the morning of August 31, 2010 - by the Tug "Dixie"—part of the Fremont Tug Company.
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- Added to NRHP on April 15th, 1997, as the Tourist II
- Maritime Heritage website