MV Malaspina

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M/V Malaspina
NameM/V Malaspina
NamesakeMalaspina Glacier, Yakutat, Alaska
OwnerFlag of Alaska.svg Alaska Marine Highway System
Port of registry United States
BuilderLockheed Shipbuilding, SeattleWashington
HomeportJuneau, Alaska
General characteristics
Class and typeMalaspina-class mainline ferry
Displacement5,552 long tons (5,641 t)
Length408 ft (124 m)
Beam74 ft (23 m)
Draft16 ft 9.96 in (5.1298 m)
DecksOne vehicle deck
RampsAft, port, and starboard ro-ro loading
Installed power8,000 hp (5,966 kW)
Speed16.5 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. 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. Malaspina is nearly identical to her sister ship, M/V Matanuska.

Malaspina was 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. As a mainline ferry, she serves the larger of the Inside Passage communities, such as Ketchikan, Petersburg, and Sitka, but her route spans the entirety of the Inside Passage, beginning runs in either Bellingham, Washington, or Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, and running to the northernmost Alaskan Panhandle community of Skagway. Since the late 1990s, Malaspina has operated mostly during the summer months as a "dayboat" in the upper Lynn Canal, making daily round trips between Juneau and Skagway with stops in Haines, Alaska.

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

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