Car ferry’s dining space gets tasty makeover

Written by Marine Log Staff
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Interior of the newly renovated fine dining space onboard the Chi-Cheemaun

DECEMBER 15, 2016—Operated by Owen Sound Transportation, the 1974-built car ferry MS Chi-Cheemaun has been a staple of Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada, for over 40 years.  Just in time for its 2016 sailing season, the ferry underwent a $2.4-million renovation to convert its cafeteria into a fine dining area. As a result, the interior design takes a completely new approach to how the space is used, with creation of seven specific lighting zones, a bar area, and a clear division between the fine dining and general dining areas.  

Seattle-based naval architectural and marine engineering firm Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) provided architectural and engineering services, acted as regulatory liaison, and supported Owen Sound Transportation through construction.  Successful completion of this fast-paced project was achieved with close client communications and excellent responsiveness from subcontractors Directions in Design (DID), St. Louis, MO, and Galley Design and Sales, Bellevue, WA.

“We could not be more pleased with the new dining room and food service area,” says Susan Schrempf, President and CEO from Owen Sound Transportation. “Renovating a ship’s interior is a complex undertaking; particularly with an older ship like Chi-Cheemaun, but EBDG completed the job on time and on budget, and delivered an exceptional, highly-functional, beautiful and transformable space.  Customers enjoy a bright, open and accessible atmosphere by day and an intimate and elegant atmosphere at night.  The new space is everything we and our customers needed it to be, and more.”

The interior renovations coincide with a First Nations-themed branding on the exterior, which are designed to convert the ferry from simply a transportation vessel into a tourist destination.

The Chi-Cheemaun can carry up to 600 passengers and transport up to 143 vehicles. 

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