Kitimat, BC, Canada, January 2014 – Bridgemans of Vancouver, BC, Canada is pleased to announce that it has entered into a contractual agreement with Bechtel, a global leader in engineering, construction and project management, to provide full-service accommodations for 450 additional workers the company requires to complete its expansion and modernization of the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter in Kitimat, BC, Canada.

Bechtel’s workers will live aboard the 171-metre (555-foot) Silja Festival, a Baltic Sea cruise ferry that Bridgemans recently acquired and will convert into a luxurious 750-room “floatel” that will provide the amenities, services and atmosphere of a modern cruise ship, including a gourmet-inspired food and dining program.

“We are honoured to have been selected by Bechtel to provide services,” said Brian Grange, President of Bridgemans. “They have provided us with a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the flexibility our solution offers and our capabilities to provide our clients’ mission-critical employees with a level of service and comfort they won’t ever have experienced.”

The 11-deck ship, which was commissioned in 1986 and refitted in 1992, will depart Tallin, Estonia on January 28 for Panama, where it will undergo the initial phase of a $3M refit and conversion. It will then depart for Vancouver where a second phase of work will take place to complete the conversion. Once completed, the ship will feature 575 single-guest rooms with private ensuites, a 378-seat dining room, a lunch room, three lounges, meeting rooms, dry room, first aid room, exercise facilities, theatre, laundry and accommodations for 110 crew members.

Under the name Bridgemans Festival, the ship is scheduled to set sail in late March for Kitimat Harbour where it will provide hotel and catering services for workers in a newly established partnership with the Haisla First Nation, which Bridgemans also announced today. “We have fostered a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with the Haisla community leaders. said Grange. “There is potentially a lot of economic activity within traditional Haisla territory, so it is essential that we engage their community members to ensure that our activities in this region provide appropriate benefits to their community.”

The Bridgemans Festival will be berthed at Terminal B of Kitimat Harbour and is expected to arrive March 28.