I snapped this photo of an unidentified floating object just off the shores of the south side of Stanley Park in Vancouver the other day. I couldn't figure out - is it a cruise ship, an old ferry, or possibly some kind of military boat? So I did some research:
The ships name is Mona Lisa. The 660-foot, 29,000-ton ship is currently owned by Leonardo Shipping, and operated under charter by Lord Nelson Seereisen.
She was built in 1966 in Clydebank, Scotland as a combined ocean liner/cruise ship for the Swedish American Line, and has changed names and ownership several times over its 44 years of operation.
From 2007 - 2008, the Mona Lisa was refitted to become an educational vessel for The Scholar Ship international education program, which used to offer undergraduate and graduate semester programs during four-month voyages (but has been discontinued due to lack of funding).
Most recently, the Mona Lisa was chartered as a Peace Boat during the 2008/2009 northern hemisphere winter season.(Peace Boat is a Japan-based, international fleet that helps nations in crisis.)
So, what brings the Mona Lisa to Vancouver waters? She will be used as a floating hotel at the Squamish port in BC for the duration of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Up to 700 Olympic volunteers and officials will live on the Mona Lisa; go Canada Go!
Kelsie Struch is a sales representative with Century 21 In Town Realty in Vancouver, BC.