Lady McKell

Lady McKell

Type :
Steel motor vessel
Launched  :
Builder :
New South Wales State Dockyard
Newcastle, NSW
Gross weight :
329 tons
Dimensions :
38.70 x 8.84 (metres)
Passenger capacity :
Speed :
11 knots

Lady McKell was the third Lady ferry built after the revamp of the ferry service in 1968. She was one of three near identical sisters, the others being Lady Cutler and Lady Woodward. She was named in honour of the wife of Sir William McKell, a former Governor General of Australia.

Lady McKell holds a couple of distinctions; she is a three time winner of the Great Ferry Race and in 1984 she gained the first female captain of a government ferry (although her master was not the first female ferry captain).

By 1993 Lady McKell had become redundant and after a period of five years being laid up in Rozelle Bay she was sold to Melbourne. This followed a plan that never came through where she was supposed to have been sold to Hong Kong. Her new owners (Melbourne Star Cruises) embarked on a major rebuild and refit which took 15 months. The ship's rebuild involved dry docking for hull repairs, removal of the aft wheel house and the complete gutting of the passenger saloons. Once rusted superstructure and decks were renewed and a modern well equipped galley and bar were installed. All new modern amenities were fitted during the refurbishment. Traditional rich timber panelling complimented by plush red carpets and polished brass dictated the ship's image and position in the marketplace. She re-entered service on the 3rd of December 1999. Today she operates from Victoria Harbour as a luxury cruise vessel.