This abandoned “Liverpool ghost ship” is being restored by a group that want to start daily sailings to North Wales by next spring.
The former German harbour ferry – whose various names have included Alte Liebe and Habicht 2 – was brought to Liverpool in 1994 for an unsuccessful business venture.
She ended up rusting in Liverpool Docks, earning the reputation as the city’s “ghost ship”.
But now a group has bought the vessel – renamed Endeavour – and has embarked on a massive restoration project.
The hope is that the newly incorporated Liverpool & North Wales Steamship Company(LNWSC) will start running services from the city to Llandudno and along the Menai Strait by May 2018.
Stephen Payne. secretary of LNWSC, said: “The ferry spent 35 years in service around the Baltic Sea and was retired in 1994.
“She was purchased and brought to Liverpool that year and renamed Princess Royal for a business venture that was unsuccessful and had remained tied up in Liverpool Docks ever since slowly rusting away.
“She was literally weeks from being scrapped for a second time when she came into new ownership.
“Now a group of dedicated volunteers, which include myself, are restoring her with a hope to sail her once again.”
He added: “We are well on the way to stopping the decay with external decks scrapped and repainted, deck leaks repaired stopping internal ceiling leaks, external teak doors stripped back and varnished as well as may internal spaces being stripped back to their original form after many refits over her career and all external doors secured as well as all engineering areas being secured.
“It will be a long project, often moving slowly.”
Talking about their ambitions for the ship, he added: “We intend to run scheduled services between Llandudno and Liverpool as well as a twice weekly cruise through the Menai Strait, as well as some seasonal services to Manchester and Whitehaven with an annual trip to Dun Laoghaire in Ireland and Ramsey on the Isle of Man.
“We are looking to start in May 2018 with the possibility of mooring the ship on Llandudno pier for evening dinner cruises, functions and birthday parties.”