HALIFAX – The replica of the tug Theodore, which has long been a children’s favorite in the Port of Halifax, is up for sale as COVID-19 causes tourism revenues to drop in Nova Scotia.
The owners, Ambassatours Gray Line, sell the ship, which is a life-size version of the television character.
The asking price is $ 495,000.
Company CEO Dennis Campbell said the company plans to sell before the pandemic because it has to subsidize daily boat trips due to reduced demand.
Now, with COVID-19 resulting in huge travel reductions across the province, Campbell says the company cannot afford to continue operating the tug at a loss.
He says it is open to a buyer outside the province, but hopes that a local group can find a way to continue their business in one form or another.
“With a sharp reduction in waterfront visits, due to COVID-19, we encourage Theodore, now 20, to start a new chapter in his life,” said Campbell.
Theodore Too, the ship’s official name, was built in Dayspring, Nova Scotia, in 2000 as a replica of the main character on the children’s television program, which aired on CBC television between 1993 and 2001.
In the early years, the aftershock spent summers on the Great Lakes in Ontario and on the east coast of the United States and Canada, promoting tourism in Nova Scotia.
Beginning in the mid-2000s, the tugboat organized child-friendly tours of Halifax Harbor with passengers, including former fans of the television show.
However, Campbell notes that most of the children who watched the program in the 1990s are now in their 30s, and the demand for visits has dropped significantly in recent years.
In an interview, Campbell said the potential uses for the ship range from a waterfront cafe to a summer ferry, as the boat can carry up to 49 passengers.
Currently, with social distancing rules in place, the ship could only accommodate around 12 people per trip, he said.
He said the ship has received full marine maintenance every year.
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Campbell estimated that a new owner would face more than $ 2,000 a month in wharf maintenance as a new use is developed.
Theodore Too is listed with Scruton Marine, shipping brokers and consultants specializing in the sale of merchant ships.