A $4-million retrofit at a Vancouver shipyard has turned a Baltic cruise ship, the Silja Festival, into a floating hotel for about 600 construction workers working on a $3-billion upgrade of Alcan's aluminum smelter in Kitimat, B.C.

Bridgemans Services, which recently leased the cruise ferry in partnership with the Haisla First Nation, says it will help relieve stress on the local economy caused by a shortage of rental accommodation in Kitimat.

About $1 million in food supplies will will be loaded on board the ship, now named the Delta Spirit Lodge, before it makes the trip.

With files from the CBC's Richard Zussman