The MV Columbia is named after the Columbia Glacier, a glacier in Prince William Sound. The vessel was designed by Phillip F. Spaulding and Associates of Seattle, Washington and constructed at Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company in 1973. At the time, MV Columbia held the distinction of being the largest ferry to be built in Puget Sound at a cost of $20 million. MV Columbia is the largest vessel of the fleet, and until 2004 was also the fastest. The vessel is 418 feet long and 85 feet wide, with a domestic gross tonnage of 3,946 and a service speed of 17.3 knots.