BATTLE HILLS, Alaska — Ice on the southern Alaska Highway 64 auction site was auctioned off to the highest bidder Friday for $1.3 million.
The vessel is called “The Battleship,” and it has a history of taking on the challenges of Arctic climate change, such as sea ice, by carrying fuel, food and medicine to remote communities.
The $1 million bid came after a series of successful bids over the past year.
The vessel was built in the 1950s and had been on display in Anchorage, where it was auctioning off for $4 million, the highest bid.
The $1,300,000 price tag is a record for the vessel, which had been a subject of a bidding war that began in January and continued through the end of May.
Last year, it was listed at $1 billion.
For decades, the Battleships have been a symbol of Alaska’s economic success.
In the 1950, it had a crew of five crew members and had a capacity of 2,600 passengers and 740 crew members.
“The Battelship is a historic piece of maritime history that has become synonymous with Alaska,” said David G. Fink, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Transportation.
Fink added that the auction was held in conjunction with the Arctic Ocean Maritime Council, which is the group that manages the auction site and that had previously sold off a Battlesship that was built at the same time.
The Batteship is now under the stewardship of the Alaska Marine Highway Corridor Authority, which oversees the highway.
The highway has an estimated 1,500 miles of roads and is managed by the Alaska Highway Board, which was founded in 1994 by a commission of the state Legislature to manage the highway and its tolls.
In 2014, the agency purchased the $1-million-plus vessel, and in 2017, the highway board approved the sale.
A previous bid was made in 2018, but the auction went through three auctions before the auction board announced it would award the $5.7 million bid in 2019.
Another vessel that is in storage for the auction is the Aurora Highway, a 40-foot-long cargo ship that was used to transport oil from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska in the early 1900s.
The Aurora Highway is being built to be a replacement for the Aurora, a 55-foot cargo ship owned by the Alaskan government.
It is expected to be the largest commercial vessel in the world, and the sale of the Aurora was an indication of the importance of Alaska in transportation to the United States, according to the Alaska Railroad Commission.