BC Ferries officials are trying to clarify how it sold the aging vessel, the Queen of Chilliwack.
Global News has reported the ship was sold for a pittance to a foreign buyer after undergoing $15 million in upgrades just a few years ago.
The corporation says the cost to keep it on stand-by is as much as $2 million a year, and that that cost would have affected fares.
It adds when a ship nears the end of its use, staff can either sell it off or pay to dispose of it, which can be pricey as well, so they prefer to sell them.
BC Ferries says it held a competitive bid process, with the Queen of Chilliwack ultimately going to N&J Mechanical Distributors of Vancouver, which sold it to Goundar Shipping in Fiji last fall.
The corporation says it cannot disclose the price, since three other ferries will retire soon and be sold off as well.