Canadian operator BC Ferries launched a new Island-class ferry on 18 February 2021 at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania
Work will continue on the new ship until scheduled sea trials in June. Following successful sea trials, the vessel will be delivered to Point Hope Maritime in Victoria in late 2021 for final preparations.
The yet-to-be named ship is the fifth of six Island-class vessels joining the BC Ferries fleet and when operational, will be one of two Island-class vessels assigned to the Nanaimo Harbour–Gabriola Island route in Canada.
The two-ship service is scheduled to begin on the route by early 2022, replacing Quinsam. BC Ferries said the decision to replace one large ship with two smaller vessels on the route will provide customers with increased capacity per hour and more frequent service. It is also expected to increase the size of terminal holding compounds by moving more traffic through the same amount of space.
The ship is a hybrid diesel-electric ferry that will support the company’s Clean Futures Plan and goal to be efficient and environmentally responsible throughout its system.
Once electric charging technology is installed at BC Ferries’ terminals, the new ships will be configured to operate as all battery-electric ferries, using clean renewable hydroelectric energy.
Island-class ferries can carry 47 vehicles and up to 400 passengers and crew, and allow for fleet redeployments and retirements of existing diesel-fuelled vessels.
The first two Island-class vessels were deployed on the Powell River–Texada Island route and the Port McNeill–Alert Bay–Sointula Island route in mid-2020. The third and fourth new ships will provide two-ship service on the Campbell River–Quadra Island route in 2022. The sixth Island-class ferry is expected to launch in Q2.
Riviera will provide free technical and operational webinars in 2021. Sign up to attend on our events page