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Friday, May 21, 2021 

BC Ferries’ third Island Class ferry is now on its way to British Columbia, having departed from builder Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania, and making the 10,700 naut mile transatlantic voyage under its own power in about 60 days, depending on weather.

The voyage by the yet-to-be named ferry will include two stops for refuelling, in Tenerife and Balboa, Panama, after transiting the Panama Canal. The vessel will sail up the west coast of North America, arriving at Point Hope Maritime in Victoria, BC.

This ship is the third in a series of six new Island Class ferries joining the BC Ferries fleet, and the first of four to sail from Romania to British Columbia under its own power. Sailing the vessels under their own power allows the ships to begin the journey once construction is complete and creates a staggered arrival time, which is more manageable for BC Ferries’ operations.

Under contract with BC Ferries, Damen Shipyards is responsible for the safe delivery of the vessels to Victoria and is employing an international professional shipmove company to assist. The first two Island Class ferries transited from Romania to British Columbia on a semi-submersible vessel in 2019, entering service in mid-2020.

The Island Class is a hybrid diesel-electric ferry with a number of key features that support BC Ferries’ Clean Futures Plan and the company’s goal to be efficient and environmentally responsible throughout its system.

“Once electric charging technology can be installed at BC Ferries’ terminals, these new ships will be configured to operate as all battery-electric ferries, using clean renewable hydroelectric energy,” said Capt Jamie Marshall, VP Shipbuilding & Innovation.

Island Class ferries have the capacity for at least 47 vehicles and up to 400 passengers and crew, and will allow for fleet redeployments and retirements of existing diesel-fuelled vessels. BC Ferries will take ownership of the ship upon final inspection at Point Hope Maritime. The ship will be named and christened before BC Ferries moves on to crew training, ship familiarisation and dock fits. Once in operation, this ferry will be one of two Island Class vessels servicing the Campbell River – Quadra Island Route.

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