BC Ferries’ newest hybrid electric ship is preparing for the final leg of its transatlantic journey to Vancouver Island after transiting the Panama Canal over the weekend.
Island 4, as it is temporarily named, departed a shipyard in Romania in early June and has been sailing across the Atlantic Ocean under its own power en route to B.C.
The vessel — the fourth of six in BC Ferries’ hybrid electric class — is expected to arrive by mid-August.
The first two ships — Island Discovery and Island Aurora — completed their transatlantic journey to Vancouver Island in January 2020, carried on a semi-submersible transport ship.
The third and the fourth Island Class vessels made the journey under their own power, which helps to stagger their arrival time and make it more manageable for operations, says BC Ferries.
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, according to BC Ferries.
The Island Class are battery-equipped ships designed for fully electric operation, however, are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure becomes available.
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“From the exterior details to the engines, the design of the new vessels reduces underwater radiated noise, lowers emissions and improves customer service,” reads a statement from BC Ferries.
Island Class ferries have the capacity to carry at least 47 vehicles and up to 400 passengers and crew and will allow the company to organize fleet redeployments and the retirement of existing diesel-fuelled vessels.
The vessel will be named, christened and deployed into service Campbell River – Quadra Island Route by 2022.
To follow the ship’s journey and track its progress including course, position and speed, visit vesselfinder.com and search Island 4.