The third Island Class ferry to join the BC Ferries fleet is now en route to British Columbia, having departed shipyards in Romania early this morning.
The ferry has headed out to make the transatlantic voyage under its own power and is scheduled to arrive on Vancouver Island in approximately 60 days.
The journey is approximately 10,700 nautical miles total and the ferry will make two stops for refuelling — first in Tenerife, Canary Islands and then in Balboa, Panama.
The yet-to-be-named ferry will be the third in a series of six Island Class ferries. The first two ships — Island Discovery and Island Aurora — completed their transatlantic journey to Vancouver Island in January 2020.
The latest ship to depart will be the first of four Island Class ferries to make the transatlantic journey under its own power as the first two were carried on a semi-submersible transport ship.
According to BC Ferries, 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 operations.
As part of the contract, Damen Shipyards is responsible for the safe delivery of the vessels to Victoria and is employing an international professional ship-move company to assist.
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.
“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 Captain Jamie Marshall, BC Ferries’ Vice President, Shipbuilding & Innovation.
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 ship that depart Romania today will head to Point Hope Maritime in Victoria before a final inspection will take place.
The vessel will be named, christened and deployed into service Campbell River – Quadra Island Route by 2022.