UPDATED WITH FULL STORY: New ferry launches on Powell River-Comox route


BC Ferries’ newest vessel officially entered service Tuesday morning, as the Salish Orca replaced the 52-year-old Queen of Burnaby serving the ferry-dependent community of Powell River.

The new ferry’s first sailing, scheduled to leave Comox at 6:20am was slightly delayed, causing a 46-minute delay for the return trip from Powell River scheduled for 8:05 a.m.

The Salish Orca is the first in the BC Ferries fleet that is capable of being powered by liquid natural gas. According to BC Ferries, the reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions will be an estimated 9,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, or the equivalent of taking approximately 1,900 passenger vehicles off the road in that same amount of time. 

Earlier in May, the launch of the new ferry was pushed back for minor tweaks. 

The Queen of Burnaby will be retired in the fall. The ferry suffered a series of mechanical troubles in recent years and was pulled off of the route several times, contributing to long delays during peak tourist season.

Two other Salish Class vessels are set to go into service on Gulf Island routes later in this year. 

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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