Wednesday, October 13, 2021


BC Ferries sixth Island Class ferry, pictured above departing Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania on October 11, is on its way to British Columbia. Temporarily named Island 6, it is the last in the series of newly built battery hybrid electric vessels to join BC Ferries' fleet.  

The transoceanic voyage will take approximately 60 days, depending on weather. The ship will sail under its own power for approximately 10,700 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Panama Canal and up the Pacific Coast of North America. It is scheduled to arrive at Point Hope Maritime in Victoria, BC later this year. 

Approximately one-third of the Island 6's journey is expected to be completed by using battery power, with the main engines stopped. During the voyage, the batteries will be charged by a diesel generator. But when in BC, the Island Class ferries will be able to operate as fully electric vessels once BC Ferries' terminals have plug-in recharging capabilities. 

Video of the departure may be viewed here. The arrival of this new vessel will allow for the Nanaimo Harbour-Gabriola Island route to be serviced by two Island Class vessels starting in 2022. Island Class ferries have the capacity to carry at least 47 vehicles and up to 400 passengers and crew, and will allow for fleet redeployments and retirements of existing diesel-fueled vessels. 


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