One of the ferries destined for the Campbell River to Quadra Island route is officially on its way.
The yet-to-be named Island Class ferry left the Damen Shipyards in Galati, Romania in the early morning on May 19, local time for a 60-day transatlantic voyage. The ferry will be travelling under its own power during the 10,700 nautical mile trip, which includes two stops for refuelling in Tenerife and Panama. After transiting the Panama Canal the vessel will travel along the west coast of North America before arriving in Victoria.
Though it is the third Island Class ferry built by the Romanian shipyard, it is the first to make the voyage to its home waters under its own power. The previous two Island Class vessels made the trip on a semi-submersible transport vessel.
“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,” reads a release from BC Ferries.
A total of six vessels are planned for the Island Class. These vessels are diesel-electric hybrid ferries which can be converted to all-electric once shore-based infrastructure is available.
“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.
The Island Class ferries have a 47-vehicle capacity and can carry up to 400 passengers and crew. There will be two vessels on the Campbell River – Quadra Island route once fully operational. BC Ferries will take ownership of the vessel in Victoria and christen it before starting training, ship familiarization and dock fits.
It will be added to the route in 2022.
To track the vessel’s progress, visit vesselfinder.com and look for the ship’s temporary name: Island 3.