BC Ferries’ third Island-class ferry is now on its way to British Columbia, having departed Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania earlier this month.
The yet-to-be named ferry will make the transatlantic voyage under its own power in approximately 60 days, depending on weather. The approximately 10,700-nautical-mile journey will include two stops for refuelling, first in Tenerife, Canary Islands, then in Balboa, Panama, after transiting the Panama Canal.
The vessel will sail up the west coast of North America, arriving at Point Hope Maritime in Victoria, BC.
This ship is the third in a series of six new Island-class ferries joining the BC Ferries fleet, and the first of four to sail from Romania to British Columbia under its own power.
BC Ferries said that 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 the company’s operations.
Under contract with BC Ferries, Damen Shipyards is responsible for the safe delivery of the vessels to Victoria and is employing an international professional shipmove company to assist. The first two Island-class ferries transited from Romania to British Columbia on a semi-submersible vessel in 2019, entering service on the Powell River – Texada Island route and the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula Island route in mid-2020.
The Island-class Ro-Paxes are hybrid diesel-electric ferries with a number of key features that ensure low-emission operations.
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 Jamie Marshall, BC Ferries’ Vice President, Shipbuilding and Innovation.
The ferries each have the capacity to carry at least 47 vehicles and up to 400 passengers and crew, and allow for fleet redeployments and retirements of existing diesel-fueled vessels.
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