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Over the next year, BC Ferries will be retiring the Queen of Nanaimo and the Queen of Burnaby from its fleet. These two vessels were built in 1964 and 1965 respectively, and will have served their communities for over 50 years by the time they are retired.
To replace these vessels, BC Ferries will be introducing the Salish Class Ferries (SCF) previously referred to as the Intermediate Class Ferries (or ICFs); the Salish Orca, the Salish Eagle, and the Salish Raven. These new vessels are capable of running as dual-fuel on either natural gas or ultra-low Sulphur diesel. BC Ferries’ use of natural gas will result in the reduction of an estimated 9,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, which is the same as taking 1,900 passenger vehicles off the road annually.
The Salish Orca has started her transatlantic voyage bringing her one step closer to joining the BC Ferries fleet. The 45-55 day trip will cover 10,440 nautical miles and include stops at the Canary Islands and Panama City. After transiting the Panama Canal, the Salish Orca will sail up the west coast to BC. Join the voyage virtually on VesselFinder.com. The Salish Orca will service the Comox-Powell River route starting in spring 2017.
|Salish Class construction photos - October 2016
|Salish Orca cafeteria seating||Salish Orca vehicle ramps
|See more Salish vessel construction photos »|
The Salish Class vessels are being built at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland and are scheduled to be in service for the summer of 2017. The Salish Orca is in the midst of commissioning systems and conducting Harbour Acceptance Trials, while interior equipment outfitting is progressing in the Salish Eagle and the Salish Raven.
The Salish Orca will be arriving in Canada late 2016 and will enter service on the Comox-Powell River route following several months of crew training. The Salish Eagle and the Salish Raven are scheduled to arrive in early 2017 and projected to be introduced into service on the Southern Gulf Islands routes by summer 2017.
New Southern Gulf Islands Schedule
The upcoming introduction of the Salish Eagle and the Salish Raven into service is an opportunity to revisit the sailing schedules for the area. In April 2015, BC Ferries embarked on a four phase consultation process with customers to develop sailing schedules that meet the needs of the communities on the following five islands: Salt Spring, Galiano, Pender, Mayne and Saturna. The process included surveys, public meetings and small working group sessions.
The new schedules for the Southern Gulf Islands have been introduced and will take effect in May 2017. To view the new schedules visit http://www.bcferries.com/about/publicconsultation2/sgi-consultation-materials.html
Salish Class Vessels Christened
The Salish Class design is effectively complete, and all three ships have been launched and christened. The Salish Eagle and Salish Raven were christened June 2, 2016 by their Sponsors (Godmothers), Michelle Le Tourneau and Jodi Gaudet, respectively. The Salish Orca was christened November 25, 2015 by her Sponsor (Godmother), Margaret McDonagh.
Coast Salish Artists
In January 2016, BC Ferries and the First Peoples' Cultural Council announced the selection of three Coast Salish artists to create designs for the new Salish Class vessels; Darlene Gait from Esquimalt Nation for the Salish Orca, John Marston from Stz’uminus for the Salish Eagle and Thomas Cannell from Musqueam for the Salish Raven. The vessels are named to recognize the Coast Salish as the original mariners of the Salish Sea.
On September 14, 2016, BC Ferries, the First People’s Cultural Council and Stz’uminus First Nation revealed the second of three Salish artistic designs for BC Ferries’ new Salish Class vessels. Stz’uminus First Nation’s John Marston designed the artwork that will adorn the Salish Eagle.
Learn more about John Marston and the artwork reveal ceremony in the News Release.
On March 29, 2016, BC Ferries, the First People’s Cultural Council and Esquimalt Nation revealed Darlene Gait’s artwork design that will adorn the Salish Orca.
Learn more about Darlene Gait and the ceremony where her artwork was revealed in the News Release.
The Salish Raven artwork will be revealed over the coming months.
More Project Milestones
- September 14, 2016 - Reveal the Coast Salish Artwork for Salish Eagle »
- June 2, 2016 – BC Ferries Officially Names the Second and Third Salish Class Vessels »
- March 23, 2016 – Reveal the Coast Salish Artwork for Salish Orca »
- July 28, 2015 – BC Ferries Announces Names for Three Salish Class Vessels »
- July 8, 2015 – First steel cut for the Salish Raven »
- April 13, 2015 – First steel cut for the Salish Eagle »
- January 19, 2015 – First steel cut for Salish Orca »