About BC Ferries

New Salish Class Vessels

Salish Orca arrives in BC, January 2017 
Salish Orca arrives in BC, January 2017

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; the Salish Orca (pictured right), 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 for the Salish Class vessels results 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*.

*Assumes an average annual consumption of 3,800 gigajoules (GJ) for an LNG truck with a carbon intensity of 63,260 gCO2e/GJ. This equates to approximately 240 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions compared with 355 tonnes from a diesel equivalent (93,550 gCO2e/GJ). This is for one ferry.

Salish Class construction photos - October 2016

Salish Orca Wrap - click to view time-lapse video   Salish Orca cafeteria seating - click to view larger image   Salish Orca vehicle ramps - click to view larger image
  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 in 2017. The Salish Orca arrived in Canada in January 2017, after a 50-day 10,440 nautical mile journey, and will enter service on the Comox-Powell River route following several months of crew training.

With the Salish Eagle recently departing the shipyard, work continues on the Salish Raven and both vessels are scheduled to enter service on the Southern Gulf Islands routes later in 2017.

Salish Orca Dock Trials

In February and March 2017, the Salish Orca will conduct a series of sea trials as part of operational training and to verify the interface with docks at many BC Ferries terminals. This is a chance for the public to catch a first glimpse of the new vessel as it travels through the Salish Sea. The Salish Orca will conduct dock trials at ports in the Southern Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, Departure Bay, Duke Point, Horseshoe Bay and Swartz Bay. See the latest dock-fitting schedule below:

  • No dock-fitting trials have been scheduled at this time.

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 June 21, 2017. To view the new schedules visit http://www.bcferries.com/about/publicconsultation2/sgi-consultation-materials.html

Learn more about the Southern Gulf Island Schedule Consultation »

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.


Rendering of how artwork will appear on Salish RavenOn February 9, 2017, BC Ferries, the First People’s Cultural Council and Musqueam Nation revealed the final of three Salish artistic designs. Musqueam Nation’s Thomas Cannell designed the artwork that will adorn the Salish Raven.

Learn more about Thomas Cannell and the artwork reveal ceremony in the News Release.



Rendering of how artwork will appear on Salish EagleOn 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.



Rendering of how artwork will appear on Salish Orca

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.



More Project Milestones