About BC Ferries

New Salish Class Vessels

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 Ferry vessels (or 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.

Salish Eagle hull compartment construction   View of Salish Eagle construction from the Salish Orca   Salish Eagle prior to launching
Salish Orca hull compartment
construction
  View of Salish Eagle construction from the Salish Orca   Salish Eagle prior to launching

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 

Learn more about the Southern Gulf Island Schedule Consultation »

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.

Salish Orca Christening   Salish Raven and Salish Eagle before the official ceremony begins   BCF and RSB teams
From left: Remontowa Shipbuilding CEO, Andrzej Woijtkiewicz, BC Ferries’ Vessel Sponsor and Senior Chief Steward, Queen of Burnaby, Margaret McDonagh and BC Ferries’ President & CEO, Mike Corrigan at the official naming ceremony for the Salish Orca
  Salish Raven and Salish Eagle before the official ceremony begins at Remontowa
 
  From left: President of Remontowa Group, Piotr Soyka; Remontowa Shipbuilding CEO, Andrzej Woijtkiewicz; BC Ferries’ Vessel Sponsor for the Salish Eagle, Michelle Letourneau, Master on the Southern Gulf Islands routes; BC Ferries’ Vessel Sponsor for the Salish Raven, Jodi Gaudet, Chief Engineer on the MV Quinsam; and BC Ferries’ President & CEO, Mike Corrigan 

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 Darlene Gait's artwork will appear onthe <i>Salish Orca</i>On March 29, 2016, BC Ferries, the First People’s Cultural Council and Esquimalt Nation revealed the first of three Coast Salish artistic designs for BC Ferries’ new Salish Class vessels. Esquimalt Nation’s Darlene Gait designed the artwork that will adorn the Salish Orca.

The Salish Eagle and Salish Raven artwork will be revealed over the coming months.

Learn more about Darlene Gait and the ceremony where her artwork was revealed in the News Release.

More Project Milestones