About BC Ferries

BC Ferries' Island Class Vessels

Island Class Vessel

We are pleased to introduce the newest class of ferry to our fleet - the hybrid-electric Island Class. Island Class ferries will service four routes in the near future:

By mid-2020, two Island Class ferries will service:

  • Powell River – Texada (Island Discovery)
  • Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula (​Island Aurora)

By 2022, four Island Class ferries will service:

  • Campbell River – Quadra Island (2 ferries)
  • Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island (2 ferries)

What's happening for

Powell River – Texada
Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula

What's happening for

Campbell River – Quadra Island
Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island

The first two new hybrid-electric Island Class ferries have arrived!

Just after sunrise on January 18, the first two new hybrid-electric Island Class ferries arrived in B.C. waters and docked at Ogden Point. The ships will remain at the Breakwater District at Ogden Point while preparations are made to unload and deliver them to Point Hope Maritime in Victoria. To do so, the semi-submersible transport ship will partially submerge and the two ships will be floated off and maneuvered by tugs to Point Hope Maritime. 

Access video directly from YouTube »

The Island Class ferries are battery-powered ferries. When electric charging technology matures to make electricity in the quantities required, we will operate these new ships as all-electric ferries, using clean energy. In the interim, these ships will use an on board low sulphur diesel hybrid system.

The new Island Class will carry 47 vehicles and 300 - 450 passengers and crew depending on configuration. Double-ended for easy loading and unloading, the ships will also feature wide vehicle lanes, dedicated pedestrian paths, and bicycle parking spaces.

Passenger lounges and washrooms will be situated on the main deck for easy access. Lounge areas will be built for comfort with a variety of seating choices and charging stations for electronics. An overhead sundeck with seating, windbreaks, and an accessible washroom will provide a comfortable space to sit outdoors.

Island Class under construction and during sea trials in 2019 Island Class under construction and during sea trials in 2019


The Island Class under construction and during sea trials in 2019.

Key features of the Island Class ferries include:

  • Electric power and propulsion systems
  • Battery-hybrid power systems improve efficiency and reduce emissions during interim operations
  • The exhaust system reduces NOx emissions through selective catalytic reduction
  • Twin propellers designed to reduce underwater radiated noise
  • Designed to be fully accessible without elevators, reducing energy consumption, operating cost and complexity
  • Vessel completely outfitted with LED lighting
  • Heat recovery system uses waste thermal energy to heat vessel
  • Low friction and biofouling resistant hull coating reduces fuel consumption
  • Comfortable passenger lounges and solariums for great views along the journey

View more key features of the Island Class »

We are standardizing our fleet

The Island Class ferries are part of our move towards standardizing our ferry fleet. Standardization helps us:

  • Dramatically improve resiliency in our fleet by allowing us to move vessels around to replace each other during refits, repairs, and unexpected challenges
  • Provide a more consistent travel experience for our customers
  • Reduce logistical, operational, training, and maintenance costs

Questions, concerns, or need more information?

Send us an email at vesselreplacement@bcferries.com.

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