About BC Ferries

Spirit of British Columbia Mid-Life Upgrade

The Spirit of British Columbia has returned to BC following extensive upgrades, including a conversion to dual fuel that will enable her to run on natural gas. We’re underway preparing her for service with sea trials, crew training and vessel certification. Over the May long weekend, she will be performing sea trials in the Georgia Strait and continuing with preparations for service with crew training while the vessel is in berth at Tsawwassen. We are excited to welcome her back into service in time for the summer season.

Highlights of the vessel’s extensive upgrades include the following safety, mechanical, environmental and customer service improvements:

  • Conversion of the propulsion plant to dual fuel (natural gas and marine diesel oil)
  • New engines and a natural gas fuel system
  • Upgrades to more efficient air conditioning equipment
  • Upgrades to the passenger area including new carpeting and an additional washroom
  • Upgrades to the passenger elevators including the renewal of mechanical and electrical drive components
  • Expansion of the gift shop and addition of a new coffee bar
  • Renewal of the propulsion equipment components including rudders, steering system, bow thrusters, propellers and gearboxes
  • New machinery control system, navigation system, internal communication system and safety and evacuation systems

Project Gallery

Departing Gdansk Poland   Departing Gdansk Poland   View form the stern in dry dock   View from the bow   View from the port side   View from the port side   View from the port side

Conversion to Dual Fuel

The conversion of our two largest vessels along with our three new dual-fuel Salish Class vessels will reduce our environmental footprint. The use of natural gas to fuel the Spirit Class vessels will help reduce CO2 emissions by 12,000 tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking approximately 2,500 vehicles off the road per year.

Spirit of British Columbia Mid-Life Upgrade Timeline

  • March 2016 – Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract signed with Remontowa Shiprepair Yard to conduct mid-life upgrades
  • September 2017 – The Spirit of British Columbia is removed from service and departs under its own power to Remontowa Shiprepair Yard in Gdansk, Poland
  • October 2017 – The Spirit of British Columbia arrives at Remontowa Shiprepair Yard and the production execution phase of its mid-life upgrade commences
  • Spring 2018 – Mid-life upgrade complete; The Spirit of British Columbia returns to service on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route

The Spirit of British Columbia will be the first ship through the mid-life upgrade and conversion process. Her sister ship, the Spirit of Vancouver Island, will undergo its mid-life upgrade from the fall of 2018 through the spring of 2019. This schedule will allow for the two largest vessels in the BC Ferries fleet to be back in operation during the summer months when traffic is at its highest.

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