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Island Class Ferries 2022

The latest news

Commuters on the Gabriola-Nanaimo Harbour route are set to travel on the fleet’s newest Island Class vessels starting Tuesday, April 12. The augmented service will increase both capacity and sailing frequency to the communities they will serve. The new sailing schedules were developed in consultation with the community and the Gabriola Island Ferry Advisory Committee through a public engagement process carried out in March and April of 2021. For more information on this new service, visit our media release.

Visit our Island Class playlist on YouTube to take a look at the milestones of the Island Class ferry replacement program.


Improving service for communities

We will be introducing four new Island Class ferries to service the Nanaimo Harbour - Gabriola Island route (launching April 2022) and Campbell River - Quadra Island route later this year. Both routes will go from having one ship service in place today to two ship service. Having two Island Class ferries servicing each route will provide:

  • increased sailing frequency and reduced wait times at peak periods
  • economic benefits for the community
  • increases in total passenger and vehicle capacity of the route
  • the ability to operate with current size of terminal footprint
  • environmental benefits through less emissions
  • a smooth journey for passengers and a quieter ship for marine life

Community engagement

Between March 15 and April 12, 2021, 1,400 people visited our online engagement page to review information and provide feedback on the proposed two-ship schedules for the Campbell River - Quadra Island and Nanaimo Harbour - Gabriola Island Island Class routes. A summary of engagement results for each route can be found below. Full reports can be found by visiting our online engagement here.

Engagement Summary Reports

Campbell River - Quadra Island
Nanaimo Harbour - Gabriola Island

Thank you to everyone who participated and provided feedback!


Vessel locations

Quadra Island – Campbell River

Currently, the Powell River Queen is based out of Quathiaski Cove on Quadra Island. Once the Island Class vessels enter service, both ships will be stationed at Quathiaski Cove with crews based out of Quadra Island. With both vessels based out of Quadra Island, BC Ferries will bring more jobs to the local community.

In order to facilitate both vessels at Quathiaski Cove, we are currently constructing a lay-by berth on Quadra Island. The conditions at Quathiaski Cove are sheltered and favourable for overnight tie-up of two vessels. Over the next year, we will also complete upgrades to Campbell River terminal that will allow the company to use the terminal for overnight tie-up for routine maintenance.

Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island

The introduction of the new service on the Gabriola Island route allows BC Ferries to deploy the MV Quinsam to the Crofton – Salt Spring Island (Vesuvius Bay) route starting on Wednesday, April 12. The MV Quinsam will replace the MV Quinitsa, resulting in a capacity increase of approximately 100 passengers and 19 vehicles per sailing on this route. That’s an increase of an additional passenger capacity of up to 2600 more passengers a day if needed and 494 vehicles over the course of the day. The MV Quinsam will sail on the regular posted schedule.


Related Terminal Development Plans

You may also be interested in learning more about these related terminal development projects:


Learn more about the Island Class

The Island Class ferries are designed to carry 47 vehicles and up to 450 passengers and crew. They feature wide vehicle lanes, dedicated pedestrian paths and bicycle parking spaces. The Island Class are powered by hybrid diesel-electric engines that use some of the most advanced clean marine technology in the world. Once in service, we believe these ferries will be among the most efficient and quietest ferries world-wide.

The Island Class are also part of our move towards standardizing our ferry fleet. Standardization will dramatically improve resiliency in our fleet by allowing us to move vessels around to replace each other during refits, repairs and unexpected challenges. It also provides a more consistent travel experience for our customers and significantly reduces logistical, operational, training and maintenance costs.


What will happen to the Powell River Queen and the Quinsam?

The Powell River Queen will be retired from service and the Quinsam will be redeployed to the Crofton – Vesuvius route.


Questions, concerns, or need more information?

Send us an email at

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