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The latest news
The first two battery hybrid-electric Island Class ferries entered service on the Powell River - Texada Island route and the Port McNeill - Alert Bay - Sointula Island route in mid-2020. Four more Island Class ferries will join our fleet by 2022, providing two ship service on our routes between Campbell River - Quadra Island and Nanaimo Harbour - Gabriola Island. Island Class ferries three and four will arrive in BC this summer with ferries five and six arriving in the Fall and Winter respectively. Once in BC, the ferries will transit to Point Hope Shipyard in Victoria for final preparations before they enter service on the routes in early 2022. Damen has an agreement with Point Hope Shipyard to provide technical and warranty service for the new ferries, ensuring repair, maintenance activities and support will be performed in British Columbia.
Visit our All Things Island Class playlist on YouTube to take a look at the milestones of the Island Class ferry replacement program.
Improving service for communitiesWe will be introducing four new Island Class ferries to the Campbell River - Quadra Island and Nanaimo Harbour - Gabriola Island routes in 2022. 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 engagementBetween 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 ReportsCampbell River - Quadra Island
Nanaimo Harbour - Gabriola Island
Thank you to everyone who participated and provided feedback!
Quadra Island – Campbell RiverCurrently, 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 IslandCurrently, the Quinsam is based out of Descanso Bay on Gabriola Island. Once the Island Class vessels enter service, one ship will be stationed at Descanso Bay with crew based out of Gabriola Island and the other ship will be based at Nanaimo Harbour with crew based out of Vancouver Island.
Related Terminal Development PlansYou may also be interested in learning more about these related terminal development projects:
- Campbell River Terminal Development Plan
- Nanaimo Harbour Terminal Development Plan
- Gabriola Island Terminal Development Plan
Learn more about the Island ClassThe 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.