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Island Class Ferries 2022

The latest news

We recently revealed the names of our third and fourth Island Class ferries at a special naming ceremony at Victoria’s Point Hope Maritime. Island Nagalis and Island K’ulut’a are the newest vessels to enter the fleet, allowing two-ship service to begin on the Campbell River – Quadra Island route in 2022.

BC Ferries selected the names following a community engagement process. The names celebrate the important connection to some of the coastal communities the ferries will serve. In both Kwak̓wala and Lik̓wala, two of the Kwakwaka’wakw dialects, Nagalis means “dawn on the land” and K’ulut’a is the name for Porpoise. We are pleased to partner with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) to commission original artwork from Indigenous artists for the interior of the vessels (details to be announced in the fall).

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 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 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
Currently, 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 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