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Island Class Ferries 2022

The latest news

The four new Island Class ferries that will service the Campbell River – Quadra Island and Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island routes are on schedule at Damen Shipyards in Galati, Romania. Three of the four ships recently reached a key milestone as they were launched into the water for the first time. This is an important step in the ship construction process as the ferries are built on land and then side launched into the water using a slipway. The fourth vessel will be launched in April 2021.

The ships will depart Romania later this spring and will transit to British Columbia via the Panama Canal. The ferries are scheduled to arrive to Point Hope Shipyard in Victoria starting this summer 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.


Improved 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. Two Island Class ferries will service each route providing:
  • increased sailing frequency and reduced wait times at peak periods
  • economic benefits for the community
  • increase in total passenger and vehicle capacity of the route
  • ability to operate with current size of terminal footprint
  • environmental benefits 

Community engagement

Provide your thoughts on proposed schedules for two-ship service
BC Ferries recently launched online engagement to provide residents and ferry users the opportunity to share feedback regarding the proposed schedules for the two routes.

Participate online here

Online engagement runs from March 24 – April 12.
Participate in virtual community meetings to learn more about the proposed schedules
These meetings will give participants a chance to learn more about the proposed schedules and ask questions of the project team.

Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island proposed schedule:
Tuesday, April 6
6:00 – 7:30pm
RSVP to receive the meeting link here

Campbell River – Quadra Island proposed schedule:
Wednesday, April 7
6:00 – 7:30pm
RSVP to receive the meeting link here


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