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Introducing the Salish Heron

Our fourth Salish Class ferry

We continue to roll out our Clean Futures Plan with the construction of an additional liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled ferry. The Salish Heron will join BC Ferries’ fleet in Spring 2022 with service from Swartz Bay to the Southern Gulf Islands of Pender, Saturna, Mayne and Galiano. The ferry will be identical to the three Salish Class ferries built for BC Ferries in 2016, with capacity to carry at least 138 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew. It will also allow for the retirement of the diesel-fuelled Mayne Queen ferry.
Built to be clean, quiet and efficient
The Salish Class ferries are built to support our goal to be efficient and environmentally responsible. Some key features include:
  • The use of natural gas as the primary fuel:
    • Reduces GHG emissions by 15% - 25%
    • Reduces sulphur oxides by over 85%
    • Reduces nitrogen oxides by over 50%
    • Nearly eliminates particulate matter
  • Electric propulsion eliminates gear boxes and shaft
  • Twin propellers reduce cavitation
  • Resilient engine mounts isolate structure borne noise
  • Hull design creates a very small wake
  • Engine management systems reduce machinery running time

Honouring the Coast Salish People

The Salish Class ferries celebrate and honour the Coast Salish People as the traditional stewards and original mariners of those waters. BC Ferries worked with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council to select Coast Salish artists to design artwork that reflected each ferry's name for the exterior and interior of the ferries. The first three Salish Class ferries are named Salish Orca, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven.

To again honour the unique relationship Coast Salish People have with the Salish Sea, BC Ferries is seeking a strong Coast Salish design for the exterior and interior of the new ferry that reflects the character and meaning of its name: Salish Heron.

Photos: BC Ferries’ first three Salish Class ferries and their stunning artwork

Visit the First People’s Cultural Council website to find out more about the Call to Coast Salish artists for Expressions of Interest. Eligible artists are invited to submit their EOI to the First Peoples’ Cultural Council by Monday, May 10, 2021 at 5 p.m.


Latest updates from the shipyard

In December 2020, the Salish Heron entered the water at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland, with work continuing there until scheduled sea trials in late 2021. Watch the video of the launch below.

Photo: BC Ferries’ fourth Salish Class vessel launches at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland


Press releases

March 23, 2021
Name reveal, FPCC partnership, call to artists
December 22, 2020
The Salish Heron launches
January 31, 2020
Contract awarded for additional Salish Class ferries

Check back here for more updates as the project progresses.