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Introducing the Salish Heron

Our fourth Salish Class ferry


We are excited to continue rolling out our Clean Futures Plan with the construction of another liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled ferry, the Salish Heron, joining the BC Ferries fleet in Spring 2022. The ferry will be identical to the three Salish Class ferries built 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. Historically, BC Ferries has worked alongside the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) to select Coast Salish artists to design artwork that reflected each ferry's name for the exterior and interior of the ferries.

BC Ferries partnered once again with the FPCC and selected Coast Salish artist Maynard Johnny Jr. from Chemainus, B.C., to create the design for BC Ferries’ newest Salish Class vessel, Salish Heron. Mr. Johnny is Coast Salish from Penelakut on his father's side and is connected to Cape Mudge Kwakwaka'wakw on his mother's side. For 27 years he has focused his art practice on Coast Salish style.


In the spring, the First Peoples’ Cultural Council invited Coast Salish artists to submit Expressions of Interest for consideration. From 36 submissions, a committee of Indigenous artist peers and BC Ferries representatives selected a shortlist of nine artists who were then commissioned to develop design concepts. Mr. Johnny’s design was selected from a list of 36 candidates.

“Herons and my people once inhabited the area in what is now known as the town of Chemainus,” said Maynard Johnny Jr. “The majestic birds were once plentiful and provided the people guidance on where fish were in abundance. I have created a Salish Heron using traditional Salish design with contemporary colours that have become my signature as a Coast Salish artist. The design reflects the long beak and long neck of a Great Blue Heron, and it’s wing, tail feathers and talon. I wanted to create a Salish Heron that was fascinating to the viewer and was obvious to the eye yet kept a flow of design and colour.”

The Salish Heron will be the fourth Salish Class ferry and will share routes with Salish Orca, Salish Eagle, and Salish Raven (pictured below) which entered service in 2017.

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

 

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

November 29, 2021

BC Ferries and First Peoples’ Cultural Council reveal Coast Salish artwork for Salish Heron vessel
 

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.
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