Essential travel only, new travel restrictions
In support of the provincial travel restrictions Order M172 that went into effect on April 23, BC Ferries will deny travel to customers, including recreational vehicles, crossing between different health regions as defined by the Order. This affects the following routes:
- Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
- Tsawwassen – Duke Point
- Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
- Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
- Comox – Powell River
- Port Hardy – Prince Rupert
Customers travelling on these routes will be asked if their travel is essential, and denied passage if it is not essential. Customers travelling on routes that operate within the same regional zone will be reminded they should be avoiding non-essential travel at this time. These restrictions are in effect until May 25th.
Masks are mandatory
Transport Canada screening
For any route longer than 30 minutes, BC Ferries will screen all customers for COVID-19 symptoms and restrict travel to any customer that does not meet the screening requirements, as per the federal guidelines. Learn more.
The Province of British Columbia advises that many First Nations communities have declared a state of emergency and enacted COVID-19 community protection by-laws including travel bans for non-residents and non-essential visitors. It is important to respect these restrictions in addition to the province-wide travel advisory. For more information, click here.
When travelling, we require customers wear a face covering onboard or in our terminals. Reservations for foot passengers are available for travel between Tsawwassen - Southern Gulf Islands and our North Coast routes, and can now be made online. On all other routes, foot passengers will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis until passenger capacity has been reached, and tickets may be purchased at the terminal.
- Customers requiring wheelchair assistance: We are unable to provide wheelchair assistance at terminals or on board ferries. If you require a wheelchair, request one at the terminal. We ask that you travel with your own wheelchair assistant if required.
- For more information on travelling with BC Ferries during the COVID-19 Pandemic click here
- Updates from our President and CEO Mark Collins
- For more information on schedules visit bcferries.com/schedules
April 22, 2021
BC Ferries marks Earth Day with the launch of its sixth battery electric-hybrid vessel
New Island Class ferry will service the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route in 2022VICTORIA – BC Ferries is marking Earth Day today with the launch of its sixth battery electric- hybrid Island Class ferry. The vessel entered the water early Wednesday morning at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. The yet-to-be named ship is the last in a series of six Island Class vessels joining the BC Ferries fleet. When in operation, it will be one of two Island Class vessels assigned to the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route.
Work will continue on the new ship until scheduled sea trials in August. Following successful sea trials, the vessel will be delivered to Point Hope Maritime in Victoria in late 2021 for final preparations. Two-ship service is scheduled to begin on the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route in 2022, replacing the Quinsam.
“We are excited to reach this milestone in our Island Class project,” said Captain Jamie Marshall, BC Ferries’ Vice President, Shipbuilding and Innovation. “The launch of the sixth and final vessel in the series propels BC Ferries closer to reaching its goal to be efficient and environmentally responsible throughout the system.”
The Island Class is a hybrid diesel-electric ferry with a number of key features that support BC Ferries’ Clean Futures Plan. Once electric charging technology can be installed at BC Ferries’ terminals, these new ships will be configured to operate as all battery-electric ferries, using clean renewable hydroelectric energy. Island Class ferries have the capacity to carry at least 47 vehicles and up to 400 passengers and crew, and allow for fleet redeployments and retirements of existing diesel-fuelled vessels.
Replacing one larger ship with two smaller vessels on the route will provide customers with increased capacity per hour and more frequent service. Customers will also notice reduced vehicle line-ups and congestion on local roads, and improved safety. It eliminates the need to consume more greenspace to increase the size of terminal holding compounds by moving more traffic more frequently through the same amount of space.
BC Ferries deployed the first two Island Class vessels on the Powell River – Texada Island route and the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula Island route in mid-2020. The third and fourth new ships will provide two-ship service on the Campbell River – Quadra Island route in 2022. The fifth Island Class ferry launched in February and, together with the sixth Island Class ferry, will provide two-ship service on the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route in 2022.
BC Ferries issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) for the construction of the four latest vessels to leading shipyards in Canada and around the world in July 2018. Canadian shipyards were invited to participate in the competitive bidding process. BC Ferries received responses from 18 international shipyards and short-listed nine shipyards to proceed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage. No Canadian companies submitted a bid.
Video of the launch is available here https://youtu.be/s_-FCqbXDbQ. More information on community events and naming ceremonies will be released as it becomes available. For more information on BC Ferries’ Clean Futures Plan or the Island Class project, please visit bcferries.com.
BC Ferries, Communications
Victoria: (250) 978-1267
Victoria: (250) 410-1465
Toll-free: 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779)
BC Ferries’ sixth Island Class vessel launches at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania.