For Immediate Release
December 11, 2023


VICTORIA – With today’s major capital expenditure approval by the BC Ferries Commissioner, BC Ferries is able to take the next step towards the purchase of four new hybrid electric Island Class vessels that will increase capacity for passengers across the ferry system.

By 2027, the four new vessels will enter service on the routes connecting Nanaimo Harbour and Gabriola Island (two vessels) and Campbell River and Quadra Island (two vessels), with corresponding electrical upgrades for shore-based rapid charging made to the four terminals on these routes.

“BC Ferries proposed these four new hybrid Island Class vessels because added capacity is critical to helping us get people where they need to go efficiently and reliably,” said Nicolas Jimenez, President and CEO of BC Ferries. “As the Commissioner has noted in her decision, this project will deliver improved customer service, help lower our costs related to crewing and training, and contribute to safe and reliable service for passengers up and down the coast.”

The Island Class vessels that currently serve the above routes will be able to be redeployed to greatly benefit a number of communities with increased capacity to help address current and future demands. Specifically, the Crofton to Vesuvius route will see capacity increased by 20 per cent along with increased frequency provided by two-vessel service. The Quadra to Cortes route capacity will increase by about 70 per cent through the deployment of a larger vessel, and the existing system relief vessel will be redeployed to the Denman to Hornby route year-round, doubling its capacity and particularly improving travel certainty throughout the year.

The new vessels will also create the potential for an additional seasonal capacity increase from Salt Spring (Fulford Harbour) to Swartz Bay. The project also supports having a standby relief vessel in place, which can help maintain service levels during refit periods on all routes serviced by Island Class vessels.

The introduction of these four new vessels will take BC Ferries a step closer toward standardization of the fleet which can help reduce the number of vessel classes the company operates. This in turn helps with maintenance, refit, training and other operational activities.

The Island Class electrification project will also receive funding from the Government of British Columbia through the monetization of low carbon fuel credits that BC Ferries will earn under the Province’s Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation. This project is estimated to reduce emissions by 10,000 tons of CO2 equivalent, supporting the Province’s CleanBC goals and bringing BC Ferries closer to its 2030 targets.

BC Ferries now continues through the procurement process, with negotiations to begin imminently.

To see the BC Ferries Commissioner’s ruling, visit:
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Media Contact:
BC Ferries, Media Relations
Victoria: (250) 978-1267

Customer Contact:
Victoria: (250) 410-1465
Toll-free: 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779)

Note to newsrooms: For urgent media inquiries off-hours, call our off-hours line at (250) 516-7211.
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