About this ferry
The Coastal Inspiration provides regular ferry service between Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and Nanaimo (Duke Point).
Note: Due to COVID-19, some amenities are currently closed. Learn more about our onboard amenities and check which ones are available.
As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, operational guidelines call for regular and frequent safety drills for all crew members on every ferry.
Over 1,000 drills will be conducted this year to ensure the highest safety standards for our ferries and crews.
In the event of an emergency, always follow the instructions of ferry’s personnel.
Important: in the case of an emergency, elevators are not available and vehicle access may be prohibited.
The following signals are used to crew members to an emergency:
Continuous ringing of the alarm bell.
- Person overboard
Three long soundings of the whistle and general alarm bell. Keep outer decks clear where rescue operations are underway.
- Boat/Raft stations
Seven (or more) short soundings, followed by one long sounding of the ferry’s general alarm and/or whistle.
Signals will be followed by an announcement explaining the nature of the emergency. If you hear a signal, don’t panic. Our crew will take immediate charge of the situation and clearly explain exactly what to do.
If the ferry needs to be evacuated, double track inflatable slides, similar to those used for passenger aircraft, can be deployed by crew members from Deck 5.
Using the same basic principles as playground slides, and looking much like them, the inflatable slides are easy for all passengers to use by sliding quickly down to a life raft.
There are 22 rafts, including four platform rafts:
- 20 of them are capable of carrying 100 passengers
- Two of them are capable of carrying 50 passengers
In total, the life rafts can accommodate more people than the maximum the ferry can carry.
Should there ever be a need to evacuate the ferry, crew members will direct you to an evacuation area.
This ferry carries two six-person rescue boats on Deck 5 to assist in towing life rafts, to respond to emergencies, and to help passengers to safety.
Life jackets are stowed in marked lockers:
Outside Deck 5
Inside Deck 6
Three sizes of life jackets are available:
- One for infants less than 33 pounds (15 kg)
- One for children up to 90 pounds (41 kg)
- One for adults
In the unlikely event of an emergency, crew members will instruct you on the proper use of your life jacket.
Fire extinguishers are located in all interior passenger areas, plus:
- Manual pull stations throughout the ferry
- A manual water deluge system on the vehicle decks
- Water mist fire suppression locally over the machinery and throughout the hull (2 systems)
- Water mist throughout the passenger areas and service spaces
- Chemical fire suppression over the Galley equipment
Fire suppression in both machinery and passenger spaces employs a state-of-the-art Hi-Fog water mist system that produces a thick fog of tiny water droplets to smother a potential fire.
The fire doors in public passageways on vehicle decks are smart. Open while in port for passenger convenience, the doors close automatically when the ferry is underway or when heat is detected. The force required to open the doors increases if heat levels rise above set temperatures. In addition to their automatic features, the doors can be controlled remotely from the bridge.
This ferry meets all Canadian stability requirements including the TP 10943 (SOLAS ’90 (Safety of Life at Sea)) damage stability standards for two compartment damage.
There are 17 separate compartments in the hull, plus eight independent machinery spaces, for a total of 25 watertight compartments. And eight automated watertight doors are fitted.
Watertight integrity is monitored continuously from the bridge. The main engines are in two independent Engine Rooms. The lower car deck is also watertight, with the bow and stern doors closing to form a seal with the deck.
All watertight opening and hatches are inspected, tested, and serviced annually.
Monitoring for safety
Each Coastal Class ferry has 36 controllable video cameras installed at various onboard locations, allowing the bridge crew to monitor all areas of the ferry and remotely activate safety systems as soon as possible. The crew also maintains regular inspection rounds of the ferry during the sailing.
View schedule for route between Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and Nanaimo (Duke Point)
Find out more about accessibility on our ferries
Get tips for travelling with pets
Grab a freshly brewed coffee at Sitka Coffee Place
Relax in our quiet Seawest lounge
Find the perfect gift on board at Passages
Back to our ferries
The information on this page applies to the Coastal Inspiration only. Locations and complement of safety equipment on other ferries will vary.
Important: Ferries are periodically modified. BC Ferries does not accept any responsibility or liability for any errors in the information provided.
- Built 2008
- Overall length (m) 160.0
- Maximum displacement (t) 10034.0
- Car capacity 310
- Passenger & crew capacity 1604
- Maximum speed (knots) 23.0
- Horsepower 21444
To ensure a safe and comfortable journey for all passengers, BC Ferries provides a variety of accessibility options, including discounted passenger fares, assistance getting on and off the ferry, and wheelchairs to borrow for boarding.
The Coastal Inspiration has accessible washrooms on Decks 5 and 6, and three elevators.
During extreme weather, passenger elevators may be unavailable due to safety regulations.
If you use a wheelchair, let the agent at the ticket booth know when you arrive, and we will do our best to arrange for you to park as close as possible to an elevator.
Assistance in an emergency
If you would require assistance in the event of an emergency, inform the ticket agent at the terminal and a crew member on the ferry.
Learn more about BC Ferries accessibility.