First natural-gas powered ferry heads for home

The first of three Salish Class ferries has been completed and is on its way from a shipyard in Gdansk, Poland to British Columbia.bc-ferries-natural-gas

The Salish Orca, wrapped in a pod-of-orcas decal designed by Esquimalt artist Darlene Gait, is expected to arrive in January, and B.C. Ferries intends to have it in service by spring.

It is the first natural gas-powered vessel in B.C. Ferries’ fleet. Calling it an exciting day for B.C. Ferries, chief executive Mike Corrigan said the corporation looks forward to introducing the new ship into service for passengers on the northern Sunshine Coast, which will improve reliability and customer service.

The vessel will go through crew training. After a public open house in Powell River and Comox, the ship will start service on that route in the spring of 2017. The new vessel will take over from the Queen of Burnaby, built in 1965, which will be retired from service.

The vessel will go on a 10,440-nautical-mile journey taking 45 to 55 days, depending on weather; stops for refuelling include the Canary Islands and Panama City.

People can track the progress, including course, position and speed at

The other Salish-class vessels — Salish Eagle and Salish Raven — are the same size and are also being built in Poland.

The ferries are 105 metres long and can each carry 145 vehicles and 600 passengers; the three will cost a total of about $200 million.

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Times Colonist

Published: November 23, 2016


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