BC Ferries’ new Island Class ships are expected to arrive tomorrow.

They’ll be docked at the Breakwater District at Ogden Point in Victoria. 

The Island Class are battery equipped ships designed for future full electric operation. 

The ships are fitted with hybrid technology that, BC Ferries says, “bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding becomes available in B.C.”

From the exterior details to the engines, the design of the new vessels reduces underwater radiated noise, lowers emissions and improves customer service. 

These ships will be put into service on the Powell River–Texada Island and Port McNeill–Alert Bay–Sointula routes by mid-2020. 

The company will hold events to celebrate the ferries’ introduction into service with both employees and the communities. 

“It’s an exciting day for BC Ferries and coastal B.C. communities as we welcome these ships to their new home,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ president and CEO. 

“The anticipated arrival of these battery hybrid-electric ferries marks a major milestone in our plan to progressively lower emissions across our fleet and be a leader in transitioning to a lower carbon future.” 

The vessels left Constanta, Romania on Nov. 20 on a semi-submersible transport vessel. 

They’ll spend five days at Ogden Point while preparations are made to unload and deliver them to Victoria’s Point Hope Maritime.

To do so, the semi submersible transport ship will partially submerge and the two ships will be floated off and maneuvered by tugs to Point Hope Maritime. 

The shipyard that built the ferries has an agreement with Point Hope Maritime of Victoria to provide technical and warranty support for the new vessels, ensuring repair and maintenance activities will be performed in B.C. 

Point Hope Maritime is re-commissioning the ships, as is required after the transport. 

This work includes starting up all of the systems and final inspections. 

BC Ferries will take ownership following this process. 

The ships will then be christened before BC Ferries moves on to crew training, ship familiarization and dock fits. 

“We are proud to support the environmental leadership investment that BC Ferries has made in these new hybrid vessels, and we welcome our service agreement with the shipbuilder that has resulted in capacity development and new specialized jobs here at Point Hope,” says Riccardo Regosa, General Manager at Point Hope Maritime. 

“We have a dedicated team of skilled employees who have been training for the ships’ arrival. We look forward to playing an integral role getting these vessels ready for service, and to providing ongoing reliable, quality services ensuring that BC Ferries’ next generation vessels perform optimally. Point Hope Maritime has enjoyed a positive and productive working relationship with BC Ferries that has grown over many years, and is very excited to be a vital part of their future generation of ships.”