BC Ferries is welcoming a new vessel to its fleet.

Island Discovery officially begins service tomorrow (June 10) at 3:00pm on the Texada Island – Powell River route. 

It’s the first of a series of hybrid-electric ships designed for future full electric operation. 

BC Ferries president and CEO Mark Collins says it’s a welcome addition: “It’s an exciting day to bring Island Discovery to Texada Island. It’s a big step forward in our plan to reduce our impact on the environment.”

BC Ferries says these ships are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding become available. 

The Island Discovery’s entry into BC Ferries’ fleet allows for the retirement of the 59-year-old North Island Princess, which served British Columbians well for many decades. 

The second vessel in the Island Class series, Island Aurora, will replace Quadra Queen II on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route next week. 

Quadra Queen II will become a relief vessel. 

Island Class ferries have the capacity to carry 47 vehicles and up to 392 passengers, depending on configuration. 

“From the exterior details to the engines, the design of the new vessels reduces underwater radiated noise, lowers emissions and improves customer service,” BC Ferries said in a release. 

Partial funding for these two vessels was provided by the federal government through the Provincial – Territorial Infrastructure Component – National and Regional Projects.