NewsBC Ferries’ second hybrid-electric ship, Island Aurora, now in service SHARE ON: Troy Landreville, staff Thursday, Jun. 18th, 2020 CUTLINE: Island Aurora undergoing speed trials. (Supplied by BC Ferries)BC Ferries has a new ship in its fleet.Island Aurora started service at 9:35am this morning, on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula (Vancouver IslandCormorant Island-Malcolm Island) route. This follows last week’s start of service for Island Discovery on the Texada Island – Powell River run. Island Aurora is the second of a series of hybrid-electric ships designed for future full electric operation. They’re fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding become available. BC Ferries says these ships are helping the company transition to a lower carbon future. Onboard the Island Class, passenger lounges and washrooms are situated on the main deck. Lounge areas include a variety of seating and charging stations. Partial funding for these two vessels was provided by the federal government through the Provincial – Territorial Infrastructure Component – National and Regional Projects. Island Aurora will replace the 51-year old Quadra Queen II, which will become a relief vessel in the BC Ferries’ fleet. BC Ferries originally planned to host a public open house to showcase Island Aurora, but due to the pandemic, it created a short video with messages from community representatives, so you can take a virtual tour of the ship instead.