The countdown is on till Campbell River – Quadra Island ferry goers can upgrade to ‘Island Class.’

BC Ferries’ third Island Class ferry is now on its way to B.C., after it departed Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania early yesterday morning (Wednesday).

Once in operation, it’ll be one of two servicing the Campbell River – Quadra Island Route in 2022, replacing the existing Powell River Queen.

These hybrid diesel-electric ferries can carry around 47 vehicles, and up to 400 passengers and crew. They also allow for existing diesel-fuel ferries to retire… which comes as welcome news to BC Ferries, as it aims to be more environmentally responsible.

The yet-to-be named ferry will make the transatlantic voyage under its own power in about two months, but that all depends on the weather. The over 10,000 nautical mile journey will include two stops for refuelling, before arriving at Point Hope Maritime in Victoria for final inspections.

BC Ferries says it’ll take ownership after these inspections. The ferry will then be named and christened before crew training, ship familiarization, and dock fits.

This ferry is the third in a series of six new Island Class ferries joining the BC Ferries fleet, but the first of four to sail from Romania to B.C. under its own power. The first two Island Class ferries entered service on the Powell River – Texada Island route and the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula Island route last year.

Video of the departure can be found here:

To follow the ferry’s journey and track its progress including course, position, and speed, BC Ferries encourages you to visit vesselfinder.com – and look for the ship under the temporary name, ‘Island 3’.