Campbell River – Quadra Island ferry-goers are itching to upgrade to ‘Island Class.’

BC Ferries’ third Island Class ferry is now on its final leg to B.C., after it passed through the Panama Canal yesterday (Wednesday) and entered the Pacific Ocean. 

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

These hybrid diesel-electric ferries can carry around 50 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 – dubbed ‘Island 3’ for the time being – is making its transatlantic voyage under its own power, after departing a Romania shipyard on May 19th. 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. It’s the third in a series of six new Island Class ferries joining the BC Ferries fleet, the first two entering service on the Powell River – Texada Island route and the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula Island route last year.

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 ‘Island 3’.