The sixth and final Island Class ferry to join BC Ferries’ fleet has left Romania and is en route to British Columbia.
The vessel, temporarily dubbed “Island 6” left the Damen Shipyards in Galati, Romania on Monday, and is expected to take 60 days to sail to B.C. under its own power, BC Ferries said Wednesday.
The voyage will take it across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Panama Canal and up the west coast to Point Hope Maritime in Victoria.
The Island Class ferries are diesel-electric hybrids, and BC Ferries says the Island 6 will complete about a third of its voyage under electric power.
The company says it hopes to operate the vessels under 100 per cent electric power in the future, once its terminals are outfitted with charging capabilities.
BC Ferries says the design will both reduce emissions and underwater noise.
The ferries can carry 47 vehicles and up to 400 passengers and crew.
Once the vessel is received and passes inspection in Victoria, it will become one of two Island Class ferries servicing the Nanaimo-Gabriola Island route next year.
The hybrids are designed to handle some of BC Ferries’ smaller routes, and two of the vessels, the Island Discovery and Island Aurora, entered service in June 2020.
BC Ferries announced the names of two more hybrids, the Island Nagalis and Island K’ulut’a, last month. They are expected to enter service early next year.
The fifth vessel, temporarily dubbed Island 5, also arrived in Victoria in September.