Sea trials to begin on BC's new hybrid ferries in Victoria

New hybrid ferries arrive

Victoria residents lined the shores to see the first Island-class hybrid-electric ferries travel through Victoria Harbour to their temporary base at Point Hope Maritime.

Their names are top-secret for now — they won’t be revealed until mid-February, said Mark Collins, president of B.C. Ferries.

Built in Romania by Damen Shipyards Group, the vessels are the first Island-class ferries to join the fleet.

The vessels were carried by the Sun Rise transport ship from Romania through the Panama Canal and stopped at Ogden Point on Saturday.

Checks of the ships’ systems and sea trials will be carried out at Point Hope, where crew training will take place as well, before they are handed over to B.C. Ferries.

They will be in service by mid-year, sailing the Powell River and Texada route and the Port McNeill-Alert Bay-Sointula route.

The cost of the project for the two ferries, including construction, was $86.5 million.

Four more Island-class ferries have been ordered and are set to be in service in 2022.

The ferries are capable of running for about 45 minutes on battery power alone, and the batteries charge as the engine runs.

Each ship will be able to carry 47 vehicles and between 300 and 450 passengers and crew. 

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