Two of BC Ferries’ new Island Class vessels are making progress on the journey from their shipyards in Romania, with Island 3 set to reach Vancouver Island on July 22 and Island 4 having entered the Pacific this week.
Island 3 left the Damen Shipyard in Galati, Romania, on May 19 and crossed into the Pacific on June 23. The vessel last docked at port at Long Beach Anchorage in California on July 10, to refuel and avoid a spat of inclement weather.
Island 3 is now expected to complete its 10,700 nautical voyage on the morning of July 22, by arriving in Ogden Point, Victoria, per BC Ferries. After clearing customs, it will transit to Point Hope Maritime shipyard in the afternoon — giving residents a chance to check out the new ship as it sails around southern Vancouver Island.
It will be viewable from several downtown Victoria locations, including Dallas Road, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Songhees Walkway, Wharf Street, and the Johnson Street Bridge.
Island 4 left Romania on June 8, but made a multi-day stop (June 19 to 23) in Escombreras, Spain, before crossing the Atlantic (both vessels docked at port in the Spanish Canary Islands prior to crossing). But the vessel is now in the Pacific Ocean, after transiting the Panama Canal last weekend, according to a BC Ferries.
Sailing at a speed of around nine knots, Island 4 is expected to arrive between Aug. 10 and 15, but this depends on weather. Upon arrival, BC Ferries will take ownership of the new Island Class upon inspection at Point Hope Maritime in Victoria, B.C.
The ships are two of six new electric vessels to be acquired by BC Ferries, of which two are already serving southern Gulf Island routes. They are battery equipped for full electric operation, but hybrid technology will be used until shore charging infrastructure is available.
Island 3 and 4 — to receive new official names later this year — will provide two-ship service on the Campbell River — Quadra Island Route in 2022.