Mark Collins, president and CEO of BC Ferries stands in front of one of the two Island Class hybrid ferries that were christened with new names ahead of going into service. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

Two new vessels in the BC Ferries fleet were splashed with a small coat of champagne on Wednesday afternoon as they were officially christened with their new names.

The Island Discovery and Island Aurora vessels are new hybrid ships scheduled to sail the Powell River-Texada Island and Port McNeill-Alert Bay-Sointula routes, respectively. They were manufactured in Romania and made their way to Victoria via a two-month journey.

Island Discovery will replace the 59-year-old North Island Princess, which will be decommissioned from the fleet, while Island Aurora will replace Quadra Queen II, which will be retained as a relief vessel.

Both ships are identical, and as Island Class ferries can carry 47 vehicles and more than 300 passengers.

PHOTOS: New BC Ferries hybrid vessels arrive in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

They are also the quietest ships in the fleet, thanks to the hybrid technology on board that allow them to run on diesel and electric. Presently they will run on 20 per cent battery, with a long term plan of being 100 per cent battery.

“I like to think of these as electric ships with a temporary hybrid system,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries president and CEO. “We will go full electric just as soon as the shore side of infrastructure is complete.”

This will likely be five to 10 years.

F0our more identical hybrid Island Class vessels, each with a price tag of $40 million, will be ordered in the near-future as well.

ALSO READ: New BC Ferries hybrid vessels make their way through Panama Canal before coming to Victoria

While the Island Class vessels serve smaller routes, BC Ferries plans on on also bringing in hybrid vessels for its larger routes, such as the Swartz-Bay Tsawwassan routes.

“We’re in the process right now of studying the technical concepts that will go into our next new class of ships on major class vessels, about the size of the spirit class,” Collins said. “For those, certainly hybrid technology will be used to reduce noise, reduce fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gasses.”

Larger hybrid vessels are anticipated to join the fleet in four years.

Island Aurora and Island Discovery are anticipated to begin operating in mid-May.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

bc ferryBCFerries

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Excess activity damaging Saanich golf course – despite being closed

Cedar Hill Golf Course manager reminds people of the 170 parks available in Saanich

UVic Vikes new basketball coach on the fast track

At 26, Shalie Dheensaw assumed head coaching role

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

‘Small python’ found in vacant Cook Street apartment

Snake taken to CRD Animal Shelter to be claimed

Greater Victoria liquor stores see spike in sales amidst COVID-19

Customers are buying go-to products in larger quantities

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Nanaimo man arrested after allegedly setting house fire

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road in Cedar on Thursday

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Most Read