BC Ferries

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British Columbia Ferry Services, known as BC Ferries, is one of the largest ferry systems in the world. They provide service along the BC coast, between the mainland, Vancouver Island and numerous smaller islands along the coast.

History

BC Ferries was founded in the late 1950s as a crown corporation of the BC Government, and began operating a single route between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay on June 15, 1960. They later took over ferry operations from Black Ball Lines in the 1960s when the company was experiencing job action. To cope with increasing demand during the 1970s, BC Ferries embarked on a program to lengthen and add another deck to its vessels to increase their capacity. Saltwater ferry services provided by the BC Department of Transportation and Highways were transferred to BC Ferries in 1985. In 2003, the crown corporation was spun off as the independent company British Columbia Ferry Services.

Routes

BC Ferries assigns route numbers to its ferry services. These numbers are for internal use, and are not normally displayed to the public.

Current routes

Former

Fleet

Cable vessel

Name Thumbnail Year Class Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity Route(s) served Notes
Baynes Sound Connector BC Ferries Baynes Sound Connector-b.jpg 2015 None 50 150 21
  • World's longest cable ferry.

Conventional vessels

Name Thumbnail Year Class Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity Route served Notes
Bowen Queen BC Ferries Bowen Queen-a.jpg 1965 Powell River 70 400 Backup/relief vessel
Coastal Celebration BC Feries Coastal Celebration-a.jpg 2008 Coastal 370 1604 1
Coastal Inspiration BC Ferries Coastal Inspiration-b.jpg 2008 Coastal 370 1604 30
Coastal Renaissance BC Ferries Coastal Renaissance-a.jpg 2008 Coastal 370 1604 2 (peak)
Replacement for the Coastal Class, & Spirit of British Columbia
Kahloke 1973 K 30 200 22
  • Transferred from BC Ministry of Transportation and Highways in 1985.
Klitsa 1972 K 22 150 12
  • Transferred from BC Ministry of Transportation and Highways in 1985.
Kuper 1985 K 32 269 20
  • Purchased from Utah Department of Transportation in 2006.
Kwuna 1975 K 26 150 26
  • Transferred from BC Ministry of Transportation and Highways in 1985.
  • Equipped with loading ramps to load & unload from boat launches.
Malaspina Sky BC Ferries Island Sky-b.jpg 2008 I 125 465 7
  • Originally named Island Sky; renamed on October 24, 2019.
Mayne Queen BC Ferries Mayne Queen-b.jpg 1965 Powell River 70 400 5A
  • Equipped with side load ramps until 1979.
Nimpkish 1973 N 16 95 28A
  • Transferred from BC Department of Transportation and Highways in 1985.
North Island Princess BC Ferries North Island Princess-a.jpg 1958 None 49 150 18
  • Purchased from Coast Ferries in 1969.
  • Lengthened and gave a catamaran double hull in 1971.
  • Transferred to BC Department of Transportation and Highways from 1977-1985.
Northern Adventure 2004 None 101 640 11 (summer)
10/11 (backup/relief)
Northern Expedition 2009 None 130 638 10 (summer)
10/11 (off-peak)
Northern Sea Wolf 2000 None 35 150 28A, 28[1]
Powell River Queen BC Ferries Powell River Queen-a.jpg 1965 Powell River 68 400 23
  • Saddle lounges removed to allow for additional overheight vehicles in 1973.
Quadra Queen II BC Ferries Quadra Queen II-a.jpg 1969 T 30 150 25
  • Transferred from BC Department of Transportation and Highways in 1985.
Queen of Alberni BC Ferries Queen of Alberni-a.jpg 1976 C 290 1193 30
  • Lifted in 1984 to increase car capacity from 144.
Queen of Capilano BC Ferries Queen of Capilano-d.jpg 1991 I 100 457 8
  • Gallery decks added in 2015.
Queen of Coquitlam BC Ferries Queen of Coquitlam-b.jpg 1976 C 360 1488 3 (summer)
2, Backup/relief (off-peak)
Queen of Cowichan BC Ferries Queen of Cowichan-b.jpg 1976 C 360 1488 2 (peak)
2, 3 (off-peak)
Queen of Cumberland BC Ferres Queen of Cumberland-c.jpg 1992 I 127 456 5
  • Equipped with platform decks.
Queen of New Westminster BC Ferries Queen of New Westminster-b.jpg 1964 None 270 1325 1 (peak)
1, Backup/relief (off-peak)
  • Lifted in 1991 to add upper car deck and received new engines, removed from B class.
Queen of Oak Bay BC Ferries Queen of Oak Bay-d.jpg 1981 C 360 1488 2
Queen of Surrey BC Ferries Queen of Surrey-a.jpg 1981 C 360 1488 3 (peak)
2, 3 (off-peak)
Quinitsa 1977 None 50 300 6
  • Transferred from BC Ministry of Transportation and Highways in 1985.
Quinsam BC Ferries Quinsam-b.jpg 1982 None 70 400 19
  • Transferred from BC Ministry of Transportation and Highways in 1985.
Skeena Queen BC Ferries Skeena Queen-a.jpg 1997 Century 100 450 4
Salish Orca BC Ferries Salish Orca-a.jpg 2016 Salish 138 600 9, 17
Salish Eagle BC Ferries Salish Eagle-b.jpg 2016 Salish 138 600 17, 9
Salish Raven 2016 Salish 138 600 9 (peak, replacement)
5, 17
Spirit of British Columbia BC Ferries Spirit of British Columbia-d.jpg 1993 Spirit 410 2100 1
Spirit of Vancouver Island BC Ferries Spirit of Vancouver Island-b.jpg 1994 Spirit 410 2100 1
Tachek 1969 T 30 150 24
  • Originally named Texada Queen; refitted and renamed in 1977.
  • Transferred from BC Ministry of Transportation and Highways in 1985.

On order

Number of vessels on order Class Year Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity Route(s) served Notes
(2 vessels) Island Class 2019 47 300 18, 25
(4 vessels) Island Class 2021-2022 47 300 18, 19, 23, 25
(1 vessel) Salish Class 2021-2022 138 600 5

Retired roster

Name Thumbnail Year Class Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity Route(s) served Notes
Cy Peck 1913 None 18 135 5, 8
  • Acquired in 1961 as part of Gulf Islands Ferry purchase.
  • Retired in 1966, replaced in part by Mayne Queen.
Dogwood Princess 1969 None 0 30 13
Dogwood Princess II 1979 None 0 38 13
  • Retired in 2003 after operation of route 13 was contracted out.
George S Pearson 1925 None 18 134 5
  • Acquired in 1961 as part of Gulf Island Ferry purchase.
  • Retired in 1966, replaced in part by Mayne Queen.
Howe Sound Queen BC Ferries Howe Sound Queen-a.jpg 1964 None 70 300 6
Jervis Queen 1926 None 45 600 7
Langdale Queen 1903 None 80 600 3
Mill Bay 1956 None 16 136 12
  • Acquired in 1969 as part of Coast Ferries purchase.
  • Retired in May 2011, replaced on route by Klitsa.
PacifiCat Discovery 1999 PacifiCat 235 1000 2
  • Catamaran design, for "Fast Ferry" program.
  • Removed from service in 2000.
  • Sold to Washington Marine Group in 2003.
PacifiCat Explorer 1998 PacifiCat 235 1000 2
  • Catamaran design, for "Fast Ferry" program.
  • Removed from service in 2000.
  • Sold to Washington Marine Group in 2003.
PacifiCat Voyager 2000 PacifiCat 235 1000 2
  • Catamaran design, for "Fast Ferry" program.
  • Never entered service after cancellation of PacifiCat sailings in 2000.
  • Sold to Washington Marine Group in 2003.
Pender Queen 1923 None 40 250 5
  • Acquired in 1961 as part of Gulf Island Ferry purchase.
  • Renamed from Motor Princess in 1963.
  • Retired in 1980.
Princess of Vancouver 1955 None 150 984 17
  • Transferred from BC Department of Highways and Transportation in 1985.
  • Retired in 1987, replaced on route by Queen of Sidney.
Queen of Burnaby BC Ferries Queen of Burnaby-a.jpg 1965 B 192 897 17
  • Previously a V class vessel and did not receive additional car deck like other V-Class vessels.
  • Leased in 1994 to Victoria Line as Royal Victorian to operate between Victoria and Seattle.
    • Sub-leased to Victoria Clipper as Princess Marguerite III.
    • Returned to BC Ferries in 2000 as Queen of Burnaby.
  • Replaced by Salish Orca in 2017.
Queen of Chilliwack 1978 None 115 400 28 (summer)
7 (off-peak)
  • Originally built as Bastø I; purchased by BC Ferries in 1991.
  • Served on Discovery Coast Passage and Earls Cove - Saltery Bay routes.
  • Became a spare vessel after being replaced by Island Sky in 2009.
  • Sold to Goundar Shipping Limited in Fiji as Lomaiviti Princess III in 2015.
Queen of Esquimalt 1963 V 376 1656 3 (summer)
Backup/relief vessel (off-peak)
  • Sold in 2008 to Dalian Gold Sun as Princess Jacqueline and scrapped in Mexico in 2011.
Queen of the Islands 1963 None 483 40 9
  • Designed for Tsawwassen - Gulf Islands route; later operated as spare vessel.
  • Sold in 1991 to St. John's Fishing Lodge.
  • Currently resides in Mosquito Creek Marina as Spirit of the Nation, a floating event venue.
Queen of the North 1969 None 115 700 10
  • Originally built as Stena Danica operating in Sweeden.
  • Purchased by BC Ferries in 1974 as Queen of Surrey.
  • Refitted and transferred to Inside Passage route as Queen of the North in 1980.
  • Ran aground and sank on March 22, 2006; replaced by Northern Adventure.
Queen of Prince Rupert 1965 None 80 544 11
Queen of Nanaimo Queen of Nanaimo-b.jpg 1964 B 192 1,004 9
  • Previously a V class vessel, did not receive additional car deck like other V-Class vessels.
  • Retired on September 2, 2017 and replaced by Salish Eagle.
  • Sold to Goundar Shipping Limited in Fiji as Lomaiviti Princess V in 2017.
Queen of Saanich 1963 V 360 1708 1
  • Retired in 2008 and sold as Owen Belle to a logging camp.
  • Sent for scrap in Mexico in September 2012.
Queen of Sidney 1960 Sidney 138 989 17
  • Renamed from Sidney in 1963.
  • Retired in 2000.
Queen of Tsawwassen 1960 Sidney 128 640 7 (summer)
Backup/relief vessel (off-peak)
  • Renamed from Tsawwassen in 1963.
  • Retired in 2008.
Queen of Vancouver 1962 V 338 1708 1
  • Renamed from City of Vancouver in 1963.
  • Sold in 2009 to Coast Marine and scrapped in Mexico in September 2012.
Queen of Victoria 1962 V 286 1360 1
  • Renamed from City of Victoria in 1963.
  • Sold to R & G Importadora & Exportadora as Queen of Ocoa in 2001.
  • Scrapped in 2006.
Quillayute 1927 None 35 600 7
Saltspring Queen 1949 None 36 187 4, 5, 6
  • Acquired in 1961 as part of Gulf Island Ferry purchase.
  • Renamed from Delta Princess in 1963.
  • Retired in 1996.
Sechelt Queen 1947 None 83 670 3
  • Acquired in 1961 as part of Black Ball Line purchase.
  • Sold to BC Department of Highways and Transportation in 1976 for use on Comox - Powell River route.
S.S. Smokwa 1946 None 46 473 3
  • Acquired in 1961 as part of Black Ball Line purchase.
  • Only vessel to operate as a steamship in BC Ferries service.
  • Sold in 1966.
Sunshine Coast Queen 1952 None 180 973 3
  • Originally named Vacationland and operated by Michigan Department of Highways between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace.
  • Purchased from Compagne Navigation Nord-Sud in 1967, previously named Pere Nouvel.
  • Put into storage in 1977 due to high operation costs.
  • Sold in 1987 to be turned into an oil-drilling support vessel, but never converted. Sunk in December 1987 while being towed to China for scrap.
Tenaka 1964 None 30 244 24
  • Transferred from BC Department of Transportation and Highways in 1985.
  • Renamed from Comox Queen in 1977.
  • Retired in December 2014, sold to Lady Rose Marine Services.
Vesuvius Queen 1950 None 35 184 4, 5, 6
  • Originally built as Lloyd Jones, operated on Lake Okanagan between Kelowna and Westbank.
  • Purchased by BC Ferries in 1962, renamed Bowen Queen for use on Horseshoe Bay - Bowen Island route.
  • Renamed in 1965 to Vesuvius Queen.
  • Sold in 1998 to R & G Importadora & Exportadora.

Independently operated but owned by BC Ferries

Vessel owned by BC Ferries but not operated by them.

Name Thumbnail Year Class Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity Route(s) served Operator Notes
Nicola 1960 N 16 133 Prince Rupert - Port Simpson Lax Kw'alaams First Nation
  • Original named the M/V Quadra Queen
  • Transferred from BC Department of Transportation and Highways in 1985.
  • Vessel transferred to Lax Kw'alaams First Nation as Spirit of Lax Kw'alaams but stilled owned by BC Ferries.

External Links

References

  1. Journey On Board the Northern Sea Wolf, Launching Summer 2018, BC Ferries.ca, retrieved 09-30-2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 BC Ferries encourages B.C. and Canadian Shipyards to respond to requests for expressions of interest to build five vesselsBCFerries.ca, retrieved 07-26-2018. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "“replacements”" defined multiple times with different content
  3. BC Ferries’ Newest Class of Vessels BCFerries.ca, retrieved 10-26-2017.

Official websites

Forum