BC Ferries Salish Class

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The Salish class is a series of vessels that are owned and operated by BC Ferries.

The first three vessels were ordered to replace the remaining two Burnaby class vessels, Queen of Burnaby and Queen of Nanaimo.[1] A fourth vessel is currently on order to replace Mayne Queen.

All vessels are dual fuel, capable of running on both traditional marine diesel and liquefied Natural Gas, making the Salish class the first vessels in the BC Ferries fleet to operate on LNG. They feature one main vehicle deck with a second lower garage deck, designed to fit approximately 150 vehicles. There are two passenger decks, with amenities including a Coastal Café full cafeteria, Passages gift shop, Kids Zone play area, and exterior decks. Three Coast Salish artisans designed the unique livery on each vessel, which represents traditional Coast Salish artwork inspired by the animal each vessel is named after.[2]

Unlike most vessels in the BC Ferries fleet, the Salish class are fully interchangable between routes, and have swapped regular assigned routes after refit periods.[3] Salish Raven also acts as a minor-class refit vessel during the off-peak period.

Salish Orca

Salish Orca
BC Ferries Salish Orca-a.jpg
Built 2016, Gdnask, Poland
Status Active
Home base Little River
Route(s) served 17
9 (interchangeably)

Salish Orca is the first Salish class vessel built for BC Ferries.[4]

The vessel departed from the shipyard on November 22, 2016, and arrived in British Columbia on January 11, 2017 at Deas Dock. After clearing its acceptance tests, as the first vessel of its class in the fleet Salish Orca was used to test dock clearances at most BC Ferries locations throughout February and March 2017.

Salish Orca entered service on route 17 (Comox - Powell River) on May 16, 2017, replacing Queen of Burnaby. After undergoing a refit for warranty repairs after the 2018 summer season, it became the full-time vessel on route 9 (Southern Gulf Islands - Tsawwassen), swapping places with Salish Eagle.

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Three Wärtsilä 8L20
5,952 hp
15.5 knots 107 m 4,227 tonnes 138 autos 600


Salish Eagle

Salish Eagle
BC Ferries Salish Eagle-a.jpg
Built 2016, Gdnask, Poland
Status Active
Home base Long Habrour
Route(s) served 9
17 (interchangeably)
5 (rarely)

Salish Eagle is the second Salish class vessel built for BC Ferries.[5]

The vessel departed from the shipyard on February 11, 2017, and arrived in British Columbia at Ogden Point on March 20, 2017. Because the temperature was too cold to apply the Eagle artwork decals in the shipyard, Salish Eagle made its delivery voyage in plain white BC Ferries livery.

Salish Eagle entered service on June 21, 2017, as the secondary vessel on route 9 (Southern Gulf - Tsawwassen). After undergoing a refit for warranty repairs in the 2019 winter season, it became the full-time vessel on route 17 (Comox - Powell River), swapping places with Salish Orca.

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Three Wärtsilä 8L20
5,952 hp
15.5 knots 107 m 4,227 tonnes 138 autos 600


Salish Raven

Salish Raven
Built 2016, Gdnask, Poland
Status Active
Home base Tsawwassen (year round)
Swartz Bay (route 5)
Long Habrour (off peak on route 9)
Route(s) served 9 (peak or relief),
5, 17 (replacement)

Salish Raven is the third Salish class vessel built for BC Ferries.[6]

Salish Raven is expected to arrive in British Columbia in June 7th, 2017, and will first enter service as a relief vessel in August 3rd, 2017.

Due to mechanical issues with Queen of Nanaimo, Salish Raven was quickly prepared, and entered service on August 3, 2017. Its primary role is as a secondary vessel on route 9 (Tsawwassen - South Gulf Islands) during the peak and shoulder seasons. During the off-peak, Salish Raven acts as a relief vessel for many of the larger minor-class vessels, and is capable of operating on routes 5, 9, 17.[7]

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Three Wärtsilä 8L20
5,952 hp
15.5 knots 107 m 4,227 tonnes 138 autos 600


Salish Heron

Salish Heron
Built 2020-2021, Gdnask, Poland
Status Under construction
Home base Swartz Bay
Route(s) served 5

Is the fourth Salish-class vessel that has been ordered to replace Mayne Queen on route 5 (Swartz Bay - Southern Gulf Islands).[8] The contract to construct the fourth vessel was awarded in January 2020 to Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A, the same company who built the previous three Salish-class vessels.[9] It is expected to be delivered in 2021.

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Three Wärtsilä 8L20
5,952 hp
15.5 knots 107 m 4,227 tonnes 138 autos 600


References