BC Ferries I-Class

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The Intermediate class is a series of three vessels owned and operated by BC Ferries. All vessels were built by Vancouver Shipyards Co., between 1991 and 2008.

The Intermediate class is comprised of two orders: Queen of Capilano and Queen of Cumberland were built in 1991 and 1992 respectively. Island Sky was built in 2008; while designed and built under a separate contract, its design was partially based on the two previous vessels.

All vessels feature one main vehicle deck, with the Queen of Capilano and Island Sky both have gallery decks, while the Queen of Cumberland has platform decks to increase vehicle capacity when necessary. There is one indoor passenger deck, featuring a Coastal Cafe Express, Kids Zone (on Queen of Cumberland), gift shop (on Island Sky), Coastal Cafe Express (on Queen of Capilano) and washrooms. A sundeck is also available above the main passenger deck.

Queen of Capilano

Queen of Capilano
BC Ferries Queen of Capilano-d.jpg
Built 1991, Vancouver
Home base Horseshoe Bay
Route(s) served 8

Queen of Capilano is the first Intermediate class vessel built for BC Ferries.[1]

Queen of Capilano was initially placed into service in June 1991 on route 7 (Saltery Bay - Earls Cove), replacing Powell River Queen. Queen of Capilano began experiencing mechanical issues soon after entering service, as its right angle drive engines were unreliable, and were frequently damaged by floating debris in Jervis Inlet. After having its engines refitted in March 1992, the repaired Queen of Capilano was redeployed on the shorter and more sheltered route 8 (Horseshoe Bay - Snug Cove), replacing Howe Sound Queen. With continuing engine issues, they were replaced during a refit in 2007; Queen of Capilano's original engines are now used as spares for Queen of Cumberland.[2] On extreme busy days on route 3 (Horseshoe Bay - Langdale) she might add a later night sailing on the route.

During its midlife refit, Queen of Capilano had gallery decks installed in order to increase capacity to approximately 100 vehicles. It returned from refit in April 2015.

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Four Rolls Royce RADs
7,305 hp
12.5 knots 96 m 2,500 tonnes 87 autos 457

Queen of Cumberland

Queen of Cumberland
Queen of Cumberland-a.jpg
Built 1992, Vancouver
Home base Swartz Bay
Route(s) served 4, 5

Queen of Cumberland is the second Intermediate class vessel built for BC Ferries.[3]

As the second vessel of the class to enter service, many of the issues that affected sister vessel Queen of Capilano in its early days were fixed before Queen of Cumberland entered service.

Queen of Cumberland entered into service on route 5 (Swartz Bay - Southern Gulf Islands), where it has remained since entering service.[4] It also may perform occasional trips on route 4 (Swartz Bay - Fulford Harbour) when Skeena Queen is in for refit.

Unlike its sister vessel, Queen of Cumberland is fitted with platform decks that can be lowered to increase car capacity. This is useful on the longer runs Queen of Cumberland often does to the outer Southern Gulf Islands; the time consuming nature of getting the decks into position makes them impracticable to use with Queen of Capilano on the short route 8.

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Four RADs
7,305 hp
12.5 knots 96 m 2,662 tonnes 112 autos 462

Island Sky

Island Sky
BC Ferries Island Sky-a.jpg
Built 2008, Vancouver
Home base Saltery Bay
Route(s) served 7

Island Sky is the third Intermediate class vessel built for BC Ferries.[5]

BC Ferries issued a Request for Proposals in 2004 to built a new Intermediate class vessel to replace Queen of Tsawwassen. While the vessel was expected to enter service in April 2008, in time for the 2008 summer season, the vessel experienced major delays in construction. It eventually began sailing in February 2009,[6] over 10 months late. The experience from the late delivery of Island Sky now has BC Ferries putting strict delivery deadlines and penalties in future vessel construction contracts.

After entering service, Island Sky became the year-round vessel on route 7 (Saltery Bay - Earls Cove), replacing Queen of Tsawwassen which operated in the summer months, and Queen of Chilliwack, which became a summer-only vessel on route 40. Although primarily operating on route 7, Island Sky was occasionally required to fill in on another route due to schedule maintenance on another vessel.

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Four RADs
7,094 hp
14.5 knots 102 m 3,420 tonnes 112 autos 462


  1. Queen of Capilano, BC Ferries, retrieved 01-21-2017.
  2. M.V. Queen of Capilano, www.westcoastferries.com, retrieved 01-21-2017.
  3. Queen of Cumberland, BC Ferries, retrieved 01-21-2017.
  4. M.V. Queen of Cumberland, www.westcoastferries.com, retrieved 01-21-2017.
  5. Island Sky, BC Ferries, retrieved 01-21-2017.
  6. M.V. Island Sky, www.westcoastferries.com, retrieved 01-21-2017.