BC Ferries North Island Princess

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The North Island Princess class contained a single vessel owned and operated by BC Ferries.

North Island Princess

North Island Princess
BC Ferries North Island Princess-a.jpg
Built 1958, Vancouver
IMO number 8873788
Status Retired
Home base Blubber Bay
Route(s) served 18

North Island Princess is the only vessel in the North Island Princess class.[1]

Originally named Island Princess, it was built in 1958 by Allied Builders in Vancouver for Coast Ferries. It was a single-hull vessel with capacity for 20 cars, and came equipped with 4 staterooms. The first route she operate was Steveston to Southern Gulf Island which lasted until 1961 while she was tried on Steveston, Powell River, Texada and Comox which operated until November 1961 with two sailing a week. Then she was placed on the route connecting Kelsey Bay at the then terminus of the Island Highway to remote communities at the north end of Vancouver Island, including Sointula, Port McNeill, Port Hardy, and Port Alice.[2] BC Ferries purchased the assets of Coast Ferries Ltd in 1969, including Island Princess.

In 1971, BC Ferries performed a major expansion of the vessel, widening its deck and raising the height in order to increase vehicle capacity to 50 cars and carry trucks. It also gained a catamaran double-hull - the only such vessel in the BC Ferries fleet until the PacifiCat vessels. The vessel was renamed to North Island Princess in 1974, to avoid a naming conflict with another vessel purchased by a private company.

North Island Princess was transferred in 1979 to the Ministry of Transportation and Highways, which took over operations of the northern Vancouver Island route. After the Island Highway was extended to Port McNeill in 1979 (and the Kelsey Bay route was discontinued), North Island Princess was shifted to the Ministry-operated Powell River - Texada Island route. North Island Princess rejoined the BC Ferries fleet in 1985 when all Ministry of Transportation saltwater operations were transferred to BC Ferries, and continued to operate on route 18 (Powell River - Texada Island). It occasionally served on other routes, primarily on route 7 (Saltery Bay - Earls Cove) in tandem with another minor vessel when Island Sky was out for refit or replacing Queen of Burnaby. It received another overhaul in 2003, including new engines, which was expected to extend its life expectancy to 2013.

North Island Princess was retired on June 10, 2020, and was replaced by Island Discovery.[3]

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Two MTU 2000
1,609 hp
13 knots 61.04 m 804 tonnes 38 autos 150


  1. North Island Princess, BC Ferries, retrieved January 21, 2017.
  2. M.V. North Island Princess, www.westcoastferries.com, retrieved January 21, 2017.
  3. Minor Class Vessels - Rt 18 and 25 Application to the BC Ferries Commissioner, BC Ferries, retrieved January 21, 2017.