BC Ferries Quinitsa

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The Quinitsa class contains a single vessel owned and operated by BC Ferries. It was built in 1977 by Vancouver Shipyards in North Vancouver, BC for the BC Ministry of Transportation and Highways.

Designed for short commuter trips, Quinitsa has relatively few passenger amenities. It has one vehicle deck, with small passenger lounges on either side of the vehicle deck. The bridge is suspended over the vehicle deck.


Built 1977, Vancouver
IMO number 7710965
Status Active
Home base Buckley Bay
Route(s) served Spare

Quinitsa is the only vessel in the Quinitsa class.[1]

The 50-car Quinitsa was originally built for the Nanaimo Harbour - Gabriola Island route, as demand had grown past the capacity of the 30-car Kahloke. Demand continued to grow, and Quinitsa also became under capacity; it was replaced in 1982 by the newly built Quinsam. After its replacement, Quinitsa was loaned to BC Ferries and operated on a number of routes, including routes 4 (Swartz Bay - Fulford Harbour), 8 (Horseshoe Bay - Snug Harbour), and as a summer vessel on route 5 (Swartz Bay - Southern Gulf Islands).[2]

After returning from BC Ferries in late 1983, Quinitsa was assigned to the Buckley Bay - Denman Island route, again replacing Kahloke. Quinitsa returned to the BC Ferries fleet in 1985 when all Ministry of Transportation saltwater operations were transferred to BC Ferries, but continued operating on route 21 (Buckley Bay - Denman Island). In 2008, Quinitsa went through a midlife refit, receiving refurbished passenger accommodations, new engines, and an upgraded bridge. Quinitsa was replaced on route 21 in January 2016 by the cable ferry Baynes Sound Connector. This shifted Quinitsa to spare vessel duty, replacing the retiring Tenaka. During its duty as a spare vessel, it primarily served as a refit relief on routes 21 and 22 (Denman Island - Hornby Island). It was also stationed in Fulford Harbour during the summer of 2018, when Queen of Cumberland was taken out of service; Quinitsa's slow speed was found unsuitable to keep up with the Southern Gulf Island schedules, and was used occasionally for dangerous cargo sailings in the Southern Gulf Islands.

Quinitsa was placed on route 6 (Crofton - Vesuvius) beginning on June 4, 2019 to replace the retiring Howe Sound Queen. The assignment of Quinitsa was not well received, as it has a lower vehicle capacity than the vessel it replaced. The larger Bowen Queen was moved to route 6 on March 30, 2020 until October 1, 2020, once again relegating Quinitsa to relief vessel duties during peak season.

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
1,899 hp 9.75 knots 77.59 m 1,099 tonnes 44 autos 300


  1. Quinitsa, BC Ferries, retrieved 01-22-2017.
  2. M.V. Quinitsa, www.westcoastferries.ca, retrieved 01-22-2017.