BC Ferries’ fourth Salish class vessel is expected to reach Vancouver Island tomorrow (March 3).
Salish Heron, which carries 138 vehicles and up to 600 passengers, will operate in the Southern Gulf Islands, according to a media release by BC Ferries.
Following an inspection it will move to BC Ferries’ Fleet Maintenance Unit in Richmond for final preparations, including application of the exterior artwork designed by Coast Salish artist Maynard Johnny Jr. The Indigenous artwork on each Salish class vessel is an acknowledgement of the Coast Salish sailors as original navigators of B.C.’s coastal waters.
Salish Heron left Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland on Dec. 22, sailing more than 10,400 nautical miles. Its journey took the ship across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Panama Canal and up the Pacific Coast of North America to Victoria’s Ogden Point.
The Salish Class vessels operate on liquefied natural gas, a cleaner fuel than diesel. The hull design creates a very small wake and the electric propulsion and structural design are meant to ensure a quiet ride. The vessel is identical to the three Salish Class ferries which entered service in 2017 and the standardized operations allows for crew and vessels to be interchangeable among routes.