BC Ferries unveils conceptual designs for next-generation major vessels

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      BC Ferries has revealed the initial designs for its New Major Vessels program, giving Vancouverites a peek at what a jaunt across the water in British Columbia might soon look like. 

      The two new designs, developed in collaboration with naval architect firm LMG Marin AS, will make up a fleet of up to seven new ferries, replacing six soon-to-be-retired vessels on key routes connecting Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver. 

      The new ferries are set to set sail by 2029, with aims to increase passenger numbers and create more efficiency through the ferry network.

      “The New Major Vessels program is the largest part of our capital plan to modernize and transform the ferry experience in British Columbia,” says Nicolas Jimenez, BC Ferries’ president and CEO, in a release. 

      The ships will accommodate up to 360 standard vehicles and 2,100 passengers, and will contain engines that use bio- and renewable fuels, alongside a battery-hybrid propeller system. According to BC Ferries, this is step one in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving toward potential full battery-electric ferries in the future.

      “These vessels—greener, more efficient and standardized—represent the future of ferry travel in our province,” says Jimenez. “They will significantly increase daily capacity, provide an enhanced customer experience, improve reliability and reduce environmental impacts.”

      As for the near end-of-life vessels, there have been no announcements as to what will happen with them next—but we wonder if they’ll be available for private sale as with the city’s beloved McBarge.