Canada-based ferry owner and operator BC Ferries will send its newest vessel, Salish Orca, to conduct a series of sea trials as part of operational training and to verify the interface with docks at the company’s terminals.
Over the next month, Salish Orca, the first of the company’s three liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered Salish Class newbuildings, will conduct dock trials at ports in the Southern Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, Departure Bay, Duke Point, Horseshoe Bay and Swartz Bay.
The tests are a part of the vessel’s commissioning process scheduled to start on February 10 at Long Harbour, Salt Spring Island.
As part of BC Ferries’ commissioning process for any new class of vessel, ships conduct dock trials at a variety of locations for potential future deployment purposes, corporate planning and contingency scenarios.
“Passengers will be able to have a sneak peak of the ship from shore over the next four weeks, and we look forward to welcoming the public on board when we host official open houses,” Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Strategic Planning and Customer Engagement, said.
Salish Orca will enter service on the Powell River – Comox route in the spring, replacing the Queen of Burnaby.
Salish Orca’s sister ships, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven, are expected to arrive in British Columbia this spring and will start service in the Southern Gulf Islands later this year, according to BC Ferries.