Canada-based ferry owner and operator BC Ferries has officially welcomed Salish Orca, the first of three new Salish Class vessels, into service.
The vessel’s inaugural sailings on the Comox-Powell River route started in the morning hours of May 16.
Salish Orca is one of the three new ships that are dual-fuel and capable of operating on either natural gas or ultra-low sulfur marine diesel.
BC Ferries expects that its use of natural gas for these vessels will result in the reduction of an estimated 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the same as taking approximately 1,900 passenger vehicles off the road annually.
The ferries can carry 145 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew. With a gross tonnage of 8,728 tons each, the vessels feature two car decks and have a service speed of 15.5 knots.
In January, Salish Orca reached British Columbia after a 10,440 nautical mile journey from Gdansk, Poland. Following this, the ship conducted a series of sea trials as part of operational training, verifying the interface with docks at the company’s terminals.
BC Ferries’ second of three new LNG-powered ships, Salish Eagle, arrived in British Columbia in late March. Salish Raven, the third ship, departed Poland on April 28 and is currently en route to British Columbia.