BC Ferries: first look at new major vessel concepts

March 1, 2024

Two conceptual renderings of BC Ferries’ New Major Vessels program are the first look at what up to seven new ferries could look like when they enter operation starting in 2029.

The ferries will carry up to 360 standard sized vehicles and 2,100 people, compared to a capacity of 250-310 vehicles and 1,200-1,500 people on retiring vessels. The vessels will be standardized with others in the fleet to allow BC Ferries to be more flexible in moving them between routes when maintenance or refits are required, without disrupting customer travel.

The basic design for these vessels is being developed in collaboration with LMG Marin AS in order to maximize efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The design calls for engines capable of using bio- and renewable fuels and includes a battery-hybrid propulsion system that will allow for conversion to full battery-electric operation once shore-based recharging infrastructure becomes available.

BC Ferries issued a Request for Supplier Qualification (RFSQ) for its New Major Vessels program. The RFSQ is available through the international shipbroker Clarksons, as well as on bcbid.gov.bc.ca. It will close on March 22, 2024. Qualified shipyards will then have the opportunity to take part in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, currently expected to occur in the summer of 2024.