BC Ferries: first look at new major vessel concepts

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

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.

Netherlands’ Damen Shipyards wins contract for the supply of four, fully electric, passenger car ferries to British Columbia

By | 2024 Newsletter week 03 | No Comments
Rendering Damen Shipyard Group

Damen Shipyards Group has been selected to build four new hybrid electric Island Class vessels for BC Ferries.

  • Damen that previously built six Island Class ferries for BC Ferries, will construct the vessels in Romania.
  • The selection of Damen’s bid was made from multiple proposals, with no Canadian companies submitting bids.
  • The agreement with Damen is a design-build, fixed-priced contract that ensures delivery dates, performance criteria, cost certainty, and construction quality.
  • The new Island Class vessels will accommodate at least 47 vehicles and up to 390 passengers and crew.
  • These vessels will align with BC Ferries’ Clean Futures Plan by operating exclusively in battery-electric mode using renewable BC hydroelectricity.
  • The expected launch of these vessels is by 2027, serving routes connecting Nanaimo Harbour and Gabriola Island (two vessels) and Campbell River and Quadra Island (two vessels).
  • BC Ferries will also implement electrical upgrades for shore-based rapid charging at the four terminals on these routes as part of a separate contract, timed to coincide with the ship delivery.

Rendering Damen Shipyard Group

BC Ferries gets green light to order more ferries

By | 2023 Newsletter week 50 | No Comments

After the major capital expenditure approval by the BC Ferries Commissioner, BC Ferries is able to take the next step towards the purchase of four new hybrid electric Island Class vessels that will increase capacity for passengers across the ferry system.

By 2027, the four new vessels will enter service on the routes connecting Nanaimo Harbour and Gabriola Island (two vessels) and Campbell River and Quadra Island (two vessels), with corresponding electrical upgrades for shore-based rapid charging made to the four terminals on these routes.

BC Ferries now continues through the procurement process, with negotiations to begin imminently.

BC Ferries: Q2 results 2023 reflect continued strong traffic

By | 2023 Newsletter week 48 | No Comments

BC Ferries’ net earnings (compared to same period last year)

  • For the 3 months ended September 30, 2023: $102.1 million (+26.9%)
  • For the 6 months ended September 30, 2023, $117.3 million (+32.8%)


  • Q2: 7.8 million (+4%)
  • Year-to-date: 13.6 million (+5%)


  • Q2: 3.0 million (0%)
  • Year-to-date: 5.5 million (+2%)


  • Q2: +11% primarily as a result of an increase in vehicle and passenger traffic levels, tariff rates, fuel surcharges and retail revenue.
  • Year-to-date +10% over the same period in the prior year impacted by factors such as changes in overall traffic levels, traffic types and tariff rates.
  • While revenues were higher, expenses from operations increased by 11% mainly due to continued inflationary pressure across all cost categories.

BC Ferries Third Quarter Results

By | 2023 Newsletter week 8 | No Comments

In the three months ending 31 December 2022, BC Ferries reported that compared to the same period in 2021;

  • 5 million Passengers and 2.0 million vehicles travelled, an increase of 10% and 3%, respectively.
  • Revenue, inclusive of Safe Restart Funding, was $234.8 million, an increase of $12.6 million.
  • Net loss was $22.7 million, compared to a net loss of $1.6 million, primarily as a result of less Safe Restart Funding being applied in the quarter and higher operating costs.
  • Operating expenses were $245.2 million compared to $209.5 million. This increase is mainly due to an increased number of sailings, with corresponding higher labour costs, as well as higher fuel prices and maintenance expenses.

BC Ferries Q2 shows another record level of vehicle traffic

By | 2022 Newsletter week 48 | No Comments

BC Ferries released its Q2 results for the three and six months ending September 30, 2022. Vehicle and passenger traffic, revenue and net earnings are all higher compared to the same periods in the prior year.

In Q2, the quarter ending September 30, 2022, BC Ferries carried 7.5 million passengers and 3.0 million vehicles.

Year-to-date, the company carried 12.9 million passengers  (+28%) and 5.4 million vehicles (+15%) respectively, compared to the same period in the prior year, primarily as a result of travel restrictions being in place through most of Q1 in the prior year.

BC Ferries’ net earnings for Q2 were $80.4 million, consistent with the same quarter the previous year.

Year-to-date since April 1, 2022, net earnings were $88.3 million compared to net earnings of $84.6 million in the prior year.

Revenue for the three months ending September 30, 2022, at $343.1 million, was up $26.3 million over the same period in the prior year primarily as a result of higher passenger traffic volumes, net retail sales, ferry transportation fees and fuel surcharges.

Year-to-date, revenue was $608.0 million, up $62.0 million over the same period in the prior year primarily as a result of higher traffic volumes, net retail sales and fuel surcharges partially offset by lower Safe Restart Funding.

BC Ferries: More ships, more service

By | 2022 Newsletter week 41 | No Comments

Modernization and replacement of vessels, terminals and IT systems are the centrepieces of BC Ferries’ Performance Term Six submission provided to the BC Ferries Commissioner recently for rate determination activities.

The 12-Year Capital Plan responds to anticipated passenger and vehicle growth and changing customer needs. It includes:

  • Building 7 new major vessels to replace 6 existing ships, and an incremental vessel to support growth and improve resiliency
  • Building 4 more Island Class vessels to improve capacity on inter-island routes
  • 2 new Island Class to serve the Crofton – Salt Spring Island route
  • 1 new Island Class to serve the Quadra Island – Cortes Island route
  • 1 new Island Class to serve as a relief vessel and allow for the redeployment of existing vessels to support growth on several routes.

In addition to investments included in the 12-Year Capital Plan, BC Ferries is planning customer enhancements including:

  • Expanding two-ship operation on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route during peak season to increase sailing frequency.
  • Increasing sailing frequency between Nanaimo and Metro Vancouver to better support changing travel patterns.
  • Providing an additional sailing each week in peak season between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii.
  • Deploying a second vessel on the Swartz Bay – Salt Spring Island route in peak season.
  • Deploying a larger vessel on the Denman Island – Hornby Island route in peak season.