The British Columbia Ferries commissioner has approved BC Ferries’ application to construct three new intermediate class vessels to replace the 48-year old Queen of Burnaby and the 49-year-old Queen of Nanaimo, both nearing the end of their service lives and scheduled for retirement in 2016.
BC Ferries intends to build two sisterships capable of carrying 145 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew to replace Queen of Burnaby, which sails between Comox and Powell River, and Queen of Nanaimo, which services the Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands route. A third vessel, for 125 vehicles and 600 passengers and crew, will be built to augment peak and shoulder season service on the Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands route.
The two 145-vehicle ferries are due to be in service in 2016, with the 125-vehicle ferry following in 2017. A decision has yet to be made on whether the vessels will be fuelled by LNG. JS