British Columbia Ferry Services’ (BC Ferries) new cable ferry is set to join its fleet on the Buckley Bay to Denman Island route, following its naming ceremony at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards in North Vancouver.
The vessel, named Baynes Sound Connector, is expected to start commercial service later this year.
BC Ferries president and CEO Mike Corrigan said: "Today marks a special milestone in our vessel replacement programme as we honour maritime tradition with the naming ceremony and thank the workers at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards who have produced a fine vessel for us.
"As we continue to invest in the long-term sustainability of British Columbia’s ferry system, we celebrate this new ship today, which will carry our passengers and their vehicles safely and efficiently for many years to come."
Constructed by Seaspan Shipyards, the new 78.5m-long vessel will be able to accommodate 50 vehicles and 150 passengers and crew members.
It will be capable of operating with one drive cable and two guide cables, have a crossing of around 1,900m and will able to cruise at a speed of 8.5k.
In June and July, BC Ferries’ crews will undergo extensive training and familiarisation on the cable ferry in preparation for passenger and vehicle service.
As part of the first phase of its new-build programme, BC Ferries saw seven new vessels enter service between 2006 and 2009. This second phase will see four new ships joining the fleet over the next two years.
Image: BC Ferries captain Esther Allen and president and CEO Mike Corrigan at the naming ceremony. Photo: courtesy of British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.