Washington State Ferries (WSF) has received its new Olympic-class ferry Samish from shipbuilder Vigor Industrial.
After completing two months of sea trials and crew training, the ferry is expected to start commercial operations on the Anacortes / San Juan Islands route from June.
WSF assistant secretary Lynne Griffith said: "I’m delighted to take delivery of the Samish.
"More than 23 million passengers rely on our ferry system every year. Adding another Olympic-class vessel represents the state’s continued commitment to replace older vessels and plan for the future."
The new vessel is the second of three new 144-car ferries ordered from Vigor.
The first ferry in the series, Tokitae, was completed in March 2014 and started operation on the Mukilteo / Clinton route in June of the same year. Construction of the third vessel, Chimacum, began in 2014 and is expected to be completed in early 2017.
Vigor Fab director Bryan Nichols said: "It’s been an honour for Vigor to partner with Washington State Ferries on this vessel, and the nine other ferries we’ve built to serve the people of Washington.
"The Samish represents the very best in state-of-the-art ferry design and has helped strengthen the maritime community by supporting over 500 jobs throughout the Puget Sound."
With these new vessels, WSF will replace the 1950s-built Evergreen State-class ferries, which are approaching the end of their service lives.
Image: WSF’s Samish ferry will work the Anacortes / San Juan Islands route. Photo: courtesy of Vigor Industrial.