BC Ferries’ Island Aurora hybrid-electric newbuilds enter service

June 22 2020 Print This Article

BC Ferries’ newest vessel, Island Aurora, officially commences service on Thurs., June 18 at 9:35 am on the Port McNeill - Alert Bay - Sointula (Vancouver Island Cormorant Island-Malcolm Island) route. This follows last week’s start of service for Island Discovery on the Texada Island – Powell River run.

Island Aurora is the second of a series of hybrid-electric ships designed for future full electric operation. The ships are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding become available. These ships help BC Ferries transition to a lower carbon future.

On board the Island Class, passenger lounges and washrooms are situated on the main deck for easy access. Lounge areas are built for comfort with a variety of seating choices and charging stations for electronics. An overhead sundeck with seating, windbreaks and an accessible washroom provide a comfortable space to sit outdoors. Partial funding for these two vessels was provided by the federal government through the Provincial – Territorial Infrastructure Component – National and Regional Projects.

Island Aurora will replace the 51-year old Quadra Queen II, which will become a relief vessel in the BC Ferries’ fleet.

BC Ferries originally planned to host a public open house to showcase Island Aurora, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BC Ferries created a short video with messages from community representatives, so people can take a virtual tour of the ship instead.