Built to a Damen design, Island Aurora and her sister ship Island Discovery departed Constanta, Romania in late November 2019 on a semi-submersible vessel for the 10,305 nautical mile voyage to Victoria BC. After final fitting out and crew training at the Point Hope Shipyard in Victoria, the two vessels entered service in June 2020, Island Discovery on the Powell River to Texada Island route and Island Aurora on the Port McNeill to Alert Bay and Sointula Island route.
- Built by Damen Shipyards, Constanta, Romania
- Owned and operated by BC Ferries
- LOA 81m
- Beam 17m
- Propulsion 2x 900 kW azimuth thrusters, electric drive & fixed pitch propellors
- Capacity approximately 47 vehicles and 300 passengers and crew
- Speed 14 knots
- Sister ship in service, Island Discovery with four others to follow.
- Cost for first two vessels C$ 86.5 million
A total of six Island Class vessels have been ordered with Damen. The later vessels will serve the Campbell River-Quadra Island and Nanaimo to Gabriola Island routes by 2022.
The Island Class ferries are battery-powered and include a number of key features in support of the company’s goal to be fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible throughout its system. Once electric charging technology matures to make power available in the quantities required, BC Ferries will operate the new ships as all-electric ferries, using clean energy. In the interim, these ships will use a low sulphur diesel hybrid system. The design of the new vessels reduces underwater radiated noise, lowers emissions and aims to improve customer satisfaction.
Other features include:
- An exhaust system to reduce NOx emissions through selective catalytic reduction.
- Twin propellers designed to reduce underwater radiated noise.
- Full accessibility without elevators, reducing energy consumption, operating cost and complexity.
- Full LED lighting.
- A heat recovery system that uses waste thermal energy to provide heat.
- Low friction and biofouling resistant hull coating to reduce fuel consumption.
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