The second of two hybrid electric ferries that will service Gabriola Island has begun the last leg of its voyage home, says B.C. Ferries.
In a press release, B.C. Ferries said the vessel dubbed Island 5 transited the Panama Canal over the long weekend and depending on the weather, is anticipated to arrive in B.C. late this month. Before going into service, the ferry will undergo final inspection at Point Hope Maritime in Victoria, the press release said.
Island 5, along with another hybrid electric ship temporarily named Island 6, will replace the current MV Quinsam in early 2022, offering two-ship service to and from Nanaimo Harbour.
The Island-class ferries are equipped with batteries that can be upgraded for full electric operation, B.C. Ferries said in the press release. In the meantime, they will utilize hybrid technology until the proper infrastructure is established.
Island 5 was built at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania and departed from there on July 31.
B.C. Ferries said it is looking forward to naming the two ferries prior to them entering into service, “when the time is right.”
People can track the ship’s journey by going to www.vesselfinder.com and searching for Island 5.