BC Ferries’ newest vessel, the Island Discovery, begins service on the Texada Island-Powell River route June 10. Photo supplied.

VIDEO: BC Ferries’ first hybrid vessel begins service on Texada-Powell River route June 10

New Port McNeill–Alert Bay–Sointula ferry also beginning service this month

The mystery has been solved.

Recent social media posts showing a new ferry near the Comox Harbour had people teasingly asking BC Ferries if the company had lost one of its fleet.

The company was coy in its response to a tweet a couple of weeks ago, but has finally come clean with the answer.

It is not a lost boat – it’s a new one.

BC Ferries has officially unveiled Island Discovery – the new vessel for the Texada Island – Powell River route.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a planned public unveiling of Island Discovery was not possible.

Instead, BC Ferries has produced a video to introduce the latest addition to the fleet.

The vessel will begin regularly scheduled service Wednesday, June 10, with the 3 p.m. sailing.

“Island Discovery is the first of a series of hybrid-electric ships designed for future full electric operation,” reads a BC Ferries press release. “The ships are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding become available.”

The Island Discovery has a capacity of 47 vehicles and up to 392 passengers.

With the Island Discovery’s addition to the BC Ferries fleet, the 59-year-old North Island Princess will be retired.

The second vessel in the Island Class series, Island Aurora, will replace Quadra Queen II on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route later in June. Quadra Queen II will become a relief vessel.

(The Aurora was the vessel photographed in the May 24 tweet.)

ALSO: BC Ferries Advisory Committee members resign



terry.farrell@blackpress.ca

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