BC Ferries’ newest vessel replaces Queen of Nanaimo starting Thurs., Aug 3 - BC Ferries announced today Salish Raven, the third of three new Salish Class ships will start service on the Tsawwassen - Southern Gulf Islands route on Thurs., Aug 3. Its inaugural sailing will depart Tsawwassen at 2:45 p.m. The company has worked diligently to fast track the ship into service to ensure smooth sailing for the remainder of the summer.
“The 53-year old Queen of Nanaimo, which is set to retire from the BC Ferries’ fleet this fall, experienced a mechanical problem with the starboard controllable pitch propeller last week and repair plans continue for that the vessel,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering. “Engineers have been unable to determine the root cause of the problem with the Queen of Nanaimo as yet, so we are focusing our crew resources into getting the new ship, Salish Raven, into service sooner than we had originally planned.”
Salish Raven will be based at Tsawwassen terminal for the summer servicing the Southern Gulf Islands. Salish Eagle, which entered service in June, will now move to Long Harbour on Salt Spring Island to sail in the Southern Gulf Islands. Salish Orca entered service on the Comox – Powell River route in May. All three Salish Class vessels are dual-fuel ships, capable of operating on liquefied natural gas or marine diesel.
“In less than three months, we will have introduced three new ships into service which has been an amazing coordination of effort and resources with our shipboard crews, shore side support teams, fleet maintenance unit and vessel replacement program staff,” said Wilson. “We’re pleased to now welcome our customers aboard Salish Raven and the ship will provide safe and reliable service for our passengers for decades to come.”
The Bowen Queen, which is a smaller vessel, was brought into service last week to replace the Queen of Nanaimo. The Bowen Queen will continue to provide service on the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route through the end of the day on Wed., Aug 2. BC Ferries thanks its customers for their patience during the recent service interruption with the Queen of Nanaimo.