Ship & Boat BuildingFerriesBC Ferries major vessel concepts for 2029

BC Ferries major vessel concepts for 2029

Two conceptual renderings of BC Ferries’ New Major Vessels program are the first look at what up to seven new ferries could look like when they enter operation starting in 2029.

BC Ferries is building these new major vessels to provide more capacity across the ferry system and continue to improve how we get our customers where they need to be. The vessels will replace up to six existing major vessels that are nearing their end-of-life and will serve the busiest routes between Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver.

“The New Major Vessels program is the largest part of our capital plan to modernize and transform the ferry experience in British Columbia,” said Nicolas Jimenez, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “These vessels – greener, more efficient and standardized – represent the future of ferry travel in our province. They will significantly increase daily capacity, provide an enhanced customer experience, improve reliability and reduce environmental impacts.”

The new major vessels will carry up to 360 standard sized vehicles and 2,100 people, compared to a capacity of 250-310 vehicles and 1,200-1,500 people on retiring vessels, which will help meet growing customer demand particularly as more people move to B.C. in the coming years. The vessels will be standardized with others in the fleet to allow us to be more flexible in moving them between routes when maintenance or refits are required, without disrupting customer travel.

The basic design for these vessels is being developed in collaboration with a leading naval architect firm, LMG Marin AS, in order to maximize efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The design calls for engines capable of using bio- and renewable fuels, and includes a battery-hybrid propulsion system that will allow for conversion to full battery-electric operation once shore-based recharging infrastructure becomes available.

Today, BC Ferries issued a Request for Supplier Qualification (RFSQ) for its New Major Vessels program. The RFSQ is available through the international shipbroker Clarksons, as well as on It will close on March 26, 2024. Qualified shipyards will then have the opportunity to take part in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, currently expected to occur in the summer of 2024.

BC Ferries follows a formal and transparent procurement process to obtain the best possible value for ferry users. The bidding process to build the new ships is open to qualified local, national and international companies.

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