BC Ferries names its sixth Island Class ferry

Island Gwawis enters service this year

Victoria - January 11, 2022




BC Ferries revealed the name of its sixth Island Class ferry today at a naming ceremony at Victoria's Point Hope Maritime. Island Gwawis is the last in this series of Island Class vessels to enter the fleet and will allow for the Nanaimo Harbour - Gabriola Island route to be serviced by two Island Class vessels.

Gwawis means "raven of the sea" and was selected with input and support from the "Namgis First Nation". It celebrates the cultural connection between the original mariners of the coastal waters and the communities the vessel will soon serve. Today's ceremony began with remarks from BC Ferries, Damen Shipyards and the Province of British Columbia, followed by the unveiling of the ship's name and the christening of the hull.

"This ship is as much about the relationships we are building as the service it provides," said Mark Collins, President & CEO of BC Ferries. "Together we have delivered six innovative hybrid-electric ferries under the challenges of a global pandemic. Island Gwawis will help move us towards being one of the most sustainable companies in the world while connecting communities along the way.

Island Class ferries have the capacity to carry 47 vehicles and up to 450 passengers and crew. They are battery equipped ships designed for future full electric operation. The ships are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding becomes available in B.C. From the exterior details to the engines, the design of the new vessels reduces underwater radiated noise, lowers emissions and improves customer service.

BC Ferries looks forward to welcoming Island Gwawis into service later this year.


Island Gwawis shortly after being unveiled at a naming ceremony held at Point Hope Maritime in Victoria on January 11, 2022.   Image by BC Ferries.

British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. press release