Crowds gathered despite the rain on Friday afternoon to see the arrival of the new BC Ferries hybrid vessels.
The ships came into the Victoria Inner Harbour led by tug boats, and passed under the Johnson Street Bridge before docking at the Point Hope Shipyard, where the vessels will undergo final inspections before being transferred over to BC Ferries.
Both ships came in from Romania after leaving in late November, pulled by a semi-submersible transport vessel. They officially arrived in Victoria on Jan. 18 where they moored at the Breakwater District at Ogden Point.
Victoria resident Doug Bowman has been tracking the ships since they left, following their steps through the Panama Canal and then up north.
“I just like boats,” he said. “It’s very interesting to see.”
Mary Phillips and her husband, Brian Phillips, were visiting from Richmond and happened to hear about the vessels coming in. They stood underneath the Johnson Street Bridge while the second ship sailed past.
“It’s amazing,” Mary said. “A once in a lifetime experience.”
The Island Class vessels are designed to be battery-operated, but have hybrid technology built in to operate until charging infrastructure and funding becomes available.
After final inspections, the vessels will be christened and crews will receive training on how to operate them. The vessels are set to operate on the Powell River-Texada Island and Port McNeill-Alert Bay routes by mid 2020.