is the first of three Coastal Class (also known as Super C's) ferries to be built for BC Ferries in Flensburg Germany. The
arrived on the coast on December 12, 2007, and officially entered service between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo on March 8. BC Ferries boasts that the new ferry "showcase[s] the latest in marine design and technological advancement, state-of-the-art safety systems and environmentally friendly features" (Coastal Renaissance pamphlet, BC Ferries). The
will be the primary vessel based out of Departure Bay, making 4 round trips per day to Horseshoe Bay.
passengers will experience the most comfortable ferry in the fleet. The ferry was built to high standards in minimizing vibration and engine noise. The passenger areas are nicely lit and the large photographs of coastal British Columbia help create a pleasing atmosphere. The ferry's passenger areas are divided into three decks, all of which are accessible by 2 of the ship's 3 elevators.
, immediately over the upper vehicle deck, is home to the ships bridges at both ends. On this deck are also located a two staterooms, a conference room, a large seating area, work stations, large washrooms, a children's play area, and a snack bar. The ferry's four evacuation slides are located on this deck in case of emergencies. On both sides of this deck there are also outside decks running most of the length of the vessel. According to most sources, this deck will only be open during peak traffic periods.
contains the most amenities. Located above the bridges, it provides excellent views of the surrounding scenery. The large cafeteria and a coffee lounge (located at either end of the deck) have floor to ceiling windows that improve the views even more. The Seawest Lounge is located behind the coffee lounge (Sitka Coffee Place), and provides a quiet area with complementary refreshments and newspapers for a $10 per seat fee. Deck 6 also features large areas of regular seating, an arcade room, washrooms, children's play area, ATM machines, and a 1,500 sq ft gift shop.
offers a huge area of outside deck space area for passengers to enjoy the fresh air. At both ends, high above the bridge are two sheltered solariums with floor to ceiling windows.
has two car decks divided down the middle for most of the ship's length by a bulkhead containing stairs and elevators to the passenger decks. The lower vehicle deck is designed to accommodate over height vehicles with a clearance of 4.75 meters. If ever necessary, this deck was built so that a platform deck could be installed to increase under height capacity. The upper car deck, with a clearance of 2.9 meters, is designed to hold under-height vehicles. The total capacity of both decks combined is 370 AEQs (Automobile Equivalents).
The ferry's hull was designed for ultimate efficiency. Even compared to smaller ferries in the fleet, the
has a very small wake or wash. The four MaK engines are advertised as "fuel efficient" and their combined 16,000 horsepower will propel the ferry along the route at 21 knots. The ferry also boasts an "environmentally friendly" waste separation and disposal system to minimize her impact on the environment.
is the first ferry built offshore for BC Ferries. While BC Ferries has purchased foreign built boats before (
Queen of the North
Queen of Chilliwack
are three modern examples), they were not new when acquired. Built by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG), the
is the largest double ended ferry in the world; and the first double ended ferry built by FSG. These unique ships actually became a local attraction of sorts in Flensburg. FSG was responsible for building the ship and delivery. Delivery was contracted out to the reputable Dutch ship delivery company, Redwise, who supplied the 20 member crew that sailed the
to British Columbia.
has a very short history, but it has been followed very closely by ferry enthusiasts in British Columbia since construction began. On the
Ferries of British Columbia
ferry forum, several members tracked the ferry's progress from when the keel was laid on January 2, 2007 until she arrived in British Columbia on December 13, 2007. Members DENelson83, P_Keenleyside, ferrynutseattle, and herrbrinkmann were particularly helpful in documenting the details of the construction and 47-day journey home. Markus Brinkmann, the Steel Design Manager at Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG), was particularly helpful in answering questions and helping us understand the complexities of building a ferry and sailing it halfway around the world. FSG's website was also very helpful with videos, webcams, and an informative website with regular updates through the whole process. The following is a timeline of the
history as tracked on the forum:
September 17, 2004
- BC Ferries announces a $325 million contract signed with FSG to design, build, and deliver 3 new "Super C" ferries.
May 11, 2006
- BC Ferries announces the names of BC Ferries vessels. After holding a public naming contest, BC Ferries picked none of the entries.
January 2, 2007
- Keel laid at FSG yard 733.
- Prefabricated bridge sections, built in Poland, are lifted into place.
- First engine (no. 3) started.
- Announcement of agreement to promote Olympics on the sides of all three C-class vessels. Promotional stops were to be made in London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.
- Orca Maritime begins applying the 3M Olympic graphics on the ferry's side.
- First sea trial by builder.
- BC Ferries announces a September 21st departure along with a celebration British Columbia BBQ for FSG workers.
- Second sea trial.
- Third sea trial
- Departure date changed to October 26. A defect was found with the French-made propeller hubs in March and was not able to be solved in time for the planned departure. Russian-build hubs were ordered.
- Special BBQ held to thank FSG workers and promote British Columbia.
- Fourth sea trial.
is drydocked at Fredericia shipyard in Denmark for propeller hub replacements.
- A 2m high wave breaker designed by Markus Brinkmann was welded into place in preparation for the journey to British Columbia. It was built as a precaution to protect the doors from heavy seas.
- Departs Flensburger for British Columbia at 09:25 Germany time.
transits Kiel Canal connecting the Baltic Sea and North Sea.
October 28 - November 4
- Sailed through the English Channel, down the coast of Portugal, and on to the Canary Islands.
- Docked at Las Palmas in the morning for bunkering and supplies. Departed just before midnight.
November 5 - 12
- Crossed the Atlantic Ocean without incident.
- Reached the outer islands of the Caribbean and passed between Dominica and Martinique.
- Reached Cristobal, the port of entry to the Panama Canal.
- BC Ferries announces the planned transit of the
through the canal on the 17th at 0430.
November 17 - 18
- Local newspapers report that the ferry has passed through the canal and reached the Pacific Ocean.
- Due to unconfirmed difficulties in dealing with the Canal Authority, the ferry's transit is delayed until the 21st. The
entered Gatun Locks in the morning and exited at Miraflores Locks on the evening of the same day. A minor accident in one of the locks caused a 5 foot dent in the ferry's hull.
- Arrived at Ensenada, Mexico (just south of San Diego, CA) for bunkering and supplies.
November 29 - December 4
- Held up in Ensenada while inspections were done on the propellers, rudder, and shaft seal for possible entanglement in fishing nets. She departs on the 4th.
is forced to stop near Catalina Island, CA, to take shelter from heavy seas.
- After keeping shelter behind Catalina Island, the ferry makes a run for Los Angeles and docks at Terminal Island in LA's harbour.
- Departs Los Angeles.
December 10 - 11
- Ferry encounters heavy seas south of San Francisco but manages to keep underway.
- With more favourable sea conditions, the
makes a beeline for Vancouver at full speed.
- Enters Juan de Fuca Strait.
- Enters Canadian waters
- Begins a sail-past of Victoria
- Enters Haro Strait, heading for the Gulf Islands
- Meets the
Spirit of British Columbia
off Moresby Island and follows her around the outer edge of the Gulf Islands.
- Overtakes the
as they enter Georgia Strait at the south end of Saturna Island.
Queen of Esquimalt
north of Tsawwassen.
- Passes Sand Heads off of Steveston.
- Enters Burrard Inlet.
- Stops in English Bay to pick up a pilot.
- Passes under the Lions Gate Bridge in mixed rain and snow.
1230 - 1315
- Circles Vancouver Harbour passing Lonsdale Quay and Canada Place with an escort of several small vessels.
- Arrives at Departure Bay ferry terminal and docks at Berth 1, completing her 47 day voyage.
- Public open house in Vancouver at Canada Place.
- Public open house in Nanaimo at the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf.
- Public open house in Victoria at Ogden Point Terminal.
- First trip with paying passengers departs Departure Bay for Horseshoe Bay at 1605. Followed by an unscheduled 1825 return trip.
makes her official maiden voyage departing from Departure Bay at 1500.
- As the
arrived in Berth 2 at Departure Bay, she clipped the overhead passenger ramp causing it to break off and fall into the water. There was minimal surface damage to the ferry.
To hear a soundclip of the
horn, click on the speaker.
Origin of Name
- Named by BC Ferries following a naming contest held from October 18, 2005 to January 31, 2006. None of the 7,602 entries were chosen, rather BC Ferries chose the "Coastal" prefix and created their own names in honour of their new "independence" from being publicly run. BC Ferries announced "Coastal Renaissance" was selected to signify the renewal of BC Ferries as an independent, commercial company. - (
BC Ferries Announces Names for Three New Super C Vessels
For Further Reading
New Ferries Section - Ferries of British Columbia Forum
Thanks to Chris Cornwell from the
West Coast Ferries Forum
for providing the soundclip of the
Coastal Renaissance's horn.