Queen of Chilliwack

Official No: 0812639
Place Built: Sandefjord, Norway
Builder: As Framnaes Mek Verksted
Year Built: 1978
Previous Name: M.V. Basto I
Joined BC Ferries: 1991
Vehicles: 115
Passengers: 389
Crew: 24
Overall Length: 114.58 m
Breadth: 17.66 m
Gross Tons: 5,618.06
Service Speed: 14 knots
Horsepower: 5,880


One of the few foreign-built ferries in the fleet, the Queen of Chilliwack serves on two different routes depending on the season. In the summer, the ferry operates on the Discovery Coast Passage route that connects Port Hardy and Bella Coola with numerous stops in between. In the off season, the Chilliwack operates on Jervis Inlet between Saltery Bay and Earls Cove on the Sunshine Coast. She is a very unique ship; she has a maze-like layout, plenty of outdoor space, and has most of the amenities that can be found on a major BC Ferry (although some are not available in the low season).


The Queen of Chilliwack was purchased by BC Ferries in early 1991 for $10.85 million. Built in 1979, the Basto I originally crossed Norway's Oslofjorden between Moss and Horten (south of Oslo). Crewed by BC Ferries employees, the ferry left Norway in early May and journeyed across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and up the stormy west coast of North America on a trip that lasted 35 days. After a $2.2 million refit at Point Hope Shipyard in Victoria, BC Ferries placed the Queen of Chilliwack on the Swartz Bay - Southern Gulf Islands run. After a short time on that route, she was placed on the Earls Cove - Saltery Bay route on the Sunshine Coast. In 1996, she was given another overhaul to prepare her for a newly established route on the mid-coast. Following this $3.1 million refit, the Queen of Chilliwack became the summer boat on this route that serves some of the minor communities on British Columbia's mid-coast out of Port Hardy. Some of the places regularly visited include Klemtu, Bella Bella, Ocean Falls, Shearwater, and Bella Coola,


1978 - January - Basto I is launched in Sandefjord, Norway.
1991 - February - BC Ferries purchases Basto I for $10.58 million for the Swartz Bay - Gulf Islands run.
1991 - May - The Queen of Chilliwack begins a 35 day journey across the Atlantic and through the Panama Canal to Victoria.
1996 - Summer - BC Ferries inaugurates the new Discovery Coast Passage route with a newly refitted Queen of Chilliwack .

Origin of Name

Queen of Chilliwack Named after the city of Chilliwack located at the eastern end of British Columbia's Fraser Valley. For this reason it is one of the odder names for a BC Ferry since Chilliwack is over 100 kilometers from the ocean. The name "Chilliwack" comes from the name of the local Ts'elxwiqw First Nation. ("Chilliwack" - Encyclopedia of British Columbia )

For Further Reading

Barbara McLintock. "Ferry's 35-day trip reaches B.C. home: Latest addition to fleet - all the way from Norway. " The Province [Vancouver, B.C.] 12 June 1991, 6.

Brett Williams. " Queen of Chilliwack" Website. - Follow the ongoing construction of a 1/16 scale remote controlled model of the Queen of Chilliwack . Lots of ship photos as well.

Last updated on December 10, 2008

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