Queen of Vancouver


Official No: 0318636
Place Built: Vancouver, BC
Builder: Burrard Drydock
Year Built: 1962
Years Rebuit: 1972, 1981
Vehicles: 338
Passengers: 1,670
Crew: 36-8
Overall Length: 129.97 m
Registered Length: 120.24 m
Breadth: 23.20 m
Gross Tons: 9,357.22
Service Speed: 18.5 knots
Horsepower: 9,000

The fourth ship built for BC Ferries, the Queen of Vancouver is the second longest serving ferry remaining in the fleet. Currently, she is the Tsawwassen-based extra vessel on Route 1 (Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay), filling in for the Spirit of British Columbia when necessary and sailing scheduled round trips on long weekends and during the peak summer season. Onboard the Queen of Vancouver are almost all the amenities of the other large vessels in the fleet; this includes a cafeteria, snack bar, gift shop, children's play area, and complete access to all decks by elevator. The Vancouver is a V-class vessel and was built concurrently with the ex- Queen of Victoria . She is also considered a sister ship to the currently active ferries Queen of Esquimalt and Queen of Saanich . The latter ship is the ferry that the Queen of Vancouver usually meets in the middle of Active Pass. In January 2008, BC Ferries announced that the Queen of Vancouver along with her remaining sister ships would be put up for sale. With the arrival of the new Coastal Inspiration and the resulting reshuffling of boats, the Queen of Vancouver will most likely be replaced by the newly upgraded Queen of New Westminster in the spring or early summer of 2008.


The City of Vancouver was built at the same time as her sister ship the City of Victoria and were both launched on the same month. They entered service in 1962 on Route 1, between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay, providing additional capacity to the new ferry service. They were renamed Queen's the following year. Apart from some relief work on other routes, the Queen of Vancouver has been a regular fixture between Vancouver and Victoria for over 45 years. Compared to her sister ship, the Queen of Victoria , the Vancouver has had a much less storied career in providing reliable service to the Island.

The Queen of Vancouver has undergone the same phases of rebuilding as her sister ships. After about 6 years in service, she received new platform decks to increase the number of cars she could carry. In 1972, the Queen was cut in half and "stretched" about 25 meters to accommodate more cars and passengers. In 1981, she was sliced in half again, this time horizontally. This expensive operation added an upper car deck to the vessel and almost doubled her vehicle capacity.

Vehicle Capacity
Passenger Capacity
Overall Length (m)
Gross Tons

Original (without platforms)

After Stretching

After Lifting


1962 - January 16 - The City of Vancouver is launched from Burrard Drydock.
1962 - Feburary 3 - BC Ferries newest $3.6 million dollar ferry makes her inaugural run between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay.
1972 - The ship was cut in half vertically and a midsection installed to increase both vehicle and passenger capacity.
1978 - The ferry's problematic Paxman Twin engines were repalced with new MaK engines.
1981 - The Queen of Vancouver was sliced in half and an upper car deck was installed to increase vehicle capacity.
1993 - June 14 - A nine car pileup occurred as traffic disembarked from the Queen of Vancouver . About $10,000 total damage was done to the vehicles involved.
2006 - July 5 - The Queen of Vancouver made a detour late in the day in response to a distress call made by a sailboat with 8 people on board. The crew of the ferry took 6 of the sailboat's passengers on board while 2 remained with the vessel and Coast Guard.

Ferry Horn

To hear a soundclip of the Queen of Vancouver's horn, click on the speaker.

Origin of Name

Queen of Vancouver - Named after Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia. The city is home to the largest port in Canada and is often called Canada's "Gateway to the Pacific". Vancouver is the departure point for many cruise ships headed to Alaska between May and October. The city is home to many famous "landmarks" including the Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium, Queen Elizabeth Park, the Downtown shopping district, Gastown, Granville Island, Chinatown, the Pacific National Exhibition, and numerous sandy beaches along the seashore. The city of Vancouver is named after British explorer Captain George Vancouver, the first European to enter what is now Vancouver's harbour (on June 13, 1972).

For Further Reading

Bannerman, Gary and Patricia. The Ships of British Columbia . Surrey: Hancock House Publishers, 1985.

Favelle, Peter. The Queens of British Columbia: a detailed account of the ships in the B.C. Ferry fleet . North Vancouver: Discovery Magazine, 1974.

Griffiths, Garth, and H.L. Cadieux. Dogwood Fleet . Nanaimo: Cadieux and Griffiths, 1967.


Thanks to Chris Cornwell from the West Coast Ferries Forum for providing the soundclip of the Queen of Vancouver's horn.

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