BC Ferries has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) for the procurement of five new major vessels. The competitive bidding process is open to local, national and international shipyards, including consortiums, and BC Ferries encourages local and national companies to bid on these projects. The five new major vessels will reflect capacity and levels of service consistent with the current Coastal and Spirit Class vessels in size, capabilities and passenger amenities. These vessels are anticipated to begin entering service in 2023 on BC Ferries’ major routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
The acquisition of the vessels is a major capital expenditure that requires the approval of the BC Ferries Commissioner under Section 55 of the Coastal Ferry Act. BC Ferries will make its application to the Commissioner in 2019 and, subject to a favourable decision, award a contract for these ferries by the end of 2019.