By Mark Edward Nero
On April 9, British Columbia-based Seaspan Ferries Corp. officially welcomed two new, state-of-the-art dual-fueled/hybrid (liquefied natural gas, diesel and battery) vessels to its fleet during a double commissioning ceremony at Tilbury Terminal.
The Seaspan Swift and Seaspan Reliant, the first eco-ferries of their kind in North America, were formally christened by sponsors Christy Clark, the Premier of British Columbia; and Anisa White, wife of Doug White III, Councillor and Chief Negotiator for Snuneymuxw First Nation.
“April 9, 2017 will be remembered as a historic milestone for Seaspan Ferries and we are extremely fortunate to have two sponsors who represent our connection to both the past and future to help bring our new vessels to life,” Seaspan President Steve Roth said.
Following their construction at Sedef Shipyard in Istanbul, Turkey, the Seaspan Swift arrived in December 2016 and entered operation in January 2017, while the Seaspan Reliant followed in late February and is scheduled to begin service later this month.
The 149-meter (488-foot) ferries, which can accommodate up to 59 53-foot trailers, mark the first new vessels added to Seaspan’s fleet since 2002.
Seaspan currently operates a fleet of seven ferries out of five terminals in British Columbia and supplies more than 50 percent of all cargo to Vancouver Island.