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Final Island-class ferry passes through Panama Canal en route to Victoria

The sixth and final new Island-class ferry has passed through the Panama Canada as it heads to Victoria after sailing out of Romania in mid-October.
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B.C. Ferries' sixth Island Class ferry departs Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania, bound for B.C. B.C. FERRIES

The sixth and final new Island-class ferry has passed through the Panama Canada as it heads to Victoria after sailing out of Romania in mid-October.

Dubbed Island Six for now, the diesel-electric hybrid ferry is on schedule to arrive at Point Hope Maritime in Vic West by the end of this year. It will receive a name prior to going into service with another new Island-class vessel in 2022 on the Nanaimo Harbour-Gabriola Island run.

B.C. Ferries ordered six Island-class vessels as it shifts to fewer classes of ships — from 18 to five. The total cost for the six is approximately $300 million. Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards built the vessels in Romania.

Island Six is currently sailing under diesel power but is carrying batteries that would allow it to be fully electric once on-shore infrastructure is installed. Other design benefits include a reduction in underwater noise and lower emissions.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com