New ferry Salish Orca reaches Pacific through Panama Canal

B.C.’s new natural-gas-powered ferry, the Salish Orca, went through the Panama Canal Sunday on its way to Victoria from Remontowa Shipbuilding in Gdansk, Poland.

The Salish Orca spent five days waiting on the eastern side of the canal before it could begin its transit. Its journey through the 80-kilometre canal, with its series of locks, took all day Sunday.

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The vessel followed the Industrial Royal, a cargo ship, through the Miraflores locks on its descent to the Pacific side of the isthmus.

The new ferry had crossed the Atlantic from Santa Cruz, Canary Islands, where it stopped two weeks ago to refuel and pick up supplies.

It is expected to arrive in B.C. early in January. By spring it will be in service between Comox and Powell River, replacing the 51-year-old Queen of Burnaby.

The Salish Orca is the first of three being built at Remontowa.

To monitor the travels of the Salish Orca along the Pacific coast, go to or

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