The following is the text of a news release from BC Ferries:
(VICTORIA, British Columbia) — BC Ferries’ Salish Orca, the first of three new Salish-class vessels, is on its way. The vessel departed Gdansk, Poland on Tuesday for a 10,440 nautical mile journey bound for its new home in British Columbia.
The trans-Atlantic voyage will take approximately 45 to 55 days, depending on weather. The journey will include stops for refueling in Santa Cruz, Canary Islands and Panama City, Panama after transiting the Panama Canal and sailing up the west coast of North America to British Columbia.
For those who want to join the voyage “virtually," customers can track the ship’s progress including course, position and speed at www.vesselfinder.com.
Salish Orca, BC Ferries’ first natural-gas-powered vessel, is scheduled to arrive in B.C. in January for crew training and familiarization. After public open houses in Powell River and Comox, the ship is scheduled to start service on that route in the spring of 2017.
“This is an exciting day for BC Ferries as our newest ship, Salish Orca, is one step closer to joining our fleet,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ president and CEO. “We look forward to introducing a new ship into service for our passengers on the Northern Sunshine Coast, which will improve reliability and customer service for years to come.”
BC Ferries will take final acceptance and ownership of Salish Orca upon final inspection once the vessel arrives in B.C. Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. is responsible to deliver the ship to B.C. and has contracted with a professional international ship delivery specialist. Some of BC Ferries’ crewmembers are on various legs of the voyage for training and familiarization.