BC Ferries named and christened the first two Island Class ferries this week. The vessels, Island Discovery and Island Aurora, are the newest vessels to enter the fleet and will enter service in mid-2020, serving the Powell River – Texada Island and Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula routes, respectively. The names were selected with community input and celebrate the beauty of the journey and the important connection to the coastal communities the ferries will soon serve. Island Class ferries have the capacity to carry 47 vehicles and between 300 and 450 passengers and crew, depending on configuration. They are battery equipped ships designed for future full electric operation. The ships are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding becomes available in BC. The design of the vessels reduces underwater radiated noise, lowers emissions and improves customer service.