(Maynard Johnny Jr./BC Ferries)

BC Ferries’ newest Salish class vessel is expected to arrive in Victoria this week. 

At approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 3rd, spectators will be able to view the Salish Heron as it enters Victoria’s Ogden Point after a 10,400 nautical mile journey from Poland. 

The newest addition to the Salish class vessel fleet joins the Salish Orca, Salish Eagle, and Salish Raven, all of which entered service in 2017.

The names for the vessels were chosen through a contest held in 2015, with Salish Heron being one of the finalists.

The Salish Heron carries 138 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and will operate in the Southern Gulf Islands. 

The vessels introduced a new set of operations which allows for crews and vessels to be interchangeable among routes. 

The vessels also operate on liquified natural gas, a cleaner fuel than diesel, and has a structural design and electric propulsion designed to create a small wake and provide a quiet ride.

In March 2021, BC Ferries announced they would be commissioning an original design for the Salish Heron’s hull and interior, a partnership between their organization and the First Peoples Cultural Council (FPCC). 

Read more: BC Ferries issues call for Coast Salish artists to decorate new vessel

Once arrived in Victoria, the Salish Heron will be inspected and moved to BC Ferries’ Fleet Maintenance Unit in Richmond for final preparations and application of the exterior artwork. 

The exterior artwork to be applied was designed by Coast Salish artist Maynard Johnny Jr.