The first, fully-electric road ferries to sail in North America are on their way from Damen Shipyards Galati in the Netherlands to Ontario, Canada.
Ordered by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, the Amherst Islander II and Wolfe Islander IV, 68 and 98 metres in length respectively, represent a new generation of zero-emission large ferries.
The vessels departed the yard on 26 August to be loaded on the semi-submersible transport vessel Super Servant 4 and will arrive in Lake Ontario in mid-September.
Both of the open-deck vessels are equipped to be fully-electric, but also have twin diesel generators installed to allow hybrid and full diesel propulsion for maximum redundancy. Due to the harsh winters the ferries also feature 1B Ice class hulls and 1A Ice class azimuth thrusters, allowing them to be fully operational down to -25 degrees centigrade.
Ontario’s new ferries bring extra capacity and will make crossings faster as well as greener for the one million passengers and 500,000 vehicles which travel annually between Wolfe Island and Kingston, and the 270,000 passengers and 130,000 vehicles which travel to and from Amherst Island each year.