After nearly two years of design work and testing, B.C. Ferries began the construction of the new Super C-class vessel, Coastal Renaissance, on August 30 at Flensburger Schiffbau – Gesellschaft Shipyards (FSG), in northern Germany
. The event was marked by a steel cutting ceremony involving representatives from BC Ferries and the shipyard. The Super C-class vessels are expected to be the most advanced vessels in the BC Ferries fleet. They will feature a diesel-electric propulsion system that is the largest and most fuel efficient of its kind and are designed to be the largest double-ended ferries in the world. The three 160 m, 21,980 gross ton vessels will be built from 88 large steel sections at Flensburger’s shipbuilding facility. Customers will have access to two passenger decks and a variety of new facilities, including food and retail offerings, comfortable seating areas and expanded services and amenities. The new vessels will accommodate more vehicles and passengers than the current C-class ferries and will have a service speed of 21 knots. The first ship, Coastal Renaissance will take approximately 12 months to build, with delivery to B.C. expected in late 2007. Construction of the second Super C-class vessel, Coastal Inspiration will commence in December of 2006 and work on the third ship, Coastal Celebration
, will begin in April 2007. The two remaining Super C-class vessels will be completed in January and May 2008 respectively. By the summer of 2008, all three Super C-class vessels will be plying the waters of Georgia Strait. Coastal Renaissance and Coastal Inspiration will carry customers between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay while Coastal Celebration will navigate through Active Pass between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay.