Kootenay Lake Ferry Service Improvements - New Vessel
A new ferry to replace the aging MV Balfour will be introduced to the Kootenay Lake Ferry Service by the end of 2022, and begin service in 2023.
Artist's rendering of the new ferry
Right-sized for Kootenay Lake
The new 55-car ferry will be a simple, robust, and economical ferry ideally suited for to meet the demands of the winter off-peak season and help significantly decrease sailing waits during the summer peak season.
Since demand for ferry service on Kootenay Lake varies widely over the year, the larger MV Osprey 2000, with a capacity of 80 vehicles, isn’t needed during winter months when demand is lower. The new vessel would provide reliable and more efficient service during the winter off-peak season. The MV Osprey would continue to be most efficient during spring and fall ‘shoulder seasons’, and both vessels would operate during the busiest summer peak season.
An electric-ready ferry
In line with the Province’s aim to electrify 100% of its inland ferry fleet by 2040, the new ferry will be built with all the systems, equipment, and components for electric propulsion alongside diesel engines. By 2030, once shore power is in place and the technology has been tested for reliable daily use, a full conversion will be made from diesel to electric propulsion.
What to expect onboard
The new ferry will include a passenger lounge, a snack counter, accessible washrooms, and viewing areas – all the same features available on the MV Osprey.