M.V. Columbia begins service on Upper Arrow Lake
The M.V. Columbia, B.C.’s newest inland ferry, is now in service, replacing two 40-year-old vessels on the route between Shelter Bay and Galena Bay on Upper Arrow Lake.
The M.V. Columbia can transport 80 vehicles and 250 passengers. The vessel has wider lanes and improved ramp transitions for faster loading and unloading. The sailing time is about 20 minutes.
In 2012, the Province signed a $26.5-million contract with WaterBridge Steel Inc. to design and build the new inland ferry. The vessel was constructed in Nakusp, providing employment for approximately 65 workers from across B.C. over the last two years.
The M.V. Columbia is more fuel efficient and produces fewer emissions than its predecessors. It also incorporates enhanced maintenance technology that will result in a high level of reliability. The vessel was designed to enable underwater visual inspections, eliminating the requirement to lift the vessel out of the water every five years for an inspection. The vessel’s equipment and systems can be fully serviced from the car deck or inside the vessel.
The name ‘M.V. Columbia’ is representative of the location of the ferry, as the Arrow Lakes are widenings of the Columbia River. The name also commemorates one of the first Columbia River sternwheelers, the SS Columbia, launched in 1891.
For information on B.C.’s inland ferries, visit: www.th.gov.bc.ca/marine/Inland_Ferries_Maps.pdf