MV Queen of New Westminster


New West in Active Pass.JPG
Name: Queen of New Westminster
Namesake: City of New Westminster
Operator: BC Ferries
Port of registry: Victoria
Route: TsawwassenSwartz Bay
Builder: Victoria Machinery Depot
Cost: $ 3.5 million
Yard number: 105
Laid down: May 24, 1963
Launched: May 12, 1964
In service: August 4, 1964
Status: In service
General characteristics
Displacement: 6,122 tonnes
Length: 130 m (426 ft 6 in)
Installed power: 16,800hp
Propulsion: Four Wärtsilä VASA 9R32 engines
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)
  • Passengers:
  • 1,332
  • Vehicles
  • 270 cars

The MV Queen of New Westminster is a Canadian roll-on, roll-off passenger ferry operated by BC Ferries.[1]

In 1964, the vessel was built as one of seven Victoria class ferries. Like her sister ships, she was lengthened in 1973 at Burrard Dry Dock. After the ship damaged a crankshaft beyond repair, she was re-engined with four Wärtsilä engines, had the car deck platform ramps removed and was raised to add a second car deck at Vancouver Shipyards in 1991. After being raised for a second car deck, she would normally be considered a Victoria class ferry as she shares most of the characteristics of that class, but because of her improved powerplants and higher clearance car decks, she is unique. Her two remaining sister ships are the Burnaby class vessels Queen of Nanaimo and Queen of Burnaby, which are also not considered Victoria class vessels because they did not receive the additional car deck which created the final Victoria class ferries.

Though her four Victoria class sister ships were all scrapped by 2012, she had a major refit of her passenger areas between late 2007 and early 2009 to prepare her for another ten to fifteen years of service.


In October, 1971, Queen of New Westminster pulled out of her berth at the Departure Bay terminal while vehicle loading was in progress. A car and its two occupants fell into the water. Both of the vehicle's occupants were rescued.

In a similar incident, on August 13, 1992, the ship pulled out of her berth at the Departure Bay terminal while vehicle loading ramps were still lowered and resting on the ship. Three people were killed, one was seriously injured, and two others received minor injuries when a van from Alberta containing 6 people fell 15 m (49 ft) from the upper deck onto the lower car deck and finally into the sea below. The van was stopped and instructed to wait on the loading ramp by terminal crew members. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada determined that this accident was caused primarily by the vessel not properly following departing procedures and secondarily due to poor communication between terminal and ship crew members.[2]

Sister ships

Queen of New Westminster initially had six sister ships, none of which are still in service with BC Ferries. These ships were originally built as a single class but were modified through different combinations of deck-stretching, addition of more vehicle decks, and installation of more powerful engines. Though New West is a sister of these ships, the ship does not fit into either the V class or the Burnaby class.


  1. ^ "Queen of New Westminster - BC Ferries"
  2. ^ Canadian Transportation Safety Board report on Queen of New Westminster accident

External links

  • BC Ferries: Queen of New Westminster
  • West Coast Ferries: Queen of New Westminster