VICTORIA -- BC Ferries' new hybrid electric vessels are expected to arrive in Victoria Saturday morning.

The two "Island Class" ferries will be able to carry up to 300 passengers and 47 vehicles and are equipped with batteries that will one day be able to accommodate fully-electric operation.

The new vessels will dock in the Breakwater District at Ogden Point on the weekend and remain there for approximately five days until final preparations are completed and the ships are able to unload and be delivered to Point Hope Maritime in Victoria. 

The two hybrid electric ferries first started their voyage to Victoria from Constanta, Romania on Nov. 20, 2019 aboard a semi-submersible transport ship called the Sun Rise. 

After nearly two months at sea, the Sun Rise is set to submerge itself in Ogden Point to allow the two ferries to be towed and brought into harbour. After final preparations are complete at the Breakwater District, the ships will be re-commissioned in Point Hope Maritime, a process which includes starting up all of the vessels' systems and performing final inspections. 

Once re-commissioning is complete, BC Ferries will officially take ownership of the two ships and begin crew training. The shipyard that originally built the ferries, Damen Shipyards Group, will then provide technical and warranty support for the vessels moving forward. 

"It’s an exciting day for BC Ferries and coastal B.C. communities as we welcome these ships to their new home," said BC Ferries presidents and CEO, Mark Collins, in a news release Friday.

"The anticipated arrival of these battery hybrid electric ferries marks a major milestone in our plan to progressively lower emissions across our fleet and be a leader in transitioning to a lower carbon future."

The two hybrid electric ferries are expected to enter service along BC Ferries' Powell River to Texada route, and Port McNeill to Alert Bay to Sointula routes by mid-2020. The company will hold celebration events when the ferries officially join their fleet.

In November 2019, BC Ferries announced that it had ordered the construction of four more hybrid electric ships, which are expected to enter service by 2022 along the Campbell River-Quadra Island and Nanaimo Harbour-Gabriola Island routes.