Northern Expedition ferry


Cruise line
BC FERRIES (Ferries)

Prince Rupert-Skidegate (Graham Island, Haida Gwaii)

Northern Expedition ferry Review and Specifications

Specifications of Northern Expedition ferry

Year built 2009  /  Age : 9
Flag state Canada
Builder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (Flensburg, Germany)
Class cruise ferry (Ro-Ro ship)
Ferry route / homeports Prince Rupert-Skidegate (Graham Island, Haida Gwaii)
Building cost EUR 110 million (CAD 133 million)
Speed 21 kn / 39 kph / 24 mph
Length (LOA) 152 m / 499 ft
Beam (width) 23 m / 75 ft
Gross Tonnage 17729 gt
Passengers 600
Crew 38
Cars 115
Decks 6
Cabins 55
Decks with cabins 2

Review of Northern Expedition ferry

MS Northern Expedition ferry is a Ro-Ro passenger vessel owned and operated by the Canadian company BC FERRIES. The ship has max capacity of 600 passengers and 115 cars. The vessel was launched in 2009 and currently operates on the Kaien Island-Graham Island ("Haida Gwaii") ferry route Prince Rupert-Skidegate (crossing time 7 hours).


As cruiseferry, Northern Expedition has a total of 55 cabins (on decks 5 and 7), all of which are air-conditioned and with en-suite bathrooms. The ferry company provides bed linens, towels and toiletries. The ship additionally has reclining seats. Some staterooms are wheelchair-accessible (adapted for disabled passengers).

The ship's staterooms as categories are Luxury, Outside and Inside.

  • Luxury Cabins (aft on Deck 6) are beautifully appointed and fitted with flat TVs and DVD players.
  • On Deck 5 (midship and aft) are located all 4-berth Outside Cabins (Quads), as well as Quad Inside Cabins (no window views). Outside cabins are with one non-opening window.
  • Each stateroom is fitted with toilet, shower, washbasin, 2 lower beds (twins / non-convertible to double bed) and wall-mounted bunk beds.
  • All passenger cabins are equipped with life jackets. Additional life vests are stowed in marked lockers on deck 5.
  • Cabins can be booked onboard by checking in with the Chief Steward's Office (located midship-starboard on Deck 4).

All passengers must vacate their staterooms 30 min prior to homeport arrival.

Northern Expedition ferry ship (BC FERRIES)

Shipboard facilities

As facilities, the Northern Expedition ship offers:

  • The Raven Lounge (movie viewing lounge located aft on Deck 4) is fitted with comfortable reclining chairs (leather recliners) and 3 large flat TVs with 40-inch screens.
  • Aurora Lounge (forward on Deck 5) is a reserved seating lounge open during summer only. The lounge is furnished with fully-reclining leather seats with foot rests and offers panoramic 270-degree views from floor-ceiling windows.
  • Vista Restaurant (forward on Deck 4) is a buffet-style restaurant with 2- and 4-seat dining tables (premium amenities) and panoramic views from floor-ceiling windows. However, Vista Restaurant is open only on summer crossings.
  • Canoe Cafe (aft-portside on Deck 4) is a self-serve buffet restaurant furnished with 4-seat dining tables. The Cafe offers a wide variety of healthy and fast food items, such as Bread Garden panini sandwiches, burgers and fries, wraps, sushi, fresh-made salads, hot and cold entrees ("White Spot" food station), dinner plates, Pirate Paks (kids menu), carving station, various breads, desserts, light snacks, beverages (including beer and wine by the glass).
  • Passages Gift Shop (midship on Deck 4) has a great selection of gifts, jewelry, watches, sunglasses, beauty products (brand cosmetics and skincare), fashion and casual clothing, toys, books, magazines, aboriginal silver giftware, travel essentials. The boutique sells premium brands, like Killtec (sports clothing), Helly Hansen (outdoor apparel and shoes), Nine West (shoes, handbags).
  • At the Reception Desk (Purser's Square / midship-starboard on Deck 4) provides passengers with 24-hour assistance, cabin booking, purser services, information on British Columbia tourist and leisure destinations, as well as info on all onboard amenities and services.
  • Kids Zone (midship-portside on Deck 5) is an indoor playground / nautically-themed room for children. The room has large windows and s fitted with comfortable leather chairs, toys and TVs for watching cartoons and playing DVDs.
  • Parents Room (midship on Deck 5) is a baby changing room.
  • Elevators (passenger lifts) accessing all decks
  • Pet Area
  • The ship is equipped with 6 life rafts (canister-type, capacity 100 persons each) plus 2 life rafts (capacity 60 persons each) located on Deck 5. There are also 2 rescue boats (capacity 6 person each) and 2 safety slides (Deck 5 / on the deckplan legend marked as "Marine Evacuation Slide") which are used for emergency passenger evacuation.
  • There are numerous fire extinguishers located in all passenger-accessible deck areas (both interior and exterior). All passenger decks are fitted with heat-sensitive sprinklers. Vehicle Deck has installed a manual deluge system.
  • For passengers with disabilities, the ship provides a limited number of wheelchairs. Reservations are required at least 24 hours before departure.
  • Service dogs are permitted in ferry terminals, as well as onboard the ships.

All onboard emergency instructions are displayed in staterooms, on the TV screens and at the ship's assembly stations (aka muster stations). In case of emergency, the use of elevators / passenger lifts is forbidden.

The ferry's decks are named as follows: decks 4-5-6-7 are "Passenger", Deck 3 is "Platform", Deck 2 is "Vehicle / Bus".


The company offers gift certificates available for purchasing both online and onboard (in the Gift Shop), Denominations are in 10, 25, 50 and 100 dollars. Gift certificates can be used also for paying ferry fares, for onboard purchases (Gift Shop, Restaurant, SeaWest Lounge) and for purchasing "BC Ferries Vacations" packages.

  • "BC Ferries Vacations" are "ferry and hotel" packages that combine roundtrip ferry (ship travel) with 1-night hotel (inn) stay at discounted pricing.
  • The majority of ferry-hotel packages available for booking via BC FERRIES are inclusive of 2-, 3- and 4-night accommodation (in resorts, hotels and inns). The longest vacations are of 5-, 6-, 7- and 10-nights.
  • Most 3-night accommodation package deals for island destinations are "3rd Night FREE".
  • The package-inclusive ferry tickets are for 2 adults and 1 car.
  • Most ferry vacation deals are inclusive of complimentary parking for BC FERRIES customers.
  • These vacation / getaway package deals are offered in the following British Columbia destinations: Campbell River (also fishing trips), Cowichan Bay (Resorts), Victoria, Richmond, Vancouver, North Vancouver, Courtenay (Resorts), Chemainus,, Nanaimo, Sooke (Resorts), Tsawwassen, Langley, Burnaby, Parksville (Resorts), Ucluelet (Black Rock Resort, Shoreside Suites), Salt Spring Island (Resorts, Shoreside Cottages), Madeira Park (Resorts), Powell River (Beach Gardens Resort), Mayne Island (Resorts), Pender Island (Resorts), Quadra Island (Resorts, fishing trips), Galiano Island, Qualicum Beach, Kelowna, Whistler, Brentwood Bay, Kamloops, Penticton, Vernon (Resorts, also golfing), Tofino (Beach Lodges), Osoyoos, Port Hardy (wildlife tours, also rafting), Prince Rupert (wildlife tours), Haida Gwaii (all-inclusive package),

"Inside Passage" 1-day ferry cruises (overnight crossings) are offered in the summer (June through September) with departures from:

  • (ship Northern Expedition or Northern Adventure) from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy, Bella Bella, and Klemtu
  • (ships Northern Expedition and Northern Sea Wolf) from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert, Bella Bella, Klemtu, Bella Coola, Ocean Falls, and Shearwater
  • (ship Northern Expedition) from Bella Coola to Port Hardy, Bella Bella, Ocean Falls, and Shearwater
  • (ships Northern Sea Wolf and Northern Expedition or Northern Adventure) from Bella Bella to Port Hardy, Prince Rupert, Bella Coola, Ocean Falls, and Shearwater
  • (ship Northern Expedition or Northern Adventure) from Klemtu to Port Hardy, and Prince Rupert
  • (ships Northern Sea Wolf and Northern Expedition or Northern Adventure) from Ocean Falls to Port Hardy, Bella Coola, Bella Bella, and Shearwater
  • (ships Northern Sea Wolf and Northern Expedition or Northern Adventure) from Shearwater to Port Hardy, Bella Coola, Bella Bella, and Ocean Falls.

On select Holiday voyages, BC FERRIES offers discount fares when booking early morning and late evening departures. Ticket prices start from $39 (for 1 standard car with driver). These discounts are offered for the following destinations: Vancouver-Victoria (Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay), Vancouver-Nanaimo (Tsawwassen-Duke Point) and West Vancouver-Nanaimo (Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay).

Car decks

Follows a list of car decks related safety procedures:

  • Disabled passengers or those requiring specific assistance should visit the ship's Information Desk, open 24-hours).
  • Apply handbrake and place the vehicle in park or 1st gear position. Switch off the ignition, alarm, electrical equipment, headlights. Gas cylinders, if any, must be switched off. Lock the vehicle.
  • From your vehicle take only valuables and essential hand baggage.
  • Make a note of your vehicle's location and garage deck number / stairway before leaving the car deck.
  • Access to the ship's vehicle (cargo) decks during the voyage is prohibited.
  • Smoking on vehicle decks, as well as in cabins and passenger loungesis forbidden.
  • Wait for the onboard announcement before returning to your vehicle.
  • In order to avoid air pollution, don't start the engine until instructed.

The shipowner BC Ferries (founded in 1960, headquartered in Victoria, BC Canada) is a Canadian state-owned company providing daily scheduled passenger and vehicle (RoPax) ferry services between mainland Canada and British Columbia islands. The company is ranked North America's largest (followed by "Washington State Ferries") and the world's 3rd largest. BC FERRIES fleet's newest and largest vessels are the two Spirit-class ships (Spirit of British Columbia, Spirit of Vancouver Island) and the three Coastal-class ships (Coastal Renaissance, Coastal Inspiration, Coastal Celebration).

Northern Expedition ferry wiki

  • Northern Expedition is a newbuild vessel ordered on August 18, 2006 (building cost CAD 133 million). The German shipbuilder (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, Flensburg Germany) is the same shipyard that built BC FERRIES' three Coastal-class ships (Celebration, Inspiration, Renaissance).
  • The keel-laying ceremony was on June 16, 2008. The vessel was launched on September 25, 2008. Following the sea in Baltic Sea (January 7–9, 2009), the ship was delivered to BC FERRIES on January 29, 2009. Starting on January 30, the ship was relocated from Germany to BC Canada via Panama Canal, arriving in Departure Bay (Nanaimo) on March 6. The ferry was officially acquired on March 12 and entered service on May 18, with maiden voyage on the "Inside Passage" route from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy.
  • The ship is powered by two CATERPILLAR marine diesel engines (model 9M32C, total power output 9 MW) and as propulsion has two controllable pitch propellers.