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B.C.'s new super-sized ferry, Coastal Renaissance, arrives in Departure Bay in Nanaimo on Saturday. ((CBC))

B.C.'s new super-sized ferry, Coastal Renaissance, began service on its new regular route between Nanaimo and West Vancouver on Saturday afternoon with more than 400 scouts aboard the first trip, aiming to be part of history.

The Coastal Renaissance is the first of three new Coastal Class vessels built in Germany. Each is 160 metres long, and holds 370 cars and 1,650 passengers.

Coastal Inspiration, which is awaiting passage through the Panama Canal, will commence service on the Duke Point to Tsawwassen route before the summer.

Coastal Celebration will join the BC Ferries fleet in the fall, and will sail between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen.

The ships are the largest double-end ferries in the world, meaning they can travel in both directions.

Despite their size, the three Coastal Class vessels are not the largest ships in the BC Ferries fleet.

That honour goes to the two sister ships, Spirit of Vancouver Island and Spirit of British Columbia, built in 1993 and 1994, respectively. Both are 167.5 metres long, and can carry up to 470 cars and 2,100 people each, but are not double-ended.