Vard Marine is a leading designer of ferries in North America, with a portfolio ranging from a small open-deck harbour ferry to a fully-enclosed 470-vehicle vessel designed to carry a large tractor-trailer load and passenger vehicles.

We bring advanced technologies to our work – even if we have to invent them. We’ve pioneered the use of alternative fuels, battery technology and hybrid designs. Our hybrid propulsion systems coupled with noise reduction techniques place us at the forefront of efforts to reduce environmental impacts. And our expertise in ice-capable vessels led to a dual-fuel ferry design for ice-infested waters.

MV BC Ferries Queen of Coquitlam sailing past trees and mountains
BC Ferries Queen of the North sailing past an island and Seaspan Swift VARD 9 304 carrying cargo sailing towards mountains
Rendering of Armand-Imbeau II

We know it’s equally important to get things right on the inside. Whether you’re offering a first class dining experience or coffee and snacks, Vard Marine’s designs cover all the amenities appropriate to the level of service your passengers expect. And just as newer generations of vehicle traffic dictate design changes, we’ve adjusted to shifting passenger demographics with an increased focus on accessibility for all ages and levels of mobility.

We’ve designed vessels for the British Columbia Ferry Corporation, Seaspan Ferries, Société des
Traversiers du Québec, Alaska Marine Highway Systems, and the State of Maine.

People needs? Technology challenges? Show us your plan and let Vard Marine find the answers.

Our ferry design philosophy

At Vard Marine, each design is the beginning of something new. We partner with our clients to scope requirements based on their project’s unique set of tides, sea conditions, docking facilities, passengers and vehicle types.

In all our designs we call on our teams’ exceptional experience and expertise to deliver:

  • efficient hull form
  • low noise and vibration levels for passenger comfort
  • efficient loading/unloading arrangements for rapid turnaround, and
  • the ability to meet or exceed all safety requirements.
BC Ferries Spirit of Vancouver Island  sailing past BC coast with trees and mountains in background
Seaspan Swift and Reliant VARD 6 515 trailer ferries docking and unloading trailers at port

The client advantage

With our bespoke approach you’ll have a specialized vessel design tailored to your purpose – one that’s high on reliability, low on upkeep and unbeatable at maintaining service levels in all conditions.

BC Ferries Queen of Cumberland sailing past an island with another ferry in the distance and small boat alongside

How we work

Vard Marine works with both ferry companies and builders, providing a design-and-build package tailored to each client’s service requirements.

We offer a wide range of options to help our clients refine their requirements. We often start with feasibility studies and a cost/benefit analysis of each alternative. Next, we assess operating conditions along the route and research the terminal your vessel will connect with. Once requirements are finalized, the design process begins.

Throughout the design phase we consult with the shipyard on the most cost-effective way to address the owner’s needs.

We don't stop there

From time to time, ferries carry dangerous goods. We coordinate risk analyses for Class Societies, conduct HAZID and HAZOP workshops, and work with stakeholders to define solutions.

Ready to talk?

Contact the Vard team and make your next project your most successful one.