MV Delphinus Joins Bay Ferry Fleet

San Francisco Bay Ferry and its partners recently celebrated the commissioning of MV Delphinus, the newest high-speed passenger vessel to join its fleet.

MV Delphinus carries 320 passengers and operates primarily on the Vallejo route.

The vessel, which is the second in the Dorado class, can operate on all SF Bay Ferry routes due to its combination of speed and size.

MV Delphinus was built by Mavrik Marine in La Conner, Wash. Design was completed by One2three Naval Architects and construction management services were provided by Aurora Marine Design. Construction on the third and fourth vessels in the Dorado class is underway. A public naming process for those two ferries will begin soon.

Vessel construction was funded through the Federal Transit Administration and the State of California’s Proposition 1B in collaboration with the California Office of Emergency Services.

Several design modifications were made to MV Delphinus in response to passenger feedback. Vinyl siding has been added to a portion of the second deck to provide additional shelter, and heaters will be installed in that section soon. Improved bike racks are being fabricated and will be installed on MV Delphinus and MV Dorado soon.

SF Bay Ferry was the fastest growing transit operator in the region prior to the pandemic, with more than 3 million passengers in 2019. Under the agency’s Pandemic Recovery Program, which took effect in July 2021, ferry ridership has recovered 80% of pre-pandemic levels, one of the highest rates among regional transit operators. The Vallejo route boasts the highest ridership in the system, with more than 700,000 passengers over the past year. SF Bay Ferry has carried 2.3 million passengers overall in the past year.

MV Delphinus is the 13th U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 or Tier 4 equivalent vessel in the SF Bay Ferry fleet, which is the cleanest in the nation. In 2017, the agency commissioned the nation’s first Tier 4 equivalent high-speed passenger ferry, MV Hydrus. In 2019, SF Bay Ferry commissioned the nation’s first Tier 4 certified high-speed passenger ferry, MV Pyxis. In 2023, the agency completed its conversion of four 15-year-old ferries to Tier 4 propulsion, cutting diesel emissions by 80%.