Clipper sinks plans for Victoria-Vancouver passenger ferry
Clipper says the new 52-metre high-speed catamaran will be moved to the popular Victoria-Seattle route. (Clipper Vacations)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, December 6, 2017 1:40PM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 6, 2017 1:54PM PST
Clipper Vacations is scrapping plans for a new passenger ferry route that would have linked Victoria and Vancouver, citing unexpected costs.
The Seattle-based company, which already offers sailings between Victoria and Seattle, had previously announced it would launch the service in spring 2018.
It even purchased a new 52-metre high-speed catamaran dubbed Clipper V and retrofitted it for the challenging route.
But on Wednesday, Clipper announced unexpected operational costs associated with the dock in Vancouver halted the plans from moving forward.
The high-speed vessel will instead replace the vessel on the current Seattle-Victoria route in spring 2018, allowing for increased capacity.
“We’ve been huge supporters and contributors to Victoria and Seattle’s tourism sectors for more than 31 years,” Clipper CEO David Gudgel said in a statement. “In that time, Seattle has grown and changed significantly with increased demand for travel between the two cities. Victoria has also grown tremendously as a destination city with so many attractions to offer. Clipper V is the perfect vessel for us to provide an even better customer experience while matching market demand.”
The Clipper V can carry 440 passengers and travel at speeds up to 36 knots, the company said.
It comes as V2V, a company that launched a separate Victoria-Vancouver passenger ferry service earlier this year, has struggled with mechanical issues aboard its vessel.
The V2V Empress was removed from service due to problems with one of its engines in August and is expected to be back up and running by late December, according to the company's website.