A passenger ferry service that will link Vancouver and Victoria’s harbours will not set sail for its inaugural voyage this spring as originally planned.

Instead, Seattle-based Clipper will launch the connector service in spring 2017, the company said in a news release Tuesday.

“We will not disappoint. Our reputation has been built on reliability, safety and customer service for 30 years, so we will get it right, and we’ll get it right the first time,” said Merideth Tall, CEO and Chair of Clipper.

She said the company is delaying the launch so it can focus on finding the right vessel to travel across the challenging Salish Sea.

“The most important piece is selecting that vessel, the right vessel that is going to make that ride perfect for our customers,” she said.

The Victoria-Vancouver connector will have some competition when it begins to operate next year.

Australia’s Riverside Marine recently leased space in downtown Victoria’s Steamship Terminal with plans to operate a passenger ferry to downtown Vancouver.

The company began retrofitting its fleet of catamarans this year.

That service is expected to be operational for tourism season in 2017 and will cost about $80 for a one-way ticket between the Inner Harbour and Vancouver’s convention centre.

It’s unclear how many the new Clipper ferry will transport to Vancouver, or how much a ticket will cost. Those details are expected to be hammered out in the coming months.

Clipper has operated a Victoria-Seattle ferry service since 1986.