Skip to main content

'Difficult news': Sidney-Anacortes ferry not restarting until 2030


An international ferry that connects Vancouver Island with the U.S. will not be restarting operations anytime soon.

The Sidney-Anacortes ferry, which travels between Sidney, B.C. and Anacortes, Wash., operated for nearly 100 years before it ceased operations in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Last year, Washington State Ferries said it was not planning to restart operations for at least another year, largely because of a labour shortage.

On Tuesday, the Town of Sidney said it had learned that Washington State Ferries did not intended to restart the ferry service until 2030.

The municipality said the extended service suspension is due to ongoing staff shortages and the retirement of some vessels in the Washington State Ferries fleet.

"This is difficult news to receive," said Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith in a release Tuesday.

"There are certainly economic impacts for our local business community, which thankfully has shown remarkable resilience in adapting to the changing realities since 2020," he said.

The Sidney-Anacortes ferry first launched in 1922 at the base of the town's iconic Beacon Avenue.

It had humble beginnings as a converted kelp carrier before eventually growing to an important source of tourism for the seaside town, according to the municipality.

"At this time, council and town staff are turning our attention to the existing ferry terminal lease and the implications associated with this recent announcement," said McNeil-Smith.

The municipality says Washington State Ferries has a lease for the ferry service that lasts until 2031. Top Stories

Stay Connected