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Vancouver-Nanaimo ferry service launching this summer

A new foot passenger-only ferry service will soon launch between Nanaimo and Vancouver.

The ferry line, called Hullo, is being launched by the Vancouver Island Ferry Company (VIFC) and is set to begin sailings in late summer 2023.

The sailings will travel between downtown Nanaimo at the Nanaimo Port Authority, located at 100 Port Dr., and downtown Vancouver at the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre at Burrard Landing, located at 1055 Canada Pl.

Sailings are expected to take 70 minutes to complete, according to VIFC, with up to seven roundtrip sailings planned each day.

"Starting early enough for island commuters to get to their downtown Vancouver offices, and running late enough for travelers to catch an evening game or concert and return home the same night," said VIFC in a release Wednesday.

Hullo will launch with two 354-passenger catamarans in its fleet. Each ferry will include free Wi-Fi and snacks will be available for purchase.

Travellers can also buy three different tiers of seats, including comfort, premium and business.

Hullo's two ferries are undergoing final sea trials at the Damen Group shipyard in Vietnam and are scheduled to sail to Vancouver Island in May.

"The vessels are built and going through rigorous sea trials and the terminal areas are in the process of being upgraded to welcome our guests," said VIFC CEO Alastair Caddick in a statement.

"Hullo is in ship-shape and almost ready to serve its communities," he said.

Two completed Hullo vessels docked at the Damen Group facility in Vietnam (CNW Group/Vancouver Island Ferry Company)VIFC adds that its director of operations, captain Wendy Williams, was the first Canadian woman to captain a mega cruise ship.

"Our highly skilled operations team is dedicated to providing a seamless travel experience that is reliable, modern, and friendly," said Williams.

"We take pride in trying to set a new standard for ferry travel in British Columbia and our growing team remains relentlessly committed to creating a safe, efficient, and reliable service for our communities."

VIFC says an exact schedule and details on rates will be released in early June.

Construction has also officially begun on terminal reconfiguration in downtown Nanaimo, which will include 400 parking spots, electric vehicle charging stations, a guest welcome centre and better traffic flow. Top Stories

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