Jet catamaran chosen for service between Victoria and downtown Vancouver

Clipper Navigation has acquired the 52-metre Halunder Jet catamaran from its parent firm, FRS | Photo: Clipper Navigation

A company that has been offering passenger ferry service between Victoria and Seattle since 1986 has found its vessel and plans to launch passenger service between Victoria and downtown Vancouver in the spring of 2018.

Clipper Navigation pulled the plug on a planned Victoria-to-Vancouver service last year when it could not find the right vessel.

On Wednesday (March 1), Clipper chief executive Tobias Haack announced the company has acquired the 52-metre Halunder Jet catamaran from its parent firm FRS.

“Clipper has been committed to ensuring that we have the right vessel for this route,” says Haack. “For more than 30 years we have safely and reliably operated ferry services around the Salish Sea, and we know that customer comfort is again paramount for our new Vancouver to Victoria route.

“Halunder Jet is the perfect addition to the Clipper fleet and aligns with our high standards for customer service. We could not be more excited to launch this new operation with our longstanding tourism partners in Victoria, Vancouver and across the Pacific Northwest.”

The vessel, which currently operates in the North Sea, is due to arrive in this region in the fall.

The catamaran can carry 579 passengers and travel at speeds up to 36 knots. Halunder Jet was custom built for FRS’ operations between Hamburg and Heligoland, where it has operated successfully since 2003.

The Halunder Jet will be retrofitted to Clipper’s specifications and reflagged for its new operation ahead of the spring 2018 launch.

There will be a passenger ferry running between the Inner Harbour and Vancouver this year as V2V Vacations says it expects to launch its passenger ferry service on May 1.

The company is billing its offering as a luxury cruise service, using the V2V Empress, a 254-seat, 126-foot catamaran that will sail from downtown to downtown in 3 1 /2 hours and cost passengers between $120 and $240 one way.

Daily sailings will leave Vancouver at 8 a.m. and Victoria at 2 p.m., travelling from beside the Steamship Terminal Building in Victoria to the convention centre docks in Vancouver.

Times Colonist

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