As BC Ferries commits to running four major vessels between Greater Victoria and Metro Vancouver during the busy holiday season, one sidelined ferry will not be back in service by its planned mid-December return.
The ferry operator on Wednesday (Nov. 29) announced repairs to the Coastal Renaissance will take longer than previously thought. The vessel was servicing the Nanaimo-Tsawwassen route when its sailings were suspended in the summer due to one of its drive motors failing.
BC Ferries’ website states the vessel provides regular service on both the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay routes.
The Coastal Renaissance was expected to return to service in December, but BC Ferries has identified an issue that will require further investigation. An update on Oct. 3, explained it was expected the vessel would be sailing “in time for the holiday season.”
The Coastal Celebration will sail in the Coastal Renaissance’s place on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, according to Wednesday’s announcement. The Coastal Celebration will be one of four major vessels BC Ferries said will have the capability of carrying over 55,000 passengers and 10,500 vehicles on the holiday season’s busiest days.
“BC Ferries’ fleet deployment allows many vessels to move where and when needed,” the Wednesday update read. “For example, the Salish Heron will be sailing on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route for the first time, in place of the Queen of New Westminster, to provide the capacity required on the first two weekends in December.”
The ferry operator said on Tuesday (Nov. 28) that it added four extra sailings on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route over the first two weekends of December. The added sailings were in response to the Queen of New Westminster being out of service until Dec. 12.
It will take two hours to make the crossing for those travelling aboard the smaller and slower-speed Salish Heron.