V2V ferry aims to return in December
The colourful V2V Vacations’ Empress ferry is expected to be ready for service by about mid-December, once new engines have been installed.
A new service update on the ferry — which was hauled out of the water in August — states: “The V2V leadership team has resolved to replace both of the ship’s engines, which will provide increased reliability and speed for the vessel, and recognize the urgent need to do so as soon as practicable.”
The Empress began service between Victoria and Vancouver harbours in May, offering a luxury 3 ⁄ -hour ride.
V2V Vacations is owned by Australia’s Riverside Marine, led by Hume Campbell.
A total of $10 million was spent to develop the service, including a complete refit of the catamaran, which has capacity for 254 passengers.
When engine problems took the vessel out of service, the company initially figured the problem could be fixed in three to four weeks.
A quick fix didn’t happen. The Empress ferry is at Point Hope Maritime on Harbour Road and company technical teams are in Victoria.
Because this is such a complicated job, the company is unable to state definitively when the ship will be back in service, the update said.
Once the Empress is back in the water, V2V will offer a fourday service limited to Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Daily service will resume on March 1, the company said.
When that resumes, the ferry will leave Vancouver at 9 a.m. and arrive in Victoria at 12:30 p.m. It will pull out of Victoria at 1:30 p.m. and arrive in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour at 5 p.m.