V2V ferry aims to re­turn in De­cem­ber

Times Colonist - - Business - CARLA WIL­SON cjwil­son@times­colonist.com

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.

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