MV Nimpkish carries up to 16 vehicles

Ferry to be upgraded for circle tours

Food, water, washrooms, seating and shelter promised for passengers on smaller ferry to run from Bella Bella to Bella Coola

BC Ferries will upgrade the MV Nimpkish ferry to provide food, water, washrooms, seating and shelter for passengers on the summer run from Bella Bella to Bella Coola, to effort to retain traffic on the Discovery Coast circle tour.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said Thursday the ferry upgrade and schedule changes are being made to make up for discontinuing the Port Hardy-to-Bella Coola run as part of cuts to under-used ferry routes.

Stone defended the decision to take the larger Queen of Chilliwack off its weekly summer run, replacing it with the Nimpkish four times a week. Connection from northern Vancouver Island to Bella Bella will be done with the Northern Expedition or Northern Adventure, newer vessels that serve the longer Inside Passage route from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert.

The combined sailings provide enough capacity to carry the 500 to 600 vehicles a year that were taking the Queen of Chilliwack, Stone said. At that usage, the former route lost more than $7 million a year, an amount that would double if the aging Queen of Chilliwack were replaced, he said.

Tourism organizations and coastal communities have protested the change, saying foreign tour operators have lost confidence since the changes were announced last November.

Stone said tourism operators should identify their bookings and what is needed to make good on their commitments.

Minister of state for tourism Naomi Yamamoto will visit the Cariboo-Chilcotin to meet with tourism operators who have promoted the circle tour, which continues by road from Bella Coola to Williams Lake.


Just Posted

Hope mothers work together to improve access, connections for autistic children

Families with autistic children in rural areas have difficulty accessing resources, each other

UPDATE: Man with gunshot wound drives into ditch on Chilliwack River Road

Serious crimes investigators believe early morning shooting to be targeted

No red flags in expense audit, says former Fraser Health boss who fired Murray

Wynne Powell said report showed need for tighter rules, but didn’t suggest abuse of expense claims

WATCH: Rally at MP’s office Friday in Chilliwack to stop KM pipeline

Water samples from Chilliwack rivers were delivered to MP Strahl’s office in a symbolic gesture

Editor’s view: A Hopeful start to the community’s first 10 km run

Good mix of pomp and circumstance, variable terrain and silliness at Sunday’s run

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Gas prices likely driving Canadians to US pumps

Customs say cost of fuel, nice weather, spring break are contributing factors of uptick of traffic

VIDEO: Hockey tournament remembers young fan

Hundreds take part in annual Jordan Owens memorial in Lower Mainland

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Most Read