New fast ferry service from Nanaimo to Vancouver will begin in August, the operator has announced.
In a social media post today, June 8, Hullo Ferries said sailings for the 354-seat vessels would begin in early August and announced fare structures as well.
Three packages are available for travellers, according to Hullo Ferries’ website, with a basic package including reserved seating and complimentary wireless internet at $39.99 for adults and $19.99 for children. Further discounts are available for seniors and infants.
The premium package includes free seat selection, high speed wireless internet, access to the upper deck, a USB charging station and priority disembarking. Fares are $49.99 for adults and seniors and $29.99 for infants and children.
The business package has all of the amenities of the premium package, but with a complimentary snack and beverage. Fares are $59.99 for adults and seniors and $39.99 for infants and children.
Reservations can be booked 90 days in advance. Hullo Ferries is also offering one first-time sailing discount for each account.
There will be up to seven daily, round-trips with the first sailing leaving the Port Drive terminal in Nanaimo at 6 a.m. and the last leaving 7:30 p.m. The first sailing from Canada Place in Vancouver departs 8 a.m. and the last at 9:30 p.m, according to the website. No other times were announced.
Pets, such as cats and small dogs, are allowed onboard at no charge but must be in a pet carrier. The total weight can’t exceed 22 pounds (10 kg), including pet carrier.
Bikes can be brought on board, but must be booked online prior to sailing, due to limited spacing. E-bikes and electric scooters are not permissible due to federal regulations.
There are four wheelchair spots available on each vessel.
The vessels are named spuhéls (spah – els) and sthuqi’ (sta – key), Hul’q’uminum’ for wind and Sockeye salmon respectively, reflecting Snuneymuxw First Nation culture, a press release stated.
Mike Wyse, Snuneymuxw First Nation chief, said the ferries’ names honour the connection with the environment.
“We remember our kinship with them and how we respect our sacred relationship,” Wyse stated in the press release. “The vessels’ names are an example of how we can also honour our way of being together as partners.”
Rupesh Amin, Vancouver Island Ferry Company co-founder, echoed Wyse’s sentiments.
“We remain committed to honouring the lands and waterways of the Snuneymuxw speaking people and acknowledge that our service operates in territories of Coast Salish Peoples,” Amin said in the press release.
Regional District of Nanaimo is working with Hullo Ferries on bus service to and from the ferry terminal.
Hullo Ferries announced on June 2, that the vessels had departed Vietnam and tracking is available at its website.
For more information, go to www.hullo.com.