The new passenger-ferry service between Vancouver and Nanaimo has announced it will start operations in early August.
Hullo will operate up to seven round-trip sailings daily between the Vancouver Harbour flight centre in downtown Vancouver and the Nanaimo Port Authority in downtown Nanaimo.
Start your day with a roundup of B.C.-focused news and opinion delivered straight to your inbox at 7 a.m., Monday to Friday.
Thanks for signing up!
A welcome email is on its way. If you don't see it, please check your junk folder.
The next issue of Sunrise presented by Vancouver Sun will soon be in your inbox.
The sailings are expected to take 70 minutes, said operator Vancouver Island Ferry Company — about 30 minutes quicker than a B.C. Ferries sailing between Departure Bay in Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.
The first sailing out of Nanaimo is at 6 a.m., while the earliest sailing out of Vancouver will leave at 8 a.m. The last sailing from Vancouver departs at 9:30 p.m. or later, if there are special events.
The company has also released new details about fares. Each vessel can carry 354 passengers across three tiers: Comfort, premium, and business.
The comfort level will have 264 seats and cost $39.99 plus GST for an adult on a one-way trip.
The next level, premium, offers 60 seats with free seat selection, reclining seats, and priority off-boarding. One-way tickets cost $49.99.
Its top tier, business, costs $59.99 for an adult seat. Its 60 seats will have the same features as premium, but also offers full-reclining seats and a complimentary snack and beverage.
A child’s fare ranges from $19.99 to $39.99. Seniors get a discount when travelling in comfort class, with fares at $19.99. They pay the same as an adult in premium and business.
All seats will have complimentary wi-fi, said the company. There are also discounts if you book roundtrip and passengers’ get a $10 discount for their first one-way sailing when they book online with an account.
Hullo’s two high-speed catamarans were given the names spuhéls and sthuqi’, which mean wind and sockeye salmon respectively in the hul’q’umi’num’ language.
The vessels were named in partnership with the Snuneymuxw First Nation.
“We honour these vessels by bringing forward our connection with the sockeye salmon and the wind,” said Snuneymuxw First Nation Chief Mike Wyse in a statement. “We remember our kinship with them and how we respect our sacred relationship. The vessels’ names are an example of how we can also honour our way of being together as partners.”
The ferries, manufactured in Vietnam, are on their way to B.C. aboard a cargo ship.
This is the fourth iteration of a passenger-ferry service between Nanaimo and Vancouver. There were previous efforts to operate a service in 1969, 1992, and 2003.