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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four cougars caught on camera near Vernon

A Predator Ridge resident’s doorbell camera caught images of early morning visitors

UPDATE: Person safely pulled from Vernon creek culvert

Multiple emergency services assist in rescue of individual near 35th Avenue and 34th Street

Coldstream Town Centre redevelopment to add 84 new child care spots

$5M grant to fund new community centre, child care spaces

Vernon hockey executive close to Cup win

Stacey Roest is the assistant general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning

Volatile enrolment leads to loss of teaching staff at three North Okanagan-Shuswap schools

Three quarters of students using online learning program expected to return to class

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

EDITORIAL: Clearing the smoke

Wildfires have resulted in heavy smoke and poor air quality

Kelowna man’s child porn collection ‘traversed the spectrum of depravity,’ court hears

Terry Krock was caught in possession of between 7,000 and 12,000 child porn files

COVID-19 exposure at Merritt pub

The exposure happened on Sept. 19 at the pub of the Coldwater Hotel

Police watchdog investigating after man injured in Penticton RCMP cells

Man suffers serious injuries after being lodged into cells at the detachment

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Most Read