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

PHOTOS: MCQMX national snow bike series wraps up in Revelstoke

The series finals were hosted by the Revy Riders Dirt Bike Club

Fallen ice on Highways 1 and 23

DriveBC warning drivers of debris on roads Monday morning

PHOTOS: Coyotes nip Grizzlies for first win in Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Finals

Osoyoos skates to 4-3 double overtime win over Revelstoke

Glimpses of the Past

From the Revelstoke Brewery shipping its wares in 1983 to a performance by The Victoria Symphony Orchestra in 1978

Casey Brown races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

VIDEO: B.C. woman to walk across Europe following cancer diagnosis

Michelle Cole says her trip is part of a healing pilgrimage

Vernon police investigating sudden death near The Rise

Woman, 37, found unresponsive in home early on March 15; taken to hospital where she died

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

B.C. hospitals receive boost for dental surgery

Disabled people needing general anesthetic wait too long, Adrian Dix says

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild on the ropes and Smoke Eaters reeling

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

The Young’Uns member searching for stolen equipment

Kelowna - Tim Reardon said band equipment was stolen from his home outside of Lumby

Pedestrian airlifted to hospital after semi truck collision north of Cache Creek

RCMP say person sustained non-life threatening injuries

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

Most Read