Response to the BC Ferries promotion on the Northern Adventure has been positive so far (Colleen Gabriel photo)

BC Ferries to extend 2019 Sea Wolf season; offers free fares on the Nimpkish

BC Ferries has confirmed that the 2019 season with Northern Sea Wolf will be extended by a month

BC Ferries has confirmed that the 2019 season with Northern Sea Wolf will be extended by a full month: beginning two weeks earlier on June 3 and ending two weeks later on October 10.

This is largely in response to the requests by Bella Coola Valley Tourism and their industry partners in the wake of the “no-show” 2018 season.

“Bella Coola Valley Tourism is pleased that BC Ferries has responded to our requests for a longer season,” said Tom Hermance, President, Bella Coola Valley Tourism. “We are confident that it’s going to be successful.”

Hermance also said that, despite the ferry debacle, BCVT has still enjoyed a relatively good season, with many visitors arriving in the fall.

“We have noticed that fall is becoming a more popular time to visit the Valley,” said Hermance. “Many tourism operators have commented that they are near capacity during this time.”

In addition, BC Ferries also confirmed that after the Northern Adventure completes its last sailing on October 11, the Nimpkish will resume the Central Coast route and all vehicles and passengers will be free of charge when traveling from Bella Coola to Bella Bella, Shearwater, and Ocean Falls.

“We understand the impacts this has had on the community and we are pleased offer free fares on the Nimpkish for the remainder of the season,” said Darin Guenette, Manager, BC Ferries Public Affairs. “We hope people are able to take advantage of this service.”

The Northern Sea Wolf was originally slated to begin servicing the direct Port Hardy – Bella Coola route on June 19 of this year. That date was then moved to mid-July, then October, and eventually the service was officially cancelled.

Understandably, this left many tourism operators in the lurch as they scrambled to deal with cancelled bookings and bad press.

In an effort to make amends, BC Ferries enlisted the Northern Adventure after it had completed its annual run on the Inside Passage – Haida Gwaii. It began servicing the Port Hardy – Bella Coola route on September 16, with the company offering the service at a a 40 percent discount. It has since proved popular.

“The first direct sailing from Port Hardy to Bella Coola had 39 vehicles and 83 people,” Guenette confirmed. “We don’t have exact numbers yet from all the sailings, but the numbers are similar for most September bookings from Port Hardy to Bella Coola.”

For the record, that is more than the capacity of the Northern Sea Wolf, which is designed to hold 35 vehicles. Guenette said the vessel is about 95 percent done and is just waiting for certification from Transport Canada. Once that’s done, the community should have a chance to get a good look at it.

“We are planning to get the Sea Wolf into Bella Coola and the other central coast destinations in the next two months for dock fitting,” said Guenette. “At that time we are hoping to have a chance to invite the community on board to have a look at the vessel.”

Hermance says he’s excited for the chance to finally tour the vessel, and remains optimistic about the upcoming 2019 season.

“With the right marketing and attention from BC Ferries, in combination with our efforts as a tourism organization, there is no way this route cannot succeed,” said Hermance. “The Valley is a special place and people want to experience it.”

Just Posted

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf ready for summer season

The plan is to have the Northern Sea Wolf assume the mid-coast service as of May 18

Historic building in Alexis Creek destroyed by fire overnight

“If it hadn’t been a heavy rain last night we could have lost many houses in the area”

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

OP-ED: Striking a balance with the oil tanker moratorium

Dennis Patterson, Senator for Nunavut, on protecting Canada’s environment and economy with Bill C-48

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Most Read