On November 3, BC Ferries newest vessel, the Northern Sea Wolf, departed from the Port of Piraeus in Athens, Greece where she was purchased for the new direct service between Port Hardy to Bella Coola.
The vessel’s transatlantic voyage will take approximately 35 days to reach BC where she will receive many upgrades before entering service in the summer of 2018.
“Route 28 is a new direct sailing route from Port Hardy to Bella Coola and will be running five times per week,” said Darin Guenette Manager, Public Affairs with BC Ferries. “The Nimpkish will continue to serve the Central Coast until the new vessel is employed, then it will be retired.”
A community engagement process with representatives from local First Nations, Ferry Advisory Committee members, BC Ferries employees and the Mid-Coast Ferry Working Group selected Northern Sea Wolf as the name for the vessel acquired by BC Ferries for the new mid-coast ferry service.
The Mid-Coast Working group, an assembly of representatives from tourism operators, local First Nations and local community representatives put in thousands of hours to lobby the government to ensure the route was replaced. They were granted confirmation last September, and have since turned their attention to getting a better schedule and more attention from BC Ferries marketing department.
The name is inspired by a Heiltsuk legend in which the Sea Wolf is a manifestation of the Orca. The Sea Wolf symbolizes family and loyalty and the spirit of the Sea Wolf protects those travelling their waters.
At present the release states that the ferry will accommodate a minimum of 35 car spaces and that the fares will be consistent with the current fares on the route. There might, however, be more room as renovations are completed.
“We estimate it will carry somewhere between 35 and 60 cars with 150 passengers and crew,” said Guenette. “However, all of this is dependent on deck space, what type of renovations are done, and making sure everything complies with Transport Canada standards.”
You can track the Northern Sea Wolf voyage virtually, which includes transiting the Panama Canal, at vesselfinder.com