Tourism operators and customers waiting on the promise of a direct ferry route between Port Hardy and Bella Coola will have to wait longer.
BC Ferries says service on the route, originally set to begin June 19 and then delayed to July 20, won’t begin until September 16.
The ferry corporation blames the delay on uncertainty about the completion date of refit work on the Northern Sea Wolf, which was purchased used for the route.
BC Ferries say it will redeploy the MV Northern Adventure as soon as possible to make two round-trip sailings per week from September 16 to October 11.
“First and foremost, we want to apologize to all affected by this delay,” says Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and Chief Executive Officer in a news release. “We recognize this has a major impact on our customers and the tourism businesses in the North Island and Central Coast regions. We are all disappointed that this service could not be started earlier in the 2018 season.”
The BC Liberal government cut the direct route in 2014, but announced the restoration of direct seasonal service in 2016 after an outcry from Aboriginal and BC tourism operators.