Victoria Clipper suspends service between Seattle and British Columbia until 2022

After resuming service in September for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, the Victoria Clipper will once again suspend all her navigation until spring 2022.

FRS Clipper announced on Tuesday that the company would be halting all fast ferry crossings between Seattle and Victoria, British Columbia, until next year due to a lack of ridership. Officials said the boom in the delta variant, stringent PCR testing requirements to enter Canada’s maritime border, and slowing seasonal demand ultimately contributed to the decision to suspend service again.

“We knew it would be a challenge to relaunch our international fast ferry service ahead of shoulder season and given the current circumstances and the impact of the pandemic on travel,” said David Gudgel, CEO of FRS Clipper, in a statement. press release Tuesday. . “Shutting down fall and winter operations is now our only choice and we look forward to returning to service in the spring of 2022.”

The service only operated on a four-day schedule and planned to increase departures during the holidays. Customers who have currently booked travel with FRS Clipper will be offered a refund or discounted travel credit for a new booking when service resumes next year.

The suspension comes after the state’s ferry system also experienced days of frustrating delays and cancellations due to a persistent understaffing. Washington State Ferry (WSF) officials said Monday that most routes had resumed their normal fall schedule. However, service on the Sidney / Anacortes ferry will remain suspended until spring 2022.

“Adding an international service right now would put more emphasis on the already strained domestic service that affects Washingtonians still navigating post-COVID travel,” WSF wrote in an online update. “We look forward to bringing clients back to the Canadian Islands as soon as we can.”

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