Good news, weekend warriors! This week, the Port of Nanaimo announced that it has plans to create a high-speed passenger ferry between Nanaimo and downtown Vancouver. It’s going to be the first of its kind for the route, and at the moment, the only high-speed ferry between Vancouver and the island.
There are actually 3 parties that are part of the deal. The Nanaimo Port Authority is the main actor, since they’re creating vessel terminals, parking lots, and passenger areas. But, we’re assuming that the cash for this (and the new vessels) will come from Conqora, a private equity firm out of Toronto. Finally, the Snuneymuxw First Nation was consulted, since the route will go through their waters.
While details are scarce, we’ve got two major things to keep an eye on. First up, the ferry needs to be faster than what BC Ferries has got going for it, which is around 1:40 of sailing (between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo Bay). At the same time, the service should be cheaper than the fastest option, which is easily Harbour Air. Prices for that start around $90, by the way.
So yeah, there’s a little bit of a logistics dance coming up, but we’re excited to see what happens! We’ll keep you updated as more details are released.