Listen up, Vancouver. We know trips to the Island can be both costly and time-consuming, but it looks like the Vancouver Island Ferry Company (VIFC) is throwing us a pretty big bone. Set to launch next year is a new passenger-only ferry service from downtown Vancouver to Nanaimo – which might just change everything.

According to the company, the ferry will take passengers to and from the Nanaimo Port Authority Terminal and the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre in “around 70 minutes.” The booking process will have reserved seating, and the ferry will also have refreshments.

“Islanders and Mainlanders have been asking for a modern, fast and cost-effective way to travel between the Island and Vancouver. We are so excited to be bringing forward an essential transportation service to the region and are committed to its long-term success,” says Alastair Caddick, CEO of Vancouver Island Ferry Company. “We can not wait to welcome guests aboard in Summer 2023.”

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In addition to ease of travel, the VIFC is working in collaboration with the Snuneymuxw First Nation to create new jobs, travel experiences, and opportunities for people to connect with the Indigenous communities they visit on the Island.

“The ability to have people in Vancouver come over for the day, weekend or longer and see what a fabulous community we have and really bring the world here in a modern and reliable new way, is incredible,” says Donna Hais, the Board Chair of the Nanaimo Port Authority.

The inaugural fleet of ferries will include two high-speed catamaran vessels built by Damen Group, according to the release. “Each vessel has capacity for over 350 passengers across multiple classes.”

And if everything goes as planned, Vancouverites can hop on just in time for summer. So start mapping out your trip itineraries now, and get ready to hop aboard!