Great news, BC! Residents will soon be able to travel between downtown Nanaimo and downtown Vancouver via a “fast-ferry”, and Vancouver Island Ferry Company just released new info regarding the new vessels and service rates.

Vessel names

The two new high-speed vessels are a part of Hullo, the service brand behind BC’s passenger-only catamarans. Now, the brand will launch two 354-passenger ferries, named spuhéls (wind) and sthuqi’ (sockeye salmon) respectively.

The two hul’q’umi’num’ names honour the Snuneymuxw First Nation and their ancestral land.

“We honour these vessels by bringing forward our connection with the sockeye salmon and the wind. We remember our kinship with them and how we respect our sacred relationship. The vessels’ names are an example of how we can also honour our way of being together as partners,” says Snuneymuxw First Nation Chief Mike Wyse.

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Service info & fares

Starting in early August 2023, passengers can hop aboard for a 70-minute trip between the Nanaimo Port Authority (100 Port Drive) and Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre at Burrard Landing (1055 Canada Place).

Passengers can expect multiple daily sailings, with the first departing from Nanaimo at 6 am. Vessels will return to Nanaimo each evening with the last sailing departing Vancouver at 9:30 pm.

First-trip fares will start at $29.99 per online account for the following seating tiers:

  • Comfort – reserved seating on the main deck, complimentary Wi-Fi ($29.99)
  • Premium – everything in Comfort plus free seat selection upstairs, reclining seats, priority offboarding, high-speed Wi-Fi, and access to in-seat USB charging ports ($39.99)
  • Business – everything in Premium plus larger, fully reclining seats in a private section at the front of the ship, and a complimentary snack and beverage ($49.99)

Regular pricing will jump up by $10 for each service tier.

Note that pets and bikes will be welcome aboard, though the former must remain in a carrier on your lap for the trip duration, and the latter is subject to a limited number of reservable bike spaces.

So there you have it, Vancouver! Stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks and get ready for even faster travel to the Island this summer.