Ferries cancels four sailings from Port Hardy

  • May. 16, 2008 8:00 a.m.

By Alex Rinfret–BC Ferries staff were busy Friday afternoon (May 16) phoning the 400 passengers who had reservations to travel aboard the Northern Adventure between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert on May 18, 19, 20 and 21. All four sailings had to be cancelled with just a few days notice because the Northern Adventure’s spring refit is taking longer than expected, said BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall. Ms Marshall said BC Ferries would try to accommodate the passengers on other sailings. She did not have any specific information about why the refit couldn’t be completed on time. The Northern Adventure was supposed to return to work for the start of the summer season on May 18, but will not be back in service until May 22, when it is scheduled to depart from Port Hardy at 7:30 am. This is the latest in a series of problems for the Northern Adventure, the second-hand ship BC Ferries bought in 2006 to replace the sunken Queen of the North. The Northern Adventure has been serving the north for a year but has had several refits during that time, even though the ship was extensively renovated before it started service. The fall refit had to be extended by an extra week, and the spring refit started a week earlier than scheduled in March. This caused some problems for passengers who were planning on making the trip in one of the Northern Adventure’s spacious cabins, but found themselves sleeping on the floor of the QPR, which has only 17 cabins. According to MLA Gary Coons, this is the second year that BC Ferries has had to cancel the first week of the Inside Passage day cruise service. His comment on the situation was “not good!” The latest delay does not affect ferry service between Skidegate and Prince Rupert, which continues three times a week with the Queen of Prince Rupert until June 11. After June 12, service increases to four times a week, then six times a week for July and August.

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