By Alex Rinfret-There’s good news and bad news about the cabins on the new ferry, which is scheduled to start serving the Charlottes April 1.
The good news is the cabins are bigger and newer than the two-bunk 1960s-era rooms on the Queen of Prince Rupert. The new ferry’s cabins have four beds each and larger washrooms.
But they will cost more, as Tlell resident Don Richardson found out when he booked a trip off-island last week. Dr. Richardson, who is going to an April bull sale in Vanderhoof, said he gulped when he was told that a cabin could cost in the $70-80 range.
“I was surprised,” he said. “I thought maybe you’d get a jacuzzi for that, and a gas fireplace!”
QPR passengers currently pay $50 for a cabin with a shower. There used to also be cheaper cabins available, but they have been taken over by the crew.
BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall confirmed that cabin prices will be going up when the new ferry, the Northern Adventure, arrives on the northern routes April 1.
An outside cabin on the Northern Adventure (one with a porthole) will cost at least $65, while an inside cabin goes for a minimum $55. But you’ll pay $10 more per person if there are more than two people in the room, Ms Marshall said. The rooms hold four, so that means the cabin cost could go up to $85 for an outside one, and $75 for an inside one.
BC Ferries decided to hike the price because the rooms are newer, nicer, and larger, Ms Marshall said. The additional per person cost reflects the fact that cleaning and laundry costs are higher if more than two beds are used.
The cost of a cabin on the QPR will also be going up when that vessel comes back into service. After June 3, the price rises to $55.
Ms Marshall also said that BC Ferries is conducting random customer satisfaction surveys on the northern routes this month, the first such survey in the north since the ferry system was quasi-privatized in 2003.
Some Sandspit residents who travelled on the Kwuna last week said they thought it was bizarre that BC Ferries was quizzing them about amenities like food and video games, which aren’t available on the Kwuna.
Ms Marshall said BC Ferries uses the same form for all its surveys, so some questions will not be applicable to the smaller routes.
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