New ferry open house Sunday

  • May. 1, 2009 12:00 p.m.

Islanders will get their first chance to step aboard the new Northern Expedition ferry Sunday afternoon (May 3). BC Ferries is hosting a three-hour open house aboard the ferry, from 2 pm until 5 pm. Spokesperson Deborah Marshall said everyone is welcome – just park near the Skidegate terminal and walk onto the ship for a self-guided tour and light refreshments. “I think you guys are going to be really impressed,” Ms Marshall said. “The crew has been really pleased, it’s more like a cruise ship.” The Northern Expedition is bigger than either the recently-retired Queen of Prince Rupert or the other northern ship, the Northern Adventure. It is 155 metres long, with 55 staterooms, and can carry 600 passengers and 130 vehicles. Sunday’s visit might be the last islanders will see of the new ferry for a while. The Northern Expedition will be serving the Prince Rupert-Port Hardy route starting May 18, while the Northern Adventure becomes the regular vessel for the Rupert-Skidegate route. Ms Marshall said BC Ferries chief executive David Hahn will be aboard the Northern Expedition when it visits Haida Gwaii Sunday. There will also be information available about BC Ferries’ new northern holiday packages. Ms Marshall said the corporation is working with a travel agent partner and will be aggressively marketing these tours with a campaign that started last week. One of the tour packages offers three days on Haida Gwaii plus a ferry trip to Prince Rupert, with departures from Vancouver, Victoria or Nanaimo throughout the summer.