No ferry service this January

  • Sep. 24, 2008 7:00 p.m.

There will be no ferry service between the islands and Prince Rupert from Jan. 5 to Feb. 5 because of dock renovation work at the Skidegate terminal, BC Ferries has announced. Spokesperson Deborah Marshall said BC Ferries will operate a tug and barge service for freight during January, and will accommodate passengers by providing two round-trip flights per week between the Sandspit airport and Rupert. The plane will be able to carry about 40 passengers, she said, and people travelling for medical reasons will get first priority for seats. The cost of travelling on the plane will be the same as the passenger rate on the ferry, Ms Marshall said, although people who live on Graham Island will also have to pay the Kwuna fare to get to the airport. The anticipated return to service date of Feb. 5 is a little bit of a concern for North Coast MLA Gary Coons, who pointed out that it is extremely close to the opening date of this year’s All Native Tournament in Rupert. The tournament is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the festivities begin on Feb. 6. Mr. Coons urged Ferries to make sure the dock work is complete on time so the tournament isn’t affected. Meanwhile, BC Ferries has finalized its winter schedule and restored several Thursday night sailings throughout the next few months. In October, for example, three out of four pre-weekend sailings will leave late Thursday (Oct. 2, 9 and 23), with only one (Oct. 16) leaving Friday morning at 6 am. BC Ferries had planned to switch all the Thursday night departures to leave early Friday for this winter season only, but changed the schedule after hearing a flood of complaints from islanders and local organizations.