BC Ferries offers new southern Gulf Island schedules as two ships set to arrive

Natural gas-fuelled ferries, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven, to be added early next year

VANCOUVER—BC Ferries says travel to the southern Gulf Islands will be much easier starting in May 2017.

The Crown corporation has released next year’s schedules for the routes from Vancouver Island and the Mainland to Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Salt Spring and Saturna islands.

Two new natural gas-fuelled ferries, the Salish Eagle and Salish Raven, will be added to the routes by early next year.

In a news release, the ferry corporation says the ships will increase peak season capacity to the five islands by 45 per cent.

The Polish-built ships are sister vessels to the Salish Orca, which is due to arrive in Canada later this year and will enter service on the Comox-Powell River route following several months of crew training.

BC Ferries says a lengthy public consultation process led to development of the new schedule for the complex and busy network of sailings to the southern Gulf Islands as well as between them.

“The final schedules support our customers’ desire for times and routing that more closely model the current schedules, with added improvements we believe ferry users will appreciate,” says Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ vice-president of strategic planning and community engagement.

The Canadian Press

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