Victoria Clipper suspends service between Seattle and B.C. until 2022

After resuming service in September for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, the Victoria Clipper will once again suspend all sailings until spring 2022.

FRS Clipper announced Tuesday the company would stop all fast ferry sailings between Seattle and Victoria, B.C. until next year due to a without of ridership. Officials said that the surge of the delta variant, stringent PCR testing requirements for entering Canada’s marine border, and slowing seasonal need ultimately contributed to the decision to suspend service again.

“We knew that it would be a challenge to re-set afloat our international fast ferry service heading into shoulder season and given the current current circumstances and travel repercussions of the pandemic,” said David Gudgel, CEO of FRS Clipper, in a news release Tuesday. “Stopping fall and winter operations now is our only choice and we look forward to returning to service in spring 2022.”

The service was only operating on a four-day schedule and planned to increase sailings over the holidays. Guests who currently have travel booked with FRS Clipper will be offered a refund or discounted travel credit for rebooking when service resumes next year.

The suspension comes after the state’s ferry system also experienced several days of frustrating delays and cancelations due to persistent short staffing. Washington State Ferry (WSF) officials said Monday that most routes had resumed their normal fall schedule. However, service on the Sidney/Anacortes ferry will keep suspended until spring 2022.

“Adding international service at this time would further stress already strained domestic service that’s affecting Washingtonians nevertheless navigating post-COVID travel,” wrote WSF in an online update. “We look forward to taking customers to the Canadian Islands again as soon as we are able.”

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