Ferry fans will have to wait until fall to ride aboard the new Island Class ships on the Campbell River – Quadra route.
BC Ferries had planned to have the vessels sailing prior to the summer season, but noted ongoing crewing challenges are throwing a wrench in those plans.
The company’s executive director of public affairs, Deborah Marshall, said it is having trouble sourcing licenced officers for the boats.
“We now anticipate that two Island Class vessels will enter service on the route this fall,” she said.
In the meantime, the Powell River Queen will continue to service the route.
“Like so many industries and other ferry service providers around the world, we find ourselves in a challenging time coming out of the pandemic,” Marshall said. “Contributing factors to the shortages include higher than expected retirements in key shipboard positions, the impact of vaccination policies and difficulties recruiting international candidates due to COVID-19, as well as the 25-year global shortage of professional mariners.”
BC Ferries teams are working to fill the necessary roles to bring the new ships into service as quickly as possible.
“If the situation changes, we will consider earlier deployment,” Marshall said.