The North Island is once again connected to B.C.’s central coast.
After being delayed for an entire year, the Northern Sea Wolf was made available for viewing at an open house held on Monday, June 3 at the Bear Cove Terminal in Port Hardy.
Mark Wilson, BC Ferries Vice President, Strategy & Community Engagement, greeted the crowd of roughly 100 people who showed up to the open house, stating, “On behalf of BC Ferries I’d like to welcome you to the open house today for our new vessel… The Northern Sea Wolf will provide a vital link to British Columbia on the central coast of Vancouver Island.”
Wilson then invited Port Hardy Councillor Fred Robertson to come and speak a few words.
“It’s been a long wait to see the Northern Sea Wolf arrive in town,” Robertson noted, adding everyone has been “waiting with baited breath for a very long time… It’s a great opportunity. I know both the Central Coast and the North Island will benefit from the arrival of the Sea Wolf… and we look forward to a very busy season this year.”
The Northern Sea Wolf’s artwork was designed by two artists, Nuxalk Nation’s Danica Naccarella and Kwakiutl Nation’s Richard Hunt.
The ferry ended up costing $76 million by the time it finally went into the water, instead of the $55.7 million as initially budgeted. It will take over the central coast route from the Nimpkish, a 46-year-old ferry that can hold 12 cars and 95 people.
It began its planned seasonal direct route from Port Hardy to Bella Coola on June 3.
The vessel carries up to 35 vehicles and 150 passengers and BC Ferries spent May conducting dock trials in the communities it will serve. The federal government has contributed $15.1 million in funding, leaving the company with a $60.9 million price tag.
– with files from Kat Slepian