Victoria Harbour Ferry Celebrates 25 Years with Launch of first Electric Vessel

(News Release) VICTORIA – For a quarter-century they’ve been zipping happy people around Victoria’s Inner Harbour and neighbouring waterways, linking millions of tourists and residents with local neighbourhoods, restaurants and attractions.
Now to mark this important milestone, Victoria Harbour Ferry is launching its first zero-emission electric ferry to its fleet, ushering in a new era of sustainability and passenger comfort.
“It’s the same fun ride in a sleek modern design. Going electric is one more way we are making it even better for our passengers to get where they need to go around the harbour,” said Barry Hobbis, Victoria Harbour Ferry Vice President of Operations.
The new ferry is powered by sixteen 200 Amp batteries powering an electric 3.5 hp. engine. It can travel at 4 to 5 nautical miles an hour for up to 160 kms on a single charge. The vessel was purpose built for Victoria Harbour Ferry by Duffy Boats of California.
To celebrate the company’s 25th Anniversary, Victoria Harbour Ferry is throwing a Community Birthday Party on Saturday, May 30 from noon to 2 p.m. at Pier B, Marine Shuttle floats, North Ogden Point. Families will be treated to a BBQ and can enjoy free 30-minute tours aboard the Victoria Harbour Ferry vessel, Lynda Mae 2. There will be fun shore-side activities including a ‘Bouncy Castle,’ local sports mascots, and more.
“It’s our way of saying thank you to our neighbours and visitors for 25 great years,” said Hobbis. “They inspire us every day. Our Captains are proud to be a part of our marine community and the best part of their job is presenting our unique harbour to locals and visitors.”
Whether introducing people to the region’s fascinating maritime history or shuttling commuters between work, shopping and entertainment, Hobbis said it is the personal touch, and passion for their work, from the ferry Captains that has set the company apart for 25 years.
“It’s all about our people. Among our crew we have former mayors, retired naval officers, a tugboat skipper, jet pilots and folks from all walks of life – every one of them has great stories to share with our passengers,” he said.
Victoria Harbour Ferry was founded in 1990 with just two ferryboats. Today the company owns and operates a fleet of 15 unique 12-passenger ferries and two 40-passenger vessels in three separate tourism and commuter transportation businesses serving the public and businesses around the Victoria and Nanaimo Inner Harbours and neighbouring waterways.
The company is working closely with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and other local partners to develop the James Bay Quay at Ogden Point. Victoria Harbour Ferry brings the world’s only Pickle Pub Crawl and Water Ballet to the city’s harbour.
Expanded service to Fisherman’s Wharf in 2015 will result in over 40,000 passengers being taken to the local tourism destination from all corners of the harbour.
Beginning in July, Victoria Harbour Ferry will launch new daily service to benefit cruise ship passengers, visitors and local residents looking for a convenient link between downtown and the new James Bay Sunday Market at Ogden Point. The new route will be handled by the 40-passenger James Bay Explorer and includes a stop at Fisherman’s Wharf.
Victoria Harbour Ferry has carried over 3 million passengers and is consistently rated as one of Victoria’s top tourism attractions.