With new ownership in place, the Victoria Clipper plans to expand its service with a new high-speed ferry service between Victoria and Vancouver, making this the second company to announce it plans to offer harbour-to-harbour sailings.
Earlier today, it was announced Seattle-based Clipper Vacations, best known for running the Victoria Clipper ferry service, had been acquired by Förde Reederei Seetouristik (FRS), a global ferry and shipping company based in Flensburg, Germany.
Clipper also offers sailing from Seattle to the San Juan Islands.
The full details of the sale weren’t released but Merideth Tall, CEO, chair and founder of Clipper, will remain a minority owner.
“This is an exciting day for Clipper, as we are thrilled to join forces with another industry leader,” said Merideth Tall, founder, CEO and Chair of Clipper, in a statement.
The new Clipper service will provide competition for the recently announced Riverside Marine high-speed service from Victoria Inner Harbour’s CPR Steamship Terminal Building to the West Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre. That service is expected to begin this summer.
“Last October I announced the revitalization of the Belleville Wharf, the Victoria base for Clipper operations, and already this investment is paying off with new investments and expanded services between two busy harbours,” Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone says in a statement.
“The announcement that the Clipper is expanding its operations to Vancouver is good news for the province, and the City of Victoria. It is a clear demonstration of the appeal of the spectacular natural beauty and the strong, vital economy we have here in British Columbia.”
According to Seattle Times, no layoffs are planned for Clipper, which employs 150 in Seattle and Victoria.
FRS also plans to launch a new ferry service, under the Clipper name, from Florida to Cuba, pending government approval.
More details regarding the new hub in Vancouver will be revealed in the coming weeks and months.