The Sidney-Anacortes ferry route will not operate this spring, with service unlikely to be restored for the summer season.

In a press release Tuesday, the Town of Sidney announced Washington State Ferries would not be operating the route due to a shortage of crew.

“It is disappointing that this important connection between the Peninsula and the United States will continue to be suspended. The Town was looking forward to celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the ferry service this year with the community of Anacortes, which has been a Sister City to Sidney since 1996,” said Mayor Cliff McNeil Smith. 

“We recognize that labour shortages are impacting many services and organizations. We remain committed to this ferry route and have heard the same commitment echoed by Washington State Ferries.”

The Sidney to Anacortes ferry began on a converted kelp carrier at the foot of Beacon Avenue in 1922. 

Since then, the ferry service has supported local tourism, benefited local and regional economies and connected friends and families across the border. 

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down non-essential travel between the U.S. and Canada, putting a halt to the Sidney-Anacortes ferry route. 

The route has not resumed service since.

“We are optimistic that the service will return as we emerge from the pandemic,” Smith said.

👋 Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every weekday.