A new high-speed Victoria Clipper ferry, dubbed Clipper V, will begin carrying passengers to and from Vancouver Island as early as Mar. 2.
The vessel completed its journey from Germany, through the Panama Canal, and up to Seattle in January.
Clipper V is 52 meters long and 12.3 meters wide with a capacity to carry 579 passengers, nearly double what the fleet’s previous vessels could hold (296 passengers). Due to customs and space at dock locations, however, Clipper V will only be carrying up to 440 passengers.
The new vessel’s top speed is 36 knots, about 6 knots more than its predecessors, which Clipper V will permanently replace. While the sailing trip from Seattle to Victoria, B.C. will still take the same amount of time — about 2 hours and 45 minutes — Clipper CEO David Gudgel said the extra speed will help ensure fewer sailing delays due to tides or weather.
“The biggest thing we’re excited about is the ride that we’re going to be able to offer passengers,” Gudgel said.
It’s not just that Clipper V is bigger and faster. In addition to the increased passenger capacity, the ferry will offer upgraded seats (called Comfort Class) and hot food for the first time ever. The ride itself will also be smoother, Gudgel explained, due to a motion-dampening system and huge, bulbous bows that better pierce the waves.
The ferry’s aesthetics are improved as well. Large windows encircle the seating areas, providing guests with panoramic views while letting in lots of natural light even on gray, rainy days.
Aside from its well-known Victoria Clipper round trips, the company also offers vacation packages, rides to the San Juan Islands, and whale-watching excursions. Gudgel said the whale watching tours have a 97 percent sighting rate.
For more information and ticketing, visit the Victoria Clipper online.