SEATTLE (October 12, 2021) – Following a recent re-launch of their international fast ferry service between Seattle and Victoria, BC, FRS Clipper has announced a suspension of operations until spring 2022. While the service was restarted on September 17th of this year, the company has halted operations due to a lack of ridership.
The late summer surge of the Delta COVID-19 variant, stringent PCR testing restrictions for Canadian marine border entry, continued U.S. border closure and deficit of shoulder season rider demand are all cited as contributing factors to the suspension of service.
The 525-passenger Victoria Clipper V vessel was operating a four-day schedule over weekends. In accordance with Transport Canada’s federal regulations, all U.S. citizens and permanent Canadian residents residing in the U.S. transiting to Canada are required to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arriving in Canada for non-essential travel. Travelers are also required to provide proof of vaccination and submit their travel information via ArriveCAN (web portal or app) within 72 hours of planned arrival.
In addition, all travelers are required to submit a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of arriving in Canada. Fully vaccinated travelers who meet the requirements are exempt from quarantine; however, all travelers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.
“We knew that it would be a challenge to re-launch our international fast ferry service heading into shoulder season and given the current ongoing circumstances and travel repercussions of the pandemic,” said David Gudgel, CEO of FRS Clipper. “Nonetheless, we needed to test the market and unfortunately the 72-hour PCR test requirement prior to arrival into Canada proved to be a significant barrier to travel for many of our guests. Stopping fall and winter operations now is our only choice and we look forward to returning to service in spring 2022.”
The company will continue to keep its website updated with information regarding when bookings will be accepted once again for 2022 travel. Guests currently booked with FRS Clipper will be offered a refund or discounted travel credit for rebooking travel when service returns in 2022.
About FRS Clipper
FRS Clipper, a subsidiary of FRS, is well known as the travel experts for the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. Since 1986, Clipper Vacations has provided transportation, tours and accommodation packages for more than eight million customers. FRS Clipper offers opportunities to experience picturesque and popular destinations, such as: Victoria, Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, San Juan Island, Portland, and Vancouver Island. Learn more at ClipperVacations.com.