SEATTLE — The Victoria Clipper is ready to set sail after 17 months of suspended service due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FRS Clipper announced its fast ferry service from Seattle to Victoria, British Columbia, will resume Sept. 17, 2021. The Victoria Clipper will operate on a four-day schedule, with additional sailings around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Reservations began on Sept. 6.
The pandemic hit FRS Clipper particularly hard, forcing the company to downsize from 200 employees to just eight while travel was restricted. The company typically ferries over a quarter of a million people a year between Seattle and Victoria.
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on our company like so many others, but I'm incredibly proud of the support from the Victoria community and my staff’s resiliency and determination to return to our core international operations once again,” said FRS Clipper CEO David Gudgel.
The sailings resumed over a month after the Canadian border reopened to fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said it would resume service at “various small marine reporting sites, airports of entry and ferry terminals” on three different dates, starting on Aug. 24.
The Washington State Ferry terminal in British Columbia reopened at 8:59 p.m. PDT on Sept. 6, according to the CBSA.
While the Canadian border is open to vaccinated Americans, there are some COVID-19 public health measures in place.
Non-essential travelers must be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days before arriving in Canada. You must also bring your COVID-19 vaccination card – or a photo of it – and submit travel information through the “ArriveCAN app” or online through the ArriveCAN web portal within 72 hours of arrival.
Travelers will also need a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of crossing the border.
You don’t need to quarantine once you’re in Canada, but you must provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to isolate – if the border patrol orders you to.
You still need a valid passport or an enhanced driver’s license, the same as pre-pandemic. Canadians are still currently restricted from traveling to the U.S. until at least Sept. 21. Click here to see the full list of public health measures to enter Canada.
FRS Clipper resumed domestic ferry travel between Seattle and Friday Harbor in May.
The Victoria Clipper V vessel will operate its full capacity of 535 guests for international sailings. Masks are required while inside all FRS Clipper vessels but can be removed while eating, drinking or while outside on vessel viewing decks.