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Northern Sea Wolf Project Update

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Welcoming the Northern Sea Wolf, June 2019

We’re looking forward to welcoming you on board the Northern Sea Wolf soon. The major upgrades required on the Northern Sea Wolf are nearing completion and the vessel will enter service in June 2019. In mid-September, the ship moved from Esquimalt Dry Dock in Victoria to our refit facility in Richmond where we continue to work hard to complete the upgrades, before commencing sea trials, systems testing and crew training. Later this fall, the Northern Sea Wolf will sail to the Central Coast for dock trials in preparation for service next year. We’ll be advising the communities when the vessel will be in the area, so anyone interested can come take a look at the newest addition to our fleet. This past spring, we completed approximately $10 million of upgrades to the berths at Ocean Falls, Bella Coola, Shearwater and Bella Bella in order to accommodate the Northern Sea Wolf.

We recognize the major impact that not delivering the direct seasonal service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola in June 2018, as we intended, has had on our customers and the tourism businesses in the North Island and Central Coast regions.

As a gesture to our valued customers and the communities impacted by the delayed entry into service of the Northern Sea Wolf, travel on the Central Coast connector on board the Nimpkish will be complimentary through to March 31, 2019.

  • To book your travel on the Nimpkish, please call our Customer Service Centre at 1-888-223-3779 and one of our agents will be pleased to help you. Priority will be given to customers who have already requested reservations. Standard cancellation rates apply.

  • The direct summer service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola will now run from June 3 through October 10, 2019. This service will extend the previously planned summer 2019 schedule by 10 sailings at the beginning of the season, and 8 sailings at the end. Customers will be able to reserve space starting mid-December.

  • We are also working with regional destination marketing organizations on Vancouver Island and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast to develop plans to promote the 2019 direct summer service.

To give customers travel certainty this past season, BC Ferries redeployed the Northern Adventure at its earliest availability on September 16 to provide two round-trip direct sailings per week until the end of the summer season on October 11.

We look forward to having the Northern Sea Wolf service the Central Coast for years to come and we will be ready to welcome you on board in June.

Connecting travellers with the region's culture

BC Ferries, in partnership with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC), has commissioned two Indigenous artists to design artwork that will adorn the Northern Sea Wolf. The two artists selected to design artwork for the Northern Sea Wolf are Richard Hunt of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation in T’sakis (Fort Rupert, B.C.) and Danika Naccarella of the Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola, BC.

FPCC issued a call for artists last December and invited artists to submit their portfolios for consideration. In February, a jury of Indigenous artists respected in their fields, joined by representatives from BC Ferries, shortlisted the submissions. The adjudication committee based their decision on artistic excellence, artistic style, and ability to reflect the character and life of the waters the vessel will traverse.

FPCC then commissioned the shortlisted artists to develop design concepts. This April, they selected Danika Naccarella and Richard Hunt’s designs. Danika and Richard are working with BC Ferries to prepare their designs for final refinement and application. The designs will be revealed to the public in the coming months.

Northern Sea Wolf Photo Gallery

A freshly painted <i><i>Northern Sea Wolf</i></i> View from the stern of the <i><i>Northern Sea Wolf</i></i>
A freshly painted Northern Sea Wolf View from the stern

The Northern Sea Wolf

Revered for their dedication to their packs, the Sea Wolf is believed to be a manifestation of the Orca and has come to symbolize family and loyalty in First Nations culture. Today, it is said that the spirit of the Sea Wolf protects those travelling their oceans. And now you can explore the natural beauty of their habitat, by stepping into a world of rugged glacial fjords, towering old-growth rainforests and rich First Nations history. Through picturesque waters of the Inside Passage, home to sea lions and humpback whales, your journey will take you 10 hours north from Port Hardy to Bella Coola, and into the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Port Hardy to Bella Coola details

*Automobile Equivalent (AEQ) is used to determine vessel capacity based on a standard vehicle measure of 6.1 x 2.6 meters, roughly equal to a full-size family vehicle.

**Schedule and fares are subject to change.