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For Immediate Release
March 13, 2020

Skeena Queen returns to service tonight

VICTORIA – BC Ferries announced today the regular vessel serving the Swartz Bay – Salt Spring Island route, the Skeena Queen, will return to service for the 9 p.m. sailing from Swartz Bay tonight, after undergoing a mid-life upgrade. The vessel was removed from service on Oct. 28 to undergo the upgrade, which was necessary to provide required maintenance on the ship and enhance the customer experience.

“We heard from customers about some areas on the ship that needed improvement, and we took that feedback into account during the upgrade,” said Brian Anderson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Strategy & Community Engagement. “We know the community is excited to have the Skeena Queen back in service and we’re looking forward to showing them the improvements to customer areas. We appreciate the community’s patience while the ship was out of service.”

Customers will notice new furniture in the passenger lounges as well as additional exterior benches that will provide seating for travellers to take in the spectacular view in the warm summer months. One of the lounges was also converted to provide cafeteria style seating with tables. The ship now has air conditioning and expanded washrooms. The navigation, communication and electrical systems were improved to enhance safety and reliability.

“While passengers may miss the popular lounge and cafe on the Queen of Cumberland, we look forward to experiencing the upgraded and improved amenities on the Skeena Queen,” said Harold Swierenga, Salt Spring Island Ferry Advisory Committee Chair. “On the whole, the return of the efficient Skeena Queen to Fulford Harbour will be warmly welcomed.”

BC Ferries thanks customers for their patience while the Skeena Queen was removed from service. This ship was built in 1997 and required this mid-life upgrade to provide another 20 years of safe and reliable service in BC Ferries’ fleet. For more information visit
February 2020 - The Skeena Queen at BC Ferries' Fleet Maintenance Unit in Richmond, BC.

March 2020 - The mid-life upgrade included new and improved seating in the passenger lounges. Photo above shows new seating with plastic covering protecting the floor, which will be removed prior to re-entry into service.
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Media Contact:
BC Ferries, Communications
Victoria: (250) 978-1267
Fax (250) 978-1119
Note to newsrooms: For urgent media inquiries off-hours, call our off-hours at (250) 516-7211.

Customer Contact:
Victoria: (250) 386-3431
Toll-free: 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779)