The Northern Sea Wolf features exterior art work by artist Richard Hunt. (File photo)

New ferry to B.C.’s central coast sets sail, a year late and $20M over budget

Northern Sea Wolf will cost $76 million when it hits the waters in June

The ferry expected to bring a direct route between northern Vancouver Island and the central B.C. coast is coming a year late and $20 million over budget.

In an email sent by BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall Tuesday, she said the Northern Sea Wolf was originally supposed to operate in June 2018, but will now start later this summer.

The ferry will also cost $76 million by the time it gets into the water, instead of the $55.7 million initially budgeted.

It will take over the route from the Nimpkish, a 46-year-old ferry that can hold 12 cars and 95 people. It will begin its planned seasonal direct route from Port Hardy to Bella Coola on June 3.

READ MORE: BC Ferries reveals Northern Sea Wolf artwork

The 77-metre Northern Sea Wolf was built in Greece in 2000, then bought by BC Ferries for $12.6 million in 2017. At the time, it was thought to cost $55.7 million to both buy and retrofit the vessel.

However, Marshall said “major upgrade work to bring the vessel up to BC Ferries and Transport Canada’s standards took longer than originally anticipated,” and boosted up the cost to a total of $63.4 million for retrofit work.

Add in the initial $12.6 million cost to buy the ferry, and it will now cost $76 million by the time the Northern Sea Wolf begins running.

The vessel will carry up to 35 vehicles and 150 passengers and has spent May conducting dock trials in the communities it will serve.

The increased costs are attributed to a new galley, bridge, electrical generators, HVAC system, washrooms, elevator, chair lifts, new cafeteria and passenger accommodation area.

“In many aspects, the vessel is totally new,” Marshall said.

The federal government has contributed $15.1 million, leaving the corporation with a $60.9-million bill.

READ MORE: ‘Huge disappointment’ as Northern Sea Wolf will not sail summer 2018


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Centennial Hall upgrade, parking lot paving among postponed capital projects in Lake Cowichan

Council lowers tax increase for the year due to COVID-19 crisis

Mill Bay students petition for formal graduation

“We have a few realistic ideas in mind that could provide a safe and healthy grad celebration”

800 meals donated for Cowichan frontline workers

They were at Cowichan District Hospital on May 25 handing out prepared meals to grateful workers

Cowichan CMHA officials respond to report, probation order

“there are important improvements needed to ensure greater fairness within our housing program.”

Cowichan RCMP remind public to leave dogs chilling at home on hot days

Dogsafe has designed a Dog in a Hot Car Responder Checklist

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Grand Forks braces for river flooding amid warm weather and rain

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Most Read