Century class ferry gets brief Bowen trial


(The Bowen Island Undercurrent, April 24 1998, p2: with permission)
The Skeena Queen is supplementing service on the Horseshoe Bay Bowen Island route, for a four-day trial, ending Sunday, President and CEO Tom Ward, announced Thursday.

"The Skeena Queen, the first of our new 100-vehicle, 600-passenger Century Class commuter-style ferries, has proven to be an unqualified success," said Ward. "This ship which was designed and built in B.C., has exceeded all our performance expectations and is extremely well suited to short, high-volume routes like Bowen, Fulford and Campbell River.

"We will be operating the Skeena Queen, between Horseshoe Bay and Bowen Island, to determine if any modifications would be needed if a second Century Class ferry were built for the Bowen route. I'd like to encourage customers on this route to let us know what they think about the Skeena Queen."

The Queen of Capilano will continue to provide regular service during the trial. During the trial, some congestion is expected on the Fulford Harbour-Swartz Bay route, particularly on the commuter sailings since the replacement ship, the Bowen Queen, carries 30 vehicles less than the Skeena Queen. BC Ferries suggests that Salt Spring customers try to avoid peak travel times, or travel as foot passengers at peak periods.

The Skeena Queen, built at North Vancouver's Allied Shipbuilders Ltd., is part of BC Ferries' Ten Year Capital Plan, Advancing the Fleet, Building the Province. The plan also includes the fast ferry program; the new Duke Point terminal south of Nanaimo; a replacement northern vessel; a comprehensive terminal and vessel rehabilitation and maintenance program, which includes. the smaller terminals; and upgrading of terminals at Tsawwassen, Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay.

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