The 341-foot Coho, which holds 1,000 passengers and 115 vehicles, will be in dry dock for four days starting March 8 at Dakota Creek Shipyard in Anacortes. “We’ll give her a shave and a haircut, general maintenance,” said Burles. “She’s immaculate, but she’s 60 years old, and we just want to make sure everything is good and we have her ready to go when the border re-opens.”
Burles said Black Ball is maintaining operations and payrolls through government loans and financial assistance plans.
“There’s a lot of unknowns,” Burles said, citing the new mutations of the virus, the success of the vaccine rollouts on both sides of the border and how people will feel about travel when it’s deemed safe to do so.
“I think there’s lot of pent up demand, but we really don’t know the circumstances of what an opening will be.
“We know it has to be safe to travel, and not just kind of safe. I know that about 90% of B.C. people don’t want the border to be open until it’s safe.”
Clipper Navigation CEO David Gudgel said he hopes increasing vaccination rates on both sides of the border — and decreasing infection rates in Washington — are signs the border may open soon.
The Clipper has suspended service to Victoria at least until April 30.
Like most seasonal tour operators, the summer period is “critical for Clipper’s revenue generation,” he said.
Gudgel said the company is hoping for a surge in business from Victorians when the Seattle Kraken begin their first National Hockey League season this fall.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 23 February 2021 - 01:01 PM.