The gateway to Port Angeles from Victoria is closing, as Black Ball Ferry Line is suspending all service starting March 30, due to COVID-19 concerns.
Service is stopped until April 30. Until then, the company will continue to follow the current schedule to help Canadian and American residents return home, as well as allow commercial cargo service.
“These are unprecedented times, and we take our role as an essential service provider seriously,” said Ryan Burles, President of Black Ball Ferry Line. “Whether it’s a Canadian returning from their winter home or an American in a similar situation, we are remaining open until those passengers have been able to return to their loved ones.”
Non-essential travel has been suspended, and the company will cancel all ferry, hotel and attraction bookings through March 30 through April 30.”
All customers who have booked during this time will receive full, automatic refunds without needing to contact Black Ball.
“For decades the MV COHO has been a long-standing link between two countries,” added Burles. “Our customers are like family to us, and we want everyone to take care, be safe, and stay healthy.”
This announcement comes one day after the Victoria Clipper announced a one-month suspension on its own sailings.
While in service Black Ball will operate with increased cleaning protocols, following advice from health authorities. All sailings have been limited to less than 500 people, allowing space for social distancing.
Passengers are allowed to stay in their vehicles on the car deck, a rule that BC Ferries is now permitting, thanks to a changed rule on Tuesday.
The last sailing of the MV COHO from Port Angeles will depart at 2:00 pm on Sunday, March 29th, with the last sailing from Victoria departing at 4 p.m. the same day.