The Vancouver Island Ferry Company that runs Hullo sailings between Nanaimo and Vancouver has announced it’s expanding its service in two significant ways.
It says next month, it will increase its number of daily Hullo sailings and allow passengers to take extra baggage on board.
Nanaimo’s own recording rap artist “Details” is among the early adopters of the nearly six-month-old Hullo service, and he’s thrilled to hear it’s expanding.
“If they’re adding more ferries, all I can say is my ability to not only do business on the mainland but enjoy the entertainment that can happen closer than Victoria,” he said.
“If we’re looking at a bird’s flight, I’m all in.”
The company has announced that starting in March, it’s moving to six round-trip sailings Thursday through Monday, up from four.
There will be seven round trip sailings for days Vancouver is hosting larger sporting events or concerts in the evening.
“It’s a significant expansion of our service. It’s something that we know that the communities have asked for, additional options, additional sailings, and so we’re thrilled to bring that,” said Alastair Caddick, CEO of Hullo Ferries.
The company says it’s serving the number of customers it forecast before launching its service in August 2023. So far, it’s seen more than 150,000 passenger trips.
“We haven’t had a spring and a summer, which, of course, is peak travel period, but the reception we’ve gotten so far from our guests and certainly those who have tried it for the first time is really positive,” said Caddick.
Also, starting in March, Hullo is addressing a major concern expressed by passengers — the inability to have luggage.
Customers will now be able to bring extra bags for a fee.
“In order to do that, we need to make some more room on the vessels, and so we’re taking out a few rows of seats, and we’re creating more baggage area because, quite frankly, our guests have been asking for it,” said Caddick.
The company says it’s seen sold-out sailings several times, and the luggage space is limited, so making a reservation online for both will be important.
And this year, for the first time, it will offer late-night sailings for Vancouver Canuck’s playoffs.
The cost of an extra bag up to 62 inches in width, height and depth will cost $25 or $45 round trip. They can also take sports equipment.
A link to the luggage rules can be found here.