In this week’s episode of Road to Recovery with Douglas Magazine, CHEK’s Jasmine Bala sits down with David Gudgel, CEO of FRS Clipper/Clipper Vacations.
The Clipper is a high-speed passenger-only ferry service that provides international travel between Seattle, Washington, and Victoria. Before the pandemic, that route was serviced daily and year-round.
On March 17, 2020, the Clipper made its last trip to Victoria before having to shutter its business due to travel restrictions spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more than a year, the ships sat empty. But in May 2021, the company reinstated U.S. domestic ferry travel between Seattle and Friday Harbor as well as offer whale watching tours.
Eighteen months later, on Sept. 17, the Clipper sailed into the inner harbour as the first passenger ferry to make its return since the pandemic.
But service is reduced and only available to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and Canadian permanent residents who live in the U.S. All travellers are required to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before their arrival and must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival.
The Victoria Clipper V will operate a four-day weekend schedule with added sailings around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Gudgel explains in this segment what the past year has been like for the FRS Clipper, how they’re managing pandemic restrictions and what the future looks like.
Road to Recovery is done in partnership with Douglas Magazine.