The passengers planning a scenic sail down the Inside Passage on Friday are now being pushed back 11 hours after mechanical issues aboard the Northern Expedition.
On Sept. 11, BC Ferries announced the vessel is having trouble with the turbocharger for its starboard engine. While it can still be safely sailed, it will move several knots slower than usual as it sails between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy from Sept. 11 to the 13th. BC Ferries said it will keep close to its schedule, although may arrive a few hours later than planned.
Darin Guenette, a media relations person for BC Ferries, said the company has ordered parts to fix the issue, and the technical team from Richmond will install them on Friday in Prince Rupert. He added that BC Ferries isn’t 100 per cent sure the parts will arrive on time.
As the summer and winter schedules are changing over this week, there were two southbound sailings scheduled out of Prince Rupert on Friday. The Northern Expedition was supposed to leave at 7:30 a.m., and the Northern Adventure from Haida Gwaii was slotted for 11 a.m. But now, the vessels are being swapped for the work on the Expedition. The 7:30 a.m. sailing is expected to leave on time, but the 11 a.m. voyage is anticipated to leave at 10 p.m. that night instead.
“They’re different enough ships that it does require some work we have to do, adjusting for customers. But it’s the best plan we can come up with to keep to that Friday morning 7:30 sailing,” Guenette said.
The Expedition and Adventure have different cabin sizes, as one has doubles and the other can fit four people. The vehicle capacity is also different.
Guenette said customers affected by the delays can call BC Ferries customer services. The sailing schedule is expected to be back to normal on Sunday, Sept. 16.