V2V Vacations cancels fast ferry service that for two years joined Vancouver and Victoria

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      A quick and affordable link between downtown Vancouver and downtown Victoria is a convenience that people who have business in both B.C.’s first city and its capital city have dreamed of for decades.

      Sure, there’s the float-plane service that operates out of Vancouver’s Coal Harbour. But unless your employer or, if you’re a politician, the taxpayer, is footing the bill, it’s a little pricey. And to catch a more economical ride with B.C. Ferries, you first have to drive from Vancouver to Delta’s Tsawwassen terminal.

      And so there was a lot of excitement when in April 2017 a private company based in Australia announced it would offer a fast “luxury” ride directly between Vancouver and Victoria.

      Unfortunately, the economics didn’t work out. Yesterday (January 6), V2V Vacations announced that effectively immediately, the service was cancelled.

      "We are disappointed but also acutely aware of the pressures and challenges that we faced in running such an ambitious venture," reads a statement attributed to the company’s general manager, Julian Wright.

      The company’s name alludes to its initial focus on tourism. But not long after V2V Vacations began operating, it offered discount fares to local passengers.

      The V2V Empress had 242 seats and made the trip between Vancouver and Victoria in less than three and a half hours.

      Anybody who has a purchased ticket for a V2V Vacations voyage can obtain a full refund, according to a separate message posted on the company’s website.

      The statement attributed to Wright goes on to say that the company enjoyed “double-digit growth in passenger numbers in 2019 and outstanding guest feedback”, but then adds, “regretfully the financial prospects remain unsatisfactory to sustain the business, and our continued operation in 2020 is simply not economically viable”.