Victoria Harbour Ferry to continue operations after acquisition by industry group

A Victoria Harbour Ferry vessel is seen from another vessel in this promotional image from the Victoria Harbour Ferry Company's website. The company announced Friday that it was ceasing operations because it could not reach an agreement with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

Victoria Harbour Ferry is no longer planning to shut down now that the majority of the company has been purchased by Ralmax Group and a new lease agreement has been secured with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA).

On Friday, the decades-old ferry tour service said that it was ceasing operations after a lease agreement could not be secured with the GVHA.

Now, after Ralmax acquired 55 per cent of the ferry company, a lease agreement has been signed between Victoria Harbour Ferries and the GVHA.

“While Ralmax is perhaps best known for its commitment to employment lands and responsible industry, the working harbour includes tourism operations as well,” said Ian Maxwell, Ralmax president and CEO in a release Monday.

“Victoria Harbour Ferry has been around for 30 years and I value the importance of maintaining and supporting tourism jobs in our local economy,” he said.

Victoria Harbour Ferry president and CEO Barry Hobbis says the company is “is proud to be the newest member of the Ralmax Group of Companies” and is grateful for the chance to continue operating in Victoria.

“From crisis to opportunity in a weekend. This is a new day and we are all in this together,” he said Monday.

Hobbis will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the company.

Meanwhile, the GVHA says that it is happy that a resolution could be found between the harbour authority and the ferry company.

“I am pleased that the Victoria Harbour Ferry will continue to operate throughout Victoria harbour and make stops at our Causeway Marina and Fisherman’s Wharf,” said Ian Robertson, CEO of the GVHA.

“The unique experience that the Victoria Harbour Ferry offers adds to the dynamic working harbour that Victorians and visitors love.”

Victoria Harbour Ferry first opened in the city in 1990. Before the pandemic, the company hosted more than 400,000 riders per year and employed more than 100 people during the peak tourism season. 

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