Victoria Clipper to resume Seattle sailings this week

The Victoria Clipper fast ferry from Seattle will resume service to Vancouver Island on Friday after a year and a half of suspended operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Seattle-Victoria service will only be available to American travellers, as the U.S. continues to bar recreational travel for Canadians through land and sea borders until at least Sept. 21.

Bookings for the Clipper are already open, with the company offering sailings four days a week to and from Victoria, with added sailings planned around Christmas and the American Thanksgiving holiday.

All U.S. citizens and Canadian residents living in the U.S. will be required to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arriving in Victoria. Clipper travellers will be required to provide proof of vaccination and submit their travel information to Canadian authorities within 72 hours of their arrival, according to Clipper Vacations.

Fully vaccinated travellers will be exempt from quarantine, however all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements, the company said.

The Clipper ceased sailing in March 2020, cutting its workforce from 200 year-round staff and seasonal employees to just eight administrative staff, the company said in a news release last month.

“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on our company like so many others, but I’m incredibly proud of the support from the Victoria community and my staff’s resiliency and determination to return to our core international operations once again,” said Clipper CEO David Gudgel.

“We could not be more excited to reinstate our safe, trusted fast ferry service and to provide the core connection between Victoria and Seattle that so many have relied upon for travel over the past 35 years.”