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Nanaimo-Vancouver foot ferry cancels half its scheduled sailings for August

Hullo says it needs to ‘better operationalize,’ new launch date is Aug. 16

Hullo ferries aren’t ready to greet and welcome aboard travellers just yet.

The Nanaimo-Vancouver fast foot ferry service was scheduled to start service on Monday, Aug. 14, but instead, cancelled all of that day’s sailings, all of the next day’s sailings, too, and half its sailings until the end of the month.

Hullo issued a press release on Monday night advising that it is suspending all sailings until Wednesday, Aug. 16, to assess its operations.

According to the release, the company wants to take a “deliberate and measured approach” to ensuring long-term safety and reliability of the ferry service.

“Every new operation has a bedding-in period to effectively set its systems and procedures for long-term stability. Today’s conditions gave us better insight into several processes that we could better operationalize, and we are taking the time to do just that with the safety and well-being of our passengers at top of mind,” said Hullo co-founder Rupesh Amin in the release.

In an earlier release Monday, Hullo stated that windy seas and a power outage the night before possibly impacting systems were reasons for the first day’s cancelled sailings. But the latest release now states that a “revised temporary launch schedule” means the cancellation of the first and last sailings of the day every day from now through Aug. 30. Plans from Aug. 16-30 are to sail from Nanaimo at 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and from Vancouver at noon and 6:30 p.m. daily. Guests with tickets for early and late sailings will be contacted by Hullo customer service, the company advised.

Alastair Caddick, Hullo CEO, said in the release that guests have expressed support and patience and said the company hopes to make good on that trust soon.

“Our long-term vision is not only to be a transportation provider but a pillar of reliability and trust in the community,” he said. “With this commitment in mind, we eagerly await the moment when we can welcome you aboard, assuring a journey that melds safety with unparalleled service.”

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