After 589 days, the MV Coho ferry resumed round-trip service between Victoria, B.C. and Port Angeles, Wash.
The vessel arrived at Victoria’s Inner Harbour on Monday morning with passengers and vehicles from the U.S. The vessel was welcomed by a flotilla that involved the fire department, coast guard, and Victoria Harbour ferries.
Dozens of Canadians then boarded the ferry for the return trip to Port Angeles.
The Coho is usually popular with day-trippers but many of the travellers Global News spoke with on Monday were snowbirds heading to destinations such as California and Arizona.
The vessel has served the region for 60 years, carrying up to 1,000 passengers and 115 vehicles.
While travellers, regardless of citizenship, must be fully vaccinated to enter the U.S. or Canada, passengers arriving in Victoria must submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test result.
A handful of vehicles arrived on the first northbound route into Victoria.
Destination Greater Victoria CEO Paul Nursey said the resumption of service is a step in the right direction for the region’s tourism sector.
“It’s really important to have connections back with Washington state,” he said.
“We know it’s going to take a while for these connections to get up and going fully. We understand that but being open and operating is way preferable to them being closed.”