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With V2V vessel sidelined, passengers take Connector bus

V2V Vacations passengers are taking the B.C. Connector bus at a discounted rate while V2V officials are in Houston, Texas checking out potential new engines for the company’s out-of-service Empress catamaran.
Photo - V2V Empress ferry
V2V's Empress ferry at dock in Vancouver in May 2017.

V2V Vacations passengers are taking the B.C. Connector bus at a discounted rate while V2V officials are in Houston, Texas checking out potential new engines for the company’s out-of-service Empress catamaran.

The 254-passenger vessel has been moored in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour since Sunday when engine problems cropped up during its Victoria-Vancouver crossing. Since the ship has been sidelined, V2V has arranged for passengers with reservations to take the B.C. Connector bus between Victoria and Vancouver. The bus carries riders on B.C. Ferries routes running between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen.

V2V is charging $40 for that trip and refunding the rest of the ticket cost, Luisa Dizon, V2V’s sales and marketing manager, said Thursday.

Passengers with reservations also have the option of full refunds, Dizon said.

V2V Vacations is sending emails to customers with reservations updating them on the situation and will be contacting everyone personally, she said. All scheduled departures up to Sept. 15 have been cancelled.

The company is looking at a couple of vessels that might be able to fill in until the Empress is repaired, she said. Nothing has been confirmed at this point.

V2V, part of Australia’s Riverside Marine, spent $10 million to launch its downtown to downtown service in May. It purchased a catamaran and had it refurbished for the run.

The team in Houston flew from Australia to examine engines it may purchase, Dizon said. The plan is to replace both the vessel’s engines.