01/21/2016 08:23 EST | Updated 01/21/2017 00:12 EST

B.C.'s first coastal cable ferry to begin carrying passengers, cars, on Friday

VANCOUVER — BC Ferries says its new cable ferry is officially ready for service, linking Denman Island, one of the northern Gulf Islands, with Buckley Bay on Vancouver Island.

So-called soft sailings start Friday as the $15-million Baynes Sound Connector carries some cars and passengers while the soon-to-be retired Quinitsa handles the rest of the regularly scheduled sailings.

A release from BC Ferries says the soft sailings will continue intermittently until Feb. 3 and the Baynes Sound Connector is slated to begin full service in early February.

The vessel was supposed to start operating in August and officials at BC Ferries reported in November that the timeline had been moved to February.

The vessel, built by locally based Seaspan, has room for 50 vehicles and 150 passengers.

Because it will use less than half the fuel of the Quinitsa, the Baynes Sound Connector is expected to save as much as $80-million over its estimated 40 year lifespan. (Roundhouse Radio)


The Canadian Press