Hundreds of people showed up for the christening of the V2V Empress, a new ferry that will carry 254 passengers from Victoria to Vancouver, in the Inner Harbour Saturday afternoon. Kendra Wong/Victoria News

V2V Empress, ferry from Victoria to Vancouver, christened

Passenger service has been delayed by a few weeks.

Members of the public got a sneak peek Saturday afternoon of the new V2V Empress, the ferry that will carry passengers between Victoria and Vancouver.

Hundreds were on hand to witness the christening of the 40-metre-long vessel in the Inner Harbour. The high-speed luxury passenger ferry service, which is expected to take three-and-a-half hours, can carry 254 passengers from harbour to harbour.

The service was originally anticipated to launch May 1, but has been delayed by a few weeks to provide more training for on-board staff.

“Safety is always our paramount priority, and we will never compromise on that, even if it means pushing our launch date,” said Nick Cheong, vice president, operations for V2V Vacations in a release.

“When we launch, V2V will offer guests a premium cruise experience between two of Canada’s most beautiful cities and along one of the most eye-catching coastlines in the world.”

Trips will depart from Vancouver at 8 a.m. and arrive in Victoria at 11:30 a.m. The return voyage will depart at 2 p.m. for Vancouver, arriving at 5:30 p.m. The V2V terminals are located at the Steamship Terminal in Victoria (470 Belleville St.) and the Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Pl.)

Earlier this year, the Clipper also announced it will also be launching a ferry service from Victoria to Vancouver next spring. The 52-metre, high-speed catamaran will carry 579 passengers.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com