Resumption of Washington State Ferries’ (WSF) service to Sidney is postponed until April 2022, contrasting initial plans in February to resume sailings this fall.
WSF gave an update Thursday, Aug. 12 that its ferry between Sidney and Anacortes would not resume service until the second quarter of the next calendar year amid uncertainty around the U.S.-Canada maritime border reopening and difficulty finding available crew and vessels.
“Adding international service at this time would further stress already strained domestic service that’s affecting Washingtonians still navigating post-COVID travel,” read the update posted to the Washington State Department of Transportation website.
WSF’s service between Sidney and Anacortes was first postponed in March 2020 due to international restrictions implemented in response to COVID-19.
In the past, two round-trip sailings were offered daily during the third quarter of the year and one daily round-trip sailing during the second and fourth quarters.
WSDOT spokesperson Ian Sterling told Black Press Media that, while WSF has also been struggling to hire qualified people, the Sidney-Anacortes ferry is not particularly well-used by Americans in the fall under regular circumstances and thus not a priority compared to WSF’s domestic routes.
“We need all the vessels we can on our side for the fall,” said Sterling, adding that he looks forward to service eventually returning to the Sidney-Anacortes route in April 2022, after a routine pause for the first quarter.
“Really, this is an effort to protect domestic service, prioritizing it over our one international run.”
For updates, visit wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.
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