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MV Frances Barkley to offer Sunday excursions in August

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An iconic Vancouver Island ship will be adding Sunday sailings to its schedule next month.

The announcement from Lady Rose Marine Services says the MV Frances Barkley ferry will begin Sunday excursions on Aug. 7 from Port Alberni.

The three-and-a-half-hour sailing will move along the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound and include a two-hour stop in West Bamfield.

The boat currently moves passengers, freight, and supplies for day cruises and has been doing so since 1946. Lady Rose Marine Services says it’s the only ferry linking remote communities in the inlet and sound.

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“It delivers medicine, goods and freight to citizens, businesses, as well as passengers to homes, lodges, tourist and camping spots, the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and kayaking destinations,” said the ferry company.

“Ridership has been climbing steadily and is quickly approaching pre-pandemic numbers.”

Devon transport purchased Lady Rose Marine Services last year, keeping it from being decommissioned. Principal Greg Willmon says the boat has been completely refitted with navigational aids and reduced fuel consumption.

Willmon adds the tour will allow passengers to best enjoy the coast.

The last scheduled sailing is set for Aug. 28.

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