IT’S MIDWINTER “VACATION” time for the venerable MV Coho car-passenger ferry.
The passenger ferry Victoria Express will again step in to maintain a weekend link between Port Angeles and Victoria during the Coho’s two-week break.
Today’s Coho round trip — departing Port Angeles at 8:20 a.m. and Victoria at 10:30 a.m. — will be the last for the 51-year-old ferry before it is taken to a shipyard in Seattle for its annual maintenance in dry dock.
While it’s gone, the Victoria Express will provide Friday and weekend foot-passenger service to and from Victoria.
Victoria Express will depart Port Angeles at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 28-30 and Feb. 4-6, leaving Victoria at 4 p.m. on those days.
Fares for the 55-minute crossing are $25 U.S. per person one way or $50 round trip.
Boarding in Port Angeles is from The Landing mall, 115 E. Railroad Ave., just east of the Coho terminal.
The terminal used in Victoria by Victoria Express is at 254 Belleville St., just west of the Black Ball terminal used by the Coho.
Passports or other approved travel documents are always required for crossing the international border. Details are at www.victoriaexpress.com or www.cohoferry.com.
In addition to the customary annual maintenance below decks, the Coho this year is getting a cafeteria remodeling.
New cafeteria seating will be installed during the two-week break — which ends when the Coho departs from its Port Angeles dock on Feb. 8 at 8:20 a.m. to resume its year-round trips to and from Victoria.
Starting Feb. 8, the cafeteria, onboard duty free and gift shops will offer a larger selection of products thanks to storage facility enhancements at the Port Angeles dock, a Black Ball Ferry Line spokesperson said.
Reservations for passage on the Victoria Express for the special weekend service are not mandatory but are suggested.
Phone 360-452-8088 or visit www.victoriaexpress.com.
The only way to get cars and other motor vehicles to Vancouver Island during the two weeks the Coho is on hiatus is by driving to Tsawwassen, B.C., south of Vancouver, and driving aboard a British Columbia ferry to Swartz Bay, about 15 miles north of Victoria.