Black Ball Ferry Line purchases Victoria Express business operations
Express owners to launch new Explorer Series tours
March 3, 2011
Captain John M Cox CEO of Black Ball Ferry Line and President of The Maritime Group (International) reports:
PORT ANGELES, WA/VICTORIA, BC – Black Ball Ferry Line is purchasing the business operations of the Victoria Express from Victoria Rapid Transit in a deal announced today by both companies. Terms of the sale were not released.
The Harmon family formed Victoria Rapid Transit in 1990, and over the past two decades grew the ferry business to include service to Victoria, Friday Harbor on San Juan Island and Port Angeles. The ferry has also offered numerous private charters for individuals and organizations throughout the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Puget Sound, as far south as Westport and even into Lake Washington.
“The Harmon family has built a great company and there is a lot of goodwill among their customer base,” said Black Ball Ferry Line president Ryan Burles. “The timing of this acquisition is beneficial for both our companies. We look forward to welcoming Victoria Express customers on board the M.V. Coho to experience our great service and amenities during their trip between Victoria and Port Angeles.”
Black Ball Ferry Line operates the M.V. Coho providing year-round car and walk-on ferry service between Port Angeles, Wash. and downtown Victoria, B.C., with up to eight sailings daily during the summer season.
Following its winter break, the principals of Victoria Rapid Transit, Inc. will focus on launching their new Explorer Series of tours, based out of Port Angeles. The Victoria Express will not resume scheduled service between Port Angeles and Victoria. The new Explorer Series will be offered under Victoria Rapid Transit’s new name, Expeditions NW.
Jack Harmon, President of Victoria Rapid Transit, Inc., said, “The Explorer Series sailings will present opportunities to explore the ecological and cultural wonders of our region, an area that is significantly under-recognized for its amazing beauty and opportunities.”
Harmon went on to say, “This new venture will greatly broaden our horizons and expand efforts to promote our region through offerings that will add an exciting new visitor experience to the growing tourism mix in Port Angeles and the Olympic Peninsula, featuring explorations into a wide array of areas of natural beauty and rich history that you don’t see from the highway.”
“We wish the Harmon family much success in their new business venture,” said Burles.
Both companies, long-established fixtures on the Victoria and Port Angeles waterfront, have worked collaboratively for many years promoting the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island and attempting to resolve issues that impact tourism’s economic growth, such as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.