New Ferry Salish Begins Service July 1

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The new 64-car ferry Salish will begin service on the Port Townsend/Coupeville route at noon on Friday, July 1, following a community celebration in Port Townsend on June 30. Two-boat service will continue on the route until Oct. 10.

 
“I know how important it is to the communities to restore full service on the route in time for the busy holiday weekend,” said Assistant Secretary David Moseley. “This couldn’t have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of many people. I especially want to thank the deck and engine crews for their role in bringing the Salish into service. We couldn’t ask for a better 60th birthday present!”
 
The Salish begins service with the noon sailing from Port Townsend. The Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division (WSF) will begin taking vehicle reservations for the Salish soon. An email alert and notice on the WSF website will notify customers in advance regarding the availability of reservations. Customers can make reservations for their desired sailing 30 days in advance online or by calling 511.
 
WSF and the communities of Port Townsend and Whidbey Island will celebrate the restoration of two-boat service from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, at the Port Townsend ferry terminal on the vehicle deck of the Salish. The event is open to the public and Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and Rep. Judy Clibborn will speak, followed by a tribal ceremony and vessel open house.
 
The regularly scheduled 10:15 a.m. sailing from Coupeville aboard the Chetzemoka will be free for walk-on passengers attending the event. Parking is available near the Coupeville ferry terminal along State Route 20 and at Fort Casey State Park adjacent to the terminal. Limited event parking will be provided at the Port Townsend ferry terminal, so attendees are encouraged to take public transportation.
 
The two Kwa-di Tabil class (64-car) ferries will serve the Port Townsend/Coupeville route through the summer and early fall. On Columbus Day, Oct. 10, the route will be reduced to one-boat service for the off-peak season – the same schedule as when the Steel Electric class ferries served the route.
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