Nearly four years after the retirement of the Steel Electric Class ferries, the Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division (WSF) will welcome the newest addition to the state ferry fleet. The 64-car Salish will be the center of a community celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at the Port Townsend ferry terminal.
WSF and the communities of Port Townsend and Whidbey Island will celebrate the restoration of two-boat service on the Port Townsend/Coupeville route. The Salish will join her sister ship Chetzemoka on the route in July. WSF hopes to have the Salish in service by the Fourth of July weekend, but will confirm the date at the conclusion of sea trials scheduled to wrap up at the end of June.
“This month is the 60th anniversary of Washington State Ferries. Bringing a new vessel into service is a wonderful way to celebrate,” said Assistant Secretary David Moseley. “We are making real progress toward rebuilding our aging fleet and investing in our future.”
The community celebration of the Salish is open to the public and will take place in slip No. 2 at the Port Townsend ferry terminal. The celebration will begin at 11 a.m. on the vessel’s vehicle deck with remarks from dignitaries and a tribal ceremony, followed by a vessel open house from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.