Skip to content

Updated: It's a boat? It's a plane? It's a new possible Squamish-based electric ferry

The District of Squamish says it is 'excited' about this possibility. 

After years of direct-to-Squamish ferry rumours and hopes among many, Greenline Ferries says it is serious about the possibility of a Squamish-based ferry.

Greenline Ferries offers electric passenger-only vessels intended to connect mainland B.C. to smaller communities. 

Their first official plans are from Vancouver to Gibsons and Vancouver to Bowen—with trips slated to start in 2026. 

But, the company’s Callum Campbell and Darren Pereira have their sights set on Squamish next.

"Passenger-only service has been looked at for Squamish for decades now, and I think it's never quite taken hold. But I think there's a number of factors now that kind of change the dial on that and make this opportunity have more potential than ever," said CEO Campbell. 

Campbell is a longtime naval architect and professional engineer, who has worked in B.C. ferry transportation for roughly eight years. Pereira is a former B.C.-based captain. 

For Campbell, designing a ferry system is the end goal of a long-time interest in water transportation. 

"When he first unrolled some of the original paper drawings for Vancouver's iconic SeaBus ferry system. He had been given the task of working on a particular SeaBus upgrade and was expecting to see a drawing of a ship. But what he found in the drawings was an entire transportation system: terminals, gangways, and portals to onward modes of transportation. That moment made him realize that ferry transportation wasn't just about travelling over water—it was about navigating a complex end-to-end journey that served a very personal purpose for the rider," states the company website. 

Campbell told the Squamish Chief that the growth of Squamish and the use of electric vessels, which eliminate the possibility of oil spills or other potentially hazardous environmental concerns, is what sets Greenline apart.

"You don't have black smoke coming out of it. You're taking cars off the highway," said Pereira, adding that the ferries have electric batteries and there are no diesel engines. The underwater noise is dramatically reduced.

 “So, you really get to enjoy what it is to be on a quiet boat." 

According to a statement by the District of Squamish, transportation is responsible for the largest amount of carbon emissions in Squamish, accounting for more than 50% of the community's greenhouse gas emissions. 

"The District is working hard toward electrifying vehicles and encouraging active transportation and transit as the preferred modes of travel to and within Squamish," said Rachel Boguski in a statement on behalf of the District.

Boguski said the municipality is "excited" about the possibility of a new mode of transportation in the area, but failed to comment on the feasibility of this proposal directly. 

"We are always excited to hear about the possible development of new transportation options that would support our carbon reduction initiatives and reduce vehicle traffic on the highway. Squamish actively supports initiatives that address regional transit needs, so options that directly transport people between the hearts of Squamish and Vancouver without their vehicles are particularly exciting," said Boguski.

Currently, Greenline is looking to operate out of either an updated dock space at Darrell Bay or the redeveloped waterfront. According to Pereira, the company’s chief operating officer, the pair hopes to begin at Darrell Bay because it has "the basic infrastructure," with an eventual move to the waterfront area downtown once it has been more fully developed.

The pair have presented to some members of the community through a hosted event by the Downtown Squamish Business Improvement Association (DSBIA), Tourism Squamish, and the Squamish Chamber of Commerce, but have yet to do further community engagement in the Squamish area. 

"Right now, we sort of present the building blocks of what that opportunity could be, and happy to work with the chamber and others in the community to see how exactly that fits," said Campbell. 

**Please note, this story has been updated since it was first posted to note the engagement done by DSBIA and Tourism Squamish, something the reporter was not aware of during the crafting of the original story.