The MV Frances Barkley is a 200-passenger and cargo vessel based in Port Alberni that serves the communities of Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands on the west coast of Vancouver island BC. Ports of call include Bamfield, Ucluelet, Kildonan, and Sechart.
This passenger, mail and freight service has been a part of the West Coast for over 60 years. The Frances Barkley and the Lady Rose have a relaxed, friendly atmosphere rather reminiscent of yesteryear.
The heritage vessel Lady Rose can carry up to 100 passengers and 25 tons of cargo. She was originally christened “Lady Sylvia” at her 1937 launching at Pointhouse Shipyard in Glasgow, Scotland. Although not the last vessel acquired by the Union Steamship Company, she was the last commissioned to be built for them. Designed for the sheltered coastal waters of British Columbia, this stocky little vessel soon proved capable of much more, becoming the first diesel powered vessel to cross the Atlantic driven by a single propeller. The Lady Rose was temporarily withdrawn from service during the summer of 2009.
Join the crew on the Frances Barkley for a day trip down the Alberni Inlet to Barkley Sound, and have a truly memorable experience. In the course of a day’s trip the packet freighter drops mail, groceries, supplies and up to 100 passengers along the way at float homes and the Sechart Whaling Station – in the same manner as when the service started on the B.C. Coast over 60 years ago.
The Frances Barkley spends her summers on the Port Alberni to Ucluelet/Broken Group Islands run, but also provides service on our Bamfield route. At times you’ll definitely feel the motion of the ocean swells, but the better part of the journey through Barkley Sound is not as exposed as that experienced when you travel out of Gold River on the MV Uchuck III. The trip makes for a pleasant outing in itself, or it can be a link for paddlers wishing to get to the Broken Group Islands.
Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands comprise one of the three main recreational components in Pacific Rim National Park. The popularity of these islands with paddlers and boaters has soared over the past decade. One of the main reasons that the Broken Group Islands are so popular is that they provide a true west coast experience in sheltered water. Barkley Sound is not normally subject to the extreme ocean conditions farther west in the open waters around Ucluelet and exposed sections of the two other areas that attract visitors to the Pacific Rim National Park, the West Coast Trail and the Long Beach Unit. The ease with which less-experienced sea kayakers can reach the Broken Group Islands on the Frances Barkley contributes greatly to the allure and charm of the vessel.
- Port Alberni
- Alberni Inlet
- Broken Group Islands
- Barkley Sound
- Pacific Rim (West Coast)
Click on the map to view a large scale map of the North and Central Vancouver Island Ferry Routes. The ferry service to Bamfield/Ucluelet is a private service. B.C Ferries is therefore not able to provide information for this route. Lady Rose Marine Services can be contacted for current schedules, fares, reservations and further information.