A new luxury passenger ferry launching May 1, between Vancouver and Victoria, is expected to be as attractive to foodies as it will be to vacationing travellers.
“We are excited to bring Truffles Catering on board, a highly regarded local provider with access to quality producers, which we are certain will enhance the overall guest experience,” says Cheong, who introduced Alistair Eason, general manager of the Truffles Group, and executive chef JP Green at the event.
Green then introduced the Salish Sea-inspired menu to a group of media and bloggers gathered at Canoe Brewpub April 6, and noted his team’s dedication to providing fresh local products is vital to the quality of the food served on board.
“And when we say local, we’re talking backyard greens,” says Green, who notes even the craft beer and wines served on board are from B.C.
Green says the meals served aboard the V2V Empress will include Ocean Wise seafood, including smoked sockeye salmon, preservative and additive-free sandwich meats from Port Alberni-based Hertel Meats, and salad greens from Bright Greens.
The ferry offers three levels of service, which translates to the food as well. Passengers in first class ($199 and up) and royal class ($240 and up) will be served a three-course meal on glassware, with monogrammed linen napkins, while those travelling in premium comfort ($120) may choose meals from an a la carte menu. Tickets for children travelling in premium comfort class are $60. First and royal class passengers also have exclusive access to the ferry’s upper deck.
Travel aboard the 254-seat passenger vessel comes complete with a personalised onboard concierge service to offer information and assist with booking local attractions, leather seats with USB ports and power outlets and onboard WiFi.
Check out these five food facts about the gourmet offerings soon to be available on the V2V Empress.
1) It takes about 90 minutes to make a bowl of handcrafted root chips, which will be available for sale by the bag on board. Chef Green says the chips take longer to make than it does to prepare the yam and sweet potato salad, green salad and trays of open-faced sandwiches (combined) available from the menu.
2) Bright Greens, which provides the salad greens for the V2V Empress, grows 7,500 pesticide-free plants in a shipping container nicknamed the Leafy Green Machine. The container grows the equivalent of what can be produced on 1.5 acres of land.
3) Once the Empress’s liquor license has been secured, VQA wines by the glass will be available for purchase, including cabernet sauvignon syrah from Wayne Gretzky Okanagan Winery, as well as wines from Red Rooster, Mission Hill and Sandhill. VQA wines by the bottle will also be available.
4) The vessel will serve a variety of vegetarian options including rainbow wraps with beets, carrots, grilled pear, avocado, pea shoots, alfalfa sprouts and feta.
5) The dessert truffles will be made from Bernard Callebaut chocolate.
The check-in terminal for the 8 a.m., 3.5-hour journey from Vancouver is located above the Vancouver Harbour flight centre at 1055 Canada Place, on the waterfront side of the Vancouver Convention Centre. The ferry leaves Victoria at 2 p.m. from the Inner Harbour on the waterfront level of the Steamship Terminal Building, 470 Belleville St. From Vancouver, the ferry will cruise under the Lions Gate Bridge before crossing the Strait of Georgia and navigating the Southern Gulf Islands offering views of Mayne, Galiano, Salt Spring, Saturna and North and South Pender Islands before arriving in Victoria. V2V Vacations, owned by an Australian-based Riverside Marine Group, also offers a variety of packages and options for passengers travelling between Vancouver and Victoria. Visit v2vvacations.com for more information.