Map & Ferry Schedules

The Waterbridge Ferries Galena Bay ferry on Upper Arrow Lake with views of the Selkirk Mountains near Nakusp.

Balfour–Kootenay Bay

In 1947, the terminals were relocated to Balfour and Kootenay Bay. Launched in 1946, the 40-vehicle, 150-passenger capacity MV Anscomb served the route until 2000. In 1960, the superstructure was raised to increase truck clearance. In 1972, the vessel was stripped to the car deck and completely rebuilt. In 2004, the decommissioned vessel sank while moored for renovations.

The 28-vehicle, 150-passenger capacity MV Balfour was launched in 1954. After the October 1963 opening of the SalmoCreston highway over the Kootenay Pass, ferry fares were eliminated the following month. Built by Kootenay Ferry Builders at Nelson, the 80-vehicle, 250-passenger capacity MV Osprey 2000 was launched and entered service in 2000. Since 2004, Western Pacific Marine has been the service contractor.

The free ferry operates under contract to the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. A single vessel sails throughout the year, with ten departures from Balfour between 6:30am and 9:40pm, returning from Kootenay Bay between 7:10am and 10:20pm. The second vessel runs in summer only, providing an extra five crossings in either direction. The crossing is about 8 km (5 mi) in length and takes 35 minutes. The Osprey 2000 normally handles the main service, while the smaller Balfour usually provides the additional summer sailings.

In 2021, a realignment of Upper Balfour Road to eliminate a steep slope was completed, and a new washroom building was erected at the Balfour Terminal. Under construction by Western Pacific Marine at Nelson, the 55-vehicle capacity replacement for the Balfour is designed with both diesel and electric motors. Scheduled to enter service in early 2023, the vessel will more than double the vessel capacity and will be fully converted to electric propulsion by 2030.

(*The above information was taken from Wikipedia)