About BC Ferries

Travel safe this summer

BC Ferries passengers with face coverings

As we welcome customers back safely this summer with more British Columbians vacationing at home, we will need to all work together to be flexible and open to travelling differently.

We are taking a measured and thoughtful approach in our planning, as we know decisions that we are making impact people's lives. We will continue to monitor how much traffic returns over the summer and make decisions that are in the best interest of our customers, our employees, the general public and the long-term health of the ferry system.

BC Ferries customer journey graphic

Your BC Ferries Journey

We've put together some resources that identify the new measures and procedures that are in place at our terminals and on board our ferries to keep our crew and customers safe and moving.

View your journey »

For those who choose to travel, BC Ferries urges responsible behaviour while on board, including maintaining physical distance from other passengers while seated and moving around the vessel, and wearing a face covering where physical distancing isn't possible to maintain.

We encourage our customers to continue to heed Dr. Bonnie Henry's advice to be calm, be kind, and be safe. Staff at our terminals and on board are working hard to adjust to changing circumstances and to implement protocols and procedures that keep everyone safe and healthy.

Travelling with us soon? What you need to know

Priority boarding

On July 30, 2020, the Province amended Ministerial Order (MO84) to remove priority loading for residents of ferry sailing destinations.

As of July 31, 2020, we will return to providing equal access to all customers without reservations, with the exception of vehicles carrying essential goods and supplies as defined in MO84. These vehicles will continue to receive priority loading. Drivers of vehicles carrying essential good and supplies should inform the ticket agent when arriving at the ticket booth.

Read the news release (July 30th) with details on the amendment »

Peak Travel Times this Summer


Latest Updates

  • Booking in advance is recommended to guarantee the sailing of your choice.
  • Customers without a booking should expect sailing waits.
  • Customers travelling without a booking on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale and Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay routes should expect multiple sailing waits. If your schedule is flexible, travel at less busy times:
    • Horseshoe Bay – Langdale- less busy times are the 9:25 pm and 11:30 pm sailings departing Horseshoe Bay, and the 6:20 am, 8:15 pm and 10:30 pm departing Langdale.
    • Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay - less busy times are the 8:30 pm and 10:40 pm departing Horseshoe Bay, and the 10:40 pm departing Departure Bay.
  • Arrive at least an hour before your sailing. Transport Canada COVID-19 screening is in effect. Foot passengers are advised to arrive at least an hour in advance as sailings may reach passenger capacity. 
  • Face coverings are required at terminals, on board and/or if you choose to leave your vehicle
  • Limited hot food and “grab and go” items are available on select vessels and routes
  • Maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from passengers and crew

Travel to Bella Coola: BC residents only

Bella Coola Valley Tourism advises that BC resident travellers only will be permitted to enter the region. Non-residents of BC will be denied entry.

Learn more about Bella Coola's COVID-19 protocols »

Travel to Haida Gwaii: Non-resident travel restricted

July 30, 2020 - Haida Nation has been granted the temporary ability by the provincial government to restrict travel to Haida Gwaii to essential travel only until further notice.

There are conservation officers screening passengers at the Prince Rupert terminal for departure to Haida Gwaii. BC Ferries does not have the authority to restrict travel. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked with the Haida Nation to share their message around the prohibition of non-resident travel to and from the region.

Non-residents who had booked travel with BC Ferries to Haida Gwaii have been advised of the emergency order and we are reaching out to them to amend their bookings.

Read the news release from the Province »
Read the BC Ferries service notice »

Update on Summer Travel - Message from our CEO Mark Collins

"BC Ferries is prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. We know our company has an important role to play in British Columbia's economic and social recovery, and we are taking that responsibility seriously." Read the full update »

Sunshine Coast Schedule and Operational Procedure Changes

In addition to more capacity, we are also making changes to operational procedures. This includes re-opening the foot passenger overhead walkway at Horseshoe Bay with appropriate physical distancing measures in place, giving Langdale sailings priority at Horseshoe Bay, assisting customers with returning to their vehicles when a vessel is 10 minutes from the dock, and carefully managing the loading of the last vehicles to balance on-time performance and capacity.

Sailing on time is important to all of us. You can help us help you by:

  • Following the car in front of you promptly and carefully when loading
  • Parking within 60 cm (24") of the vehicle in front of you
  • Returning to your vehicle promptly before arrival
  • If you have questions, see a crew member before or after loading
  • At times, the Captain may choose to sail with some empty deck space in order to balance on-time performance with capacity

Limited Food & Retail Service Available

BC Ferries is carefully reopening additional terminal and onboard amenities across the fleet. Expanded offerings include a limited menu at the Coastal Cafe and Arbutus Coffee Bar, reopening of some Passages onboard store locations and the Lands End building at Swartz Bay. 

Customers can enjoy packaged food items and limited hot food services on select routes between Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver, Southern Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast and North Coast. All hot food will be served in packaging for customers to take to their vehicles, outerdeck or limited cafeteria seating.

To ensure the health and safety of its customers and employees, the company will strictly adhere to provincial and federal guidelines during this reopening phase. BC Ferries is ensuring the safety of passengers and crew by supporting physical distancing in food service areas and Passages onboard stores, enhancing cleaning and sanitization efforts and reducing the number of touch points.

Transport Canada

Screening Requirements
For any route longer than 30 minutes, we will be screening all customers, including coach and bus passengers, for COVID-19 symptoms and we will restrict travel to any customer that does not meet the screening requirements, as per the federal guidelines. Prior to boarding a BC Ferries ship, customers need to answer the following questions:

  1. Do you have a fever and a cough?
  2. Do you have a fever and breathing difficulty?
  3. Have you been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19?
  4. Are you the subject of a provincial/territorial or local public health order?
  5. Are you in possession of a face covering that covers your mouth and nose, and do you agree to wear this covering in situations where you cannot maintain two metres of physical separation from your fellow passengers?

If you answer 'yes' to any of the questions from 1 to 4, and/or 'no' to question 5, or refuse to answer, BC Ferries will deny you boarding.

Customers not displaying symptoms and under a directive to self-isolate at home may be permitted on board but should maintain physical distance by remaining in their vehicle.

Coach and bus operators are required to screen passengers prior to allowing them to board. Passengers are encouraged to remain on the bus for the duration of the trip.

For more details, please see Transport Canada's announcement or view the screening questions as posted at our terminals

Face Coverings
In keeping with directives and guidance provided by Transport Canada, passengers travelling with BC Ferries will be required to be in possession of a face covering that covers their mouth and nose, and asked to wear this covering in situations when a physical separation of two metres cannot be maintained.

This Transport Canada directive applies to all passengers over the age of two, including those passengers travelling in a vehicle. On sailings longer than 30 minutes, passengers will be asked to confirm they have a face covering and are willing to wear it when necessary. If a passenger answers 'no', or fails to answer, they will be unable to travel. Customers must bring their own face coverings as BC Ferries will not be supplying them to travellers.

As defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, a face covering should fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops, be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen) and be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping.

BC Ferries Vacations™ customers

As BC gradually moves into Phase 3, we are here to help you start planning a safe return to exploring coastal BC. To speak to an agent about travel opportunities and what to expect, please contact us at 1-888-223-3779 Ext. 3, or email vacations@bcferries.com.

Our team is handling requests and customer inquiries over the phone or by email. We're here to help you and we'll do our best to respond to you as quickly as possible. Vacations Call Centre business hours are 8:30am - 5:00pm from Monday – Friday, and 9:00am – 5:00pm on weekends and statutory holidays.

Important note for travelers: For the health and safety of guests, hotel amenities may be limited or unavailable during your stay. Please contact a travel agent to find out more.

For general visitor information, please visit Destination BC

Additional Information

We're in this together

We are proud of the work our dedicated and courageous employees continue to provide during this situation. Our front line teams are committed to continuing to safely transport critical supplies to BC's coastal communities. If you have a chance to relay a 'thank-you' to our teams online or during your travels, please do.