About BC Ferries

Lower Closed Vehicle Deck Access

On October 11, 2017, BC Ferries harmonized its safety practices with Canadian ferry operators relating to Transport Canada regulations that prohibit passengers from remaining in their vehicle on any closed deck on a vessel that is underway.

A closed vehicle deck is a space that is closed at both ends with limited side openings. Access restrictions to closed vehicle decks will not apply when passengers are directed by announcement to return to their vehicles before the vessel docks.

On larger vessels with both an upper and lower vehicle deck, customers will still be able to remain in their vehicles on the upper vehicle deck.

If you want to be sure you can travel on the sailing of your choice, we recommend customers make a booking in advance of travel. Your booking guarantees you a space on the confirmed sailing, however, it does not guarantee which deck your vehicle will be placed on. Depending on traffic volumes, reserved customers may be loaded on either the upper or lower vehicle decks to balance the distribution of vehicles on the ship, maximize the number of vehicles loaded and facilitate on-time departures. We need to load more than one lane at a time to adhere to our schedule.

Customers with special circumstances, such as medical difficulties, mobility challenges or special needs, may request to be loaded on the upper car deck upon arrival at the ticket booth. We will do our best to accommodate these requests, based on space availability and traffic volume.

This policy applies to the following vessels:

  • Spirit of British Columbia
  • Spirit of Vancouver Island
  • Coastal Renaissance
  • Coastal Inspiration
  • Coastal Celebration
  • Queen of Alberni
  • Queen of Coquitlam
  • Queen of Cowichan
  • Queen of New Westminster
  • Queen of Oak Bay
  • Queen of Surrey
  • Salish Orca
  • Salish Eagle
  • Salish Raven
  • Northern Expedition
  • Northern Adventure
  • Northern Sea Wolf 

These vessels generally operate on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen-Duke Point, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay, Horseshoe Bay-Langdale, Powell River-Comox, Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands, Port Hardy-Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert-Haida Gwaii routes. The policy also applies to the vessel that will operate the Port Hardy-Bella Coola route.

FAQs for Lower Closed Vehicle Deck Access »
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