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Accessibility

To ensure a safe and comfortable sailing for all passengers, we provide a variety of accessibility options. 
 

Discounted passenger fares

We offer discounts for passengers with a BC Ferries Accessible Fare Identification (AFI) card or a CNIB card. You can present your AFI or CNIB card to the ticket agent when you arrive at the terminal to receive your discount.

Accessibility at our larger terminals

The following accessibility options are available at our larger terminals:

  • Accessible parking spaces
  • Wheelchair access to all passenger areas
  • Designated priority seating in waiting lounges
  • Wheelchairs to borrow for boarding (check availability when booking online)

Accessibility on our larger ferries

Accessibility options available on board larger ferries travelling between Vancouver and Vancouver Island:
 
  • Accessible passenger areas and cafeteria
  • Designated priority seating
  • Elevator access (see more below)
  • Induction loop hearing systems (see more below)
  • Ramps to board the ferry

More accessibility information

Accessibility Committee
We’re committed to improving accessibility throughout our fleet and terminals. We work with representatives from various organizations to learn how we can improve our services for customers with accessibility needs.

BC Ferries follows universal design standards for transportation—and we continuously work to upgrade our ferries.

Here's what our Accessibility Committee has been working on:

 
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Boarding assistance
We have a limited number of manual wheelchairs at our Metro Vancouver to Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast terminals and onboard our larger vessels, available to customers travelling without a vehicle. Reservations are required. Please call 1 888 BCFERRY (223-3779) at least 24 hours in advance of your travels to reserve a wheelchair or arrange assistance.

If you are travelling through one of our Gulf Island or Northern terminals and require assistance please give us a call at least 48 hours in advance of your travels at 1 888 BCFERRY (223-3779) to see how we can assist you.

Customers travelling without a vehicle, using our wheelchair assistance program, will need to check their baggage in advance of being assisted to the pre-board lounge or to the ship.

It can take approximately 15 minutes for us to assist one customer to the pre-board lounge or ship and return to help the next customer. If three customers require assistance with boarding the same sailing, this process can take up to 45 minutes. We ask customers to arrive 60 minutes in advance of the sailing to ensure there is enough time to help everyone. Customers arriving without a reservation may not be accommodated on the sailing of their choice.

Persons with disabilities can have a friend or relative assist them to the ship using our Visitor Pass process. Please call 1 888 BCFERRY (223-3779) to reserve a wheelchair and enquire about the Visitor Pass process.
Elevator access
If you need a parking spot close to the elevator, follow these steps:
 
  • When you book online, select the accessibility option
  • If you book your reservation over the phone, advise the agent of your requirements
  • Arrive as early as possible for your sailing
  • Advise the ticket agent at the ticket booth of your requirements so they can advise the loading crew and guide you to the best lane
  • Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights once you are directed to board
  • A staff member will direct you to a parking spot as close to the elevator as possible

Important: If you are a person who requires the use of a wheelchair or walking aid, let the ticket agent know when you arrive at the terminal, and they will do their best to get you a spot close to the elevator on the ferry. A few things to note:
 
  • Parking next to the elevator on the ferry is limited
  • If parking next to an elevator is essential, and spaces are taken, you may need to be accommodated on the next available sailing
  • Once we have loaded cars onto the ferry, we cannot offload to make space available near an elevator
  • For your safety during extreme weather, onboard elevators may be unavailable
  • Due to Transport Canada regulations, customers are not permitted to remain on closed car decks

 

Ferries with accessible washrooms

Ferries with elevators
Guide dogs and service animals
We accept guide, service and emotional support dogs for passengers with disabilities in accordance with the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act and B.C.’s Human Rights Code. Customers with a guide, service or emotional support dog are welcome in all public areas of our ferries and terminals. 

We expect guide, service and emotional support dogs to be well-trained and not act disruptive or aggressive towards crew or passengers. If a guide, service or emotional support dog is behaving inappropriately, we may restrict the dog’s movement onboard our ferries and at our terminals. 

Passengers traveling with a guide, service, or emotional support animal other than a dog may be directed to a pet area and car decks where they can remain with their animal.
Induction loop hearing systems
Onboard safety video
At the beginning of each sailing, a safety video is played in the passenger lounges on most of our ferries sailing between Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
Passengers with a visual-impairment travelling with BC Ferries Connector

Vancouver (Tsawwassen) - Victoria (Swartz Bay)

Sighted-guide assistance is available to help you get from the bus (once it arrives on the car deck) up to the passenger deck, and back when the ferry arrives at its destination. Here's how it works:

  • Tell the driver you require sighted-guide assistance from the car deck to the passenger deck on the ferry when you board the bus
  • The driver will advise the BC Ferries ticket agent of your request when the bus enters the terminal
  • Once on board, a member of our staff will meet your bus and guide you to the passenger deck
  • It's important that you let the driver and the onboard staff know if you 'll be returning to the bus when the ferry docks, or if you will be disembarking as a foot passenger
  • If you plan to explore the passenger decks during your sailing, ensure you advise the onboard staff as to where they will be able to find you on arrival to assist you with disembarking

Terminals with elevators

Passenger amenities are available on the ground floor of each of these terminals.
Visitor passes
Assisting friends and family with accessibility needs to the pre-boarding area at the terminal will help ensure they make their sailing. Pick up a Visitor Pass at the foot passenger ticket booth when you arrive (please bring valid government-issued, photo ID). 
 
Wheelchair availability at the terminal
A limited number of wheelchairs are available for boarding at our terminals. Our larger ferries have wheelchairs on board if you require one during your sailing.

How to let us know that you require a wheelchair at the terminal:
 
  • If you're booking online, select the accessibility option and add a wheelchair to your reservation.
  • If you're booking over the phone, advise the agent.
  • If you choose to travel without a booking, call 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779) to request a wheelchair at least 48 hours before your scheduled sailing.
Wheelchair accessible cabins
Ferries sailing on the following routes have a number of cabins designed to meet your accessibility needs:
 
  • Port Hardy (Bear Cove) – Prince Rupert
  • Prince Rupert – Graham Island (Skidegate)
Note: If you use a wheelchair, or have mobility challenges, you can reserve a wheelchair-accessible cabin.

 

Useful links


Contact us

We're here to help. If you have any questions about accessibility on our ferries or at our terminals, call 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779). If you have TTY you can contact us through TELUS relay services at 711.
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