- Passengers are required to wear masks at all times at terminals and on board ferries.
- Be prepared to answer Transport Canada COVID-19 screening questions.
- Booking in advance is strongly recommended to guarantee the sailing of your choice.
- Enhanced safety and cleaning measures are in place to keep customers and crew safe.
- Passengers in vehicles on enclosed lower vehicle decks must leave their vehicles during the sailing to comply with Transport Canada’s safety regulation. View details.
BC Ferries remains committed to ensuring coastal communities have reliable access to essential goods and supplies. Our priority is the health and safety of our customers and employees, and the company will strictly adhere to provincial and federal guidelines.
We encourage our customers to continue to heed Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice to be calm, be kind, and be safe. Our vessel and terminal staff are working hard to adjust to changing circumstances and to implement protocols and procedures that keep everyone safe and healthy. BC Ferries does not tolerate any abuse, including verbal abuse, towards its employees. A customer who abuses an employee will be denied service.
On January 7, 2021 Dr. Bonnie Henry announced an update to the COVID-19 restrictions (in effect November 7 - February 5, 2021), for more information click here. BC Ferries advises customers to avoid non-essential travel at this time – this includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. If this new Provincial Health Officer restriction affects your travel plans please contact us to change or cancel your booking. Reservations fees for existing bookings will be refunded if travel must be cancelled as a result of Provincial Health Order (PHO) travel restrictions, please contact us in advance of travel. This applies to travel occurring during the PHO travel restriction period.
Masks are mandatory
All passengers must wear non-medical masks or face coverings when at terminals and on board ferries except:
- When inside a vehicle
- When consuming food or drinks, provided physical distancing is maintained
- Children under 2 years of age
- Medical condition or disability that inhibits the ability to wear a mask
- Persons unable to place or remove a mask without assistance
- BC Ferries employees working behind a physical barrier or within employee only areas provided physical distancing is maintained
* In the event that a passenger cannot wear a mask or face covering due to medical reasons, BC Ferries may require passengers to present documentation from a healthcare professional. This is a new Transport Canada requirement for ferry operators across Canada.
Passengers are reminded to continue to maintain physical distance while wearing a mask.
As defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, a mask 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.
Transport Canada - Closed deck regulation - reinstatement on September 30th
The temporary flexibility Transport Canada granted ferry operators that allows passengers to remain in their vehicle on enclosed vehicle decks is being rescinded by the regulator on September 30th, 2020. Transport Canada allowed this temporary flexibility earlier this summer in response to COVID-19. BC Ferries must comply with Transport Canada regulations. Starting on September 30th, passengers loaded on enclosed lower decks will be required to leave their vehicles.
Transport Canada - COVID-19 screening
For any route longer than 30 minutes, BC Ferries will screen all customers for COVID-19 symptoms and restrict travel to any customer that does not meet the screening requirements, as per the federal guidelines.
Prior to entering a BC Ferries’ terminal, customers need to answer the following questions:
- Do you have a fever and a cough?
- Do you have a fever and breathing difficulty?
- Have you been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19?
- Are you the subject of a provincial/territorial or local public health order? Note: A provincial/territorial or local public health order is typically a quarantine order issued to a person who has tested positive or is presumed positive to COVID-19
- Are you in possession of a face covering that covers your mouth and nose, and do you agree to wear this covering when outside your vehicle at terminals and while on board ferries?
If you answer yes to any of questions 1 to 4 and/or no to question 5 above, or refuse to answer any of the questions, 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 will be required to maintain physical distance by remaining in their vehicle.
BC Ferries has implemented measures in order to ensure that customers with serious medical conditions and a need for time sensitive treatments are able to continue to travel. Customers can communicate their travel needs to the ticket agent when they arrive at the terminal. Reservations are recommended, but non-reserved travel will be prioritized based on the essential travel needs.
Book in advance to avoid lengthy waits as sailings are limited. Check-in processing takes longer due to screening protocols in place.
Malahat Nation is currently under a Shelter in Place order that took effect January 8, 2021.
We ask that all Mill Bay ferry customers please wear a mask when on, or transiting to BC Ferries Mill Bay terminal outside of a vehicle. Commuting customers please see the request below from Malahat Nation regarding parking on Mill Bay Road.
For further information, please see malahatnation.com.
For more information on our current Northern schedules, visit bcferries.com/schedules.
Many communities served by BC Ferries have issued advisories to travelers notifying them of limited supplies, healthcare equipment and resources. These communities include Haida Gwaii, Bella Bella, Klemtu, and Bella Coola. Customers should inform themselves of local situations and remain committed to essential travel only.
For more information about travel and restrictions in these northern communities, see:
- For Haida Gwaii: haidanation.ca
- For Bella Coola: bellacoola.ca
- For Bella Bella: heiltsuknation.ca
- For Klemtu please see: klemtu.com
When travelling, we require customers wear a face covering onboard or in our terminals. Reservations for foot passengers are available for travel between Tsawwassen - Southern Gulf Islands and our North Coast routes, and can now be made online. On all other routes, foot passengers will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis until passenger capacity has been reached, and tickets may be purchased at the terminal.
BC Ferries Vacations
Customers with BC Ferries Vacation bookings affected by the COVID-19 restrictions (in effect November 7 - February 5, 2021) can contact us to change or cancel their booking. If you require immediate assistance, please contact BC Ferries Vacations at 1-888-223-3779 Ext. 3, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Vacations Call Centre business hours are:
- Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5 pm
- Weekends and statutory holidays: 9 am – 5 pm
Customers requiring wheelchair assistance: We are unable to provide wheelchair assistance at terminals or on board ferries. If you require a wheelchair, request one at the terminal. We ask that you travel with your own wheelchair assistant if required.
- For more information on travelling with BC Ferries during the COVID-19 Pandemic click here
Vehicles with U.S. license plates travelling on the Ferries
Canada Border Services Agency is screening people entering Canada at the borders. BC Ferries does not have a mandate to restrict travel.
We’re in this together
We are proud of the work our dedicated employees continue to provide during this situation. Crews have been taking, and will continue to take, extra measures to ensure continued safe transport of critical goods and supplies to coastal B.C. communities. If you have a chance to relay a ‘thank-you’ to our teams online, please do.
BC Ferries provides a lifeline to remote and to coastal communities in British Columbia, and will continue to provide vital services, such as delivering medical supplies and groceries to support communities.
For more information on all the steps BC Ferries is taking during COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 response page. For more information on schedules visit bcferries.com/schedules. BC Ferries hopes to resume the levels of service customers have come to expect soon.
Booking ahead and arriving at the terminalReservations are limited and often sell out on our more popular sailings. We strongly recommend that you book ahead if you plan to travel during popular sailing times, including:
- Holiday weekends
- Thursday and Friday afternoons and evenings
- Sunday afternoons
Not all routes can be booked in advance. When you select the route you plan to travel, you will see if it can be booked or not.
- If your route can be booked in advance: you can proceed to complete your booking online
- If your route cannot be booked in advance: you will be able to view the sailing schedule and use our fare calculator to help with your travel planning
IMPORTANT: Check-in times
To avoid missing your sailing, find and view the specific check in times for your departure terminal.
- Check-in time information can be found on terminal pages for foot passengers and all vehicle types, whether travelling with or without a booking
Whether you booked ahead of time or not, your first step upon arriving at the terminal is to check in with a ticket agent.
Paying at the terminal
Our ticket agents can accept these payment options:
- American Express
- BC Ferries Experience™ Card
Self-serve payment stations for foot passengers accept debit, credit card and Experience Cards. They are available at these terminals:
- Victoria (Swartz Bay)
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen)
- Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay)
- Nanaimo (Departure Bay)
- Nanaimo (Duke Point)
- Campbell River
Paying onlineYou can book online using the following payment options:
Note: The following payment options cannot be used for online bookings:
- Gift certificates
- BC Ferries Experience™ Card
- Travel vouchers
- Travel Assistance Program (TAP) passes
Bookings, cancellations and confirmations
When you arrive at the terminal, please let us know that you have a booking, and provide your booking reference number, or the phone number that you used when booking.
When you book online, some routes offer the option of paying the entire fare up-front, including the booking fee, or just paying the booking fee. If you only pay for the booking fee online, the remainder of your fare will be due at the ticketing booth when you arrive at the terminal.
For travel between Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and the Southern Gulf Islands and on our northern routes, full pre-payment of fares is required at the time of booking.
Our ticketing booths accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and debit.
- Change or cancellation fees may apply
Scheduled sailings may need to be cancelled from time-to-time as a result of heavy weather conditions, mechanical difficulties or other unforeseen circumstances. If you check-in for your reservation and the sailing is cancelled, we will make every effort to load you on the next available sailing.
Customers with a reservation on the next scheduled departure will be loaded in advance of customers from the cancelled sailing. If we are unable to load you on the next available sailing, travel will revert to a first-come, first-served basis. If you choose not to travel, your fares will be fully refunded.
If your sailing is cancelled before you check-in, your reservation will be cancelled and your reservation fee will be refunded. Travel will revert to a first-come, first-served basis.
For the most up-to-date departure information please visit current conditions.
Medical Assured Loading Program
The BC Ferries Medical Assured Loading (MAL) program, in conjunction with the BC Government’s Travel Assistance Program (TAP), offers priority loading for those in need of critical medical care.
- A patient’s doctor must apply for Medical Assured Loading through BC Ferries (patients are unable to make the request on their own).
- Those who meet the criteria will be provided with a Medical Assured Loading letter to be presented to the ticket agent at time of check-in.
- Those who meet the criteria are also required to download and complete a Travel Assistance Program (TAP) form.
Waitlists are available on bookable Northern and Southern Gulf Island sailings. If a sailing is full, you can add yourself to a waitlist in case of a cancellation.
- If we can confirm your booking prior to departure, we will contact you with the details.
- If you are still on the waitlist, we recommend you arrive at the terminal a minimum of three hours prior to the scheduled departure time. If customers with confirmed spots don’t arrive for the sailing, we fill their spots with waitlisted customers.
- You can request cabins on your waitlist form.
- If we can confirm your booking prior to departure, we will contact you with the details.
- If we have not confirmed your booking within 24 hours of scheduled departure, you can still consider travelling on a first-come first-serve basis or via Thru Fare. Learn more about Thru Fare.
Find out where and when to check-in, what you can carry on board and more.
Driving on board
What you need to know about travelling on our ferries with a vehicle.
Your small pets, including dogs, cats, birds and more, are welcome on our ferries and ride for free.