Travel Advisory: COVID-19 Update - Important information - Last updated January 11, 2021 View ×

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.

Learn more about the reinstatement of the Transport Canada regulation

View frequently asked questions

 

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:

  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? 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
  5. 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.

View more details on Transport Canada’s announcement

Book in advance to avoid lengthy waits as sailings are limited. Check-in processing takes longer due to screening protocols in place.
 

Malahat Nation

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.

 

Northern routes

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:

Foot passengers

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 vacations@bcferries.com. Vacations Call Centre business hours are:

  • Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5 pm
  • Weekends and statutory holidays: 9 am – 5 pm

 

Additional information

  • 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
  • Updates from our President and CEO Mark Collins

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.

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Person walking through an orchard farm in Kelowna BC holding a basket to pick apples on a summer day

Kelowna, BC


OVERVIEW

Take a road trip along the scenic Coquihalla Highway to the heart of wine country in the Okanagan Valley to visit Kelowna, known for its sunny climate, golf, wine and orchards. Okanagan Lake is the perfect place to fish, water-ski, canoe, jet-ski, paraglide, or hire a speedboat in the summer, and Big White Ski Resort is the perfect place for all your winter fun.

Kelowna map with BC Ferries routes and nearby cities in Thompson Okanagan

Top things to do

Explore activities

Uncorked Okanagan Wine Tours - Celebrate Fun on the Westside Tour

If you’re a wannabe sommelier, or just enjoy the taste of award-winning Okanagan wines, join a five-to-six hour guided winery tour to several of Kelowna’s top wineries. Sit back and relax as you are driven around in the comfort of an air-conditioned mini-coach.

Tour highlights:

  • Visit five unique local wineries and learn how wine is made.
  • Sample up to 20 local wines, from chardonnays, to merlots, to dessert wines and everything in-between.
  • Stop for delicious lunch at a local restaurant along the way (lunch not included in tour price) 

 

Learn more >

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per adult

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Uncorked Okanagan Wine Tours - Westside Friday Photo Funday Tour

Kickstart the weekend with a fun tour of four award-winning Kelowna wineries. All wineries overlook stunning Okanagan Lake—ideal for selfies, landscapes and group photos. Bring your camera and travel in style on this four-hour guided tour in a comfy air-conditioned mini-coach. Tour highlights • Visit four top local wineries and learn how wine is made. • Sample local cheeses and over 15 different red, white, rose and dessert wines. • Get ready to say "cheese" the best moments of the day will be photographed by the tour guide and shared with you on Facebook. Important: • Any cancellation prior to 7 days will incur a $20 fee per person • No refunds available for any changes or cancellations made within 7 days. Availability: • Uncorked Okanagan Wine Tours - Westside Friday Photo Funday Tour is available to experience between April and October
Learn more >

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Nearby cities

Two bikers cycle past a vineyard while enjoying the views of the Penticton and the mountains across Okanagan Lake

Penticton

Drive to the centre of the famous Okanagan wine region to visit Penticton, a four-season recreational hub for water activities, tasty food and wine, plus head to Apex Mountain Resort for all your winter fun. You can enjoy an enchanting blend of small-town atmosphere and urban amenities, while surrounded by a backdrop of breathtaking lake and mountain vistas. 

The exterior of Predator Ridge Resort surrounded by golf courses and mountains in Vernon British Columbia

Vernon

Adventure to the Okanagan’s oldest city to enjoy year-round activities from hiking trails full of beautiful spring blooms, to an abundance of freshwater lake activities in the summer, to tasting fall’s delicious harvests, to skiing on SilverStar Mountain in the winter, to relaxing and enjoying the scenic views any time of year—there’s something for everyone.

The scenic view of Osoyoo and surrounding mountains from Haynes Point at swiws Provincial Park in British Columbia

Osoyoos

Surrounded by an endangered desert ecosystem, Osoyoos is a vibrant, picturesque town with rich Indigenous culture and an abundance of vineyards with world-class wines.

Hiker hiking local trails surrounded by luscious plants blue lake and large mountains in Kamloops Thompson Okanagan

Kamloops

Travel along the scenic Coquihalla Highway to visit Kamloops, where the North and South Thompson Rivers meet. The central location of Kamloops provides the perfect pit stop on longer journeys, and somewhere that’s not too far from home when you want to get away for a few days. With four seasons of activities to choose from, there’s something for everyone year round.


 
 
 

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