Travel advisory: Multiple advisories in effect. Check before you travel.View ×
Our crews are ready to welcome all passengers back on board this summer.
Extra cleaning and sanitizing measures will remain in place to ensure a safe travel experience for everyone.
Following the direction of the Provincial Health Officer, as of July 1:
- Masks are recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated. This includes BC Ferries vessels and terminals.
- Proof of vaccination is not required
- Everyone’s level of comfort and tolerance for risk will be different. Some people may wish to wear a mask, some may not
- Be respectful of others’ personal space and continue to practice good hygiene, including frequent handwashing
- If you or anyone in your family feel sick stay home and get tested
- Find more information on BC’s Restart Plan and how it impacts your travel plans
We’re asking customers to continue to heed Dr. Bonnie Henry's advice to be kind, be calm, and be safe. BC Ferries does not tolerate any abuse, including verbal abuse, towards its employees. Any customer who abuses an employee will be denied service. BC Ferries does not tolerate any abuse, including verbal abuse, towards its employees. Any customer who abuses an employee will be denied service.
Travel to Indigenous communities
Based on BC's Restart Plan, most Indigenous communities in BC started accepting visitors as of June 15th. Haida Gwaii will start to accept visitors from BC and across Canada from July 1st onwards.
Before you arrive, we recommend you check the latest information from the accommodation, activity and local transportation businesses you plan to visit.
Indigenous Tourism BC has a list of Indigenous communities and experiences in the province that are currently open and welcoming visitors, including tips on how to visit responsibly. View the list here.
BC Ferries Vacations™ customers
We are here to help you start planning a safe return to exploring coastal BC.
To speak to an agent about travel opportunities, contact us at 1-888-223-3779 Ext. 3, or email email@example.com.
Vacations Call Centre business hours are:
- Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5 pm
- Weekends and statutory holidays: 9 am – 5 pm
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to wear a mask?
Following the direction of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and Phase 3 of BC’s Restart plan, masks are recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated. This includes indoor areas on board BC Ferries’ vessels and at terminals. Proof of vaccination is not required.
What should I do if someone is not wearing a mask indoors?
Based on the guidelines from the PHO, masks are recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated. This includes BC Ferries vessels and terminals. Everyone’s level of comfort and tolerance for risk will be different. Some people may want to wear a mask, some may not.
Will I be asked if my travel is essential or screened for COVID-19
Canada-wide recreational travel is now permitted and COVID-19 screening is no longer a requirement based on phase 3 of BC’s Restart plan. If you or your accompanying travellers feel sick, stay home and get tested.
Is physical distancing of 2 metres still required?
For your safety, careful social contact is still recommended. Be respectful and give people space when possible. Depending on your comfort level, consider wearing a mask and enjoying your journey on outer decks where there is typically more space to exercise careful social contact.
What safety measures will remain in place this summer?
Your safety is our top priority. Measures will remain in place this summer to keep you safe and moving including: plexiglass barriers, enhanced cleaning measures, sanitizer stations and adequate ventilation to maximize the flow of fresh air. We will continue to use take-out packaging for food and beverage services.
Will BC Ferries be adding extra sailings this summer?
We are adding hundreds of extra sailings across the fleet this summer to accommodate expected demand and we will be operating at pre-pandemic levels.
When will BC Ferries revert to 100 per cent passenger capacity?
As of July 1, we have reverted back to 100% passenger capacity on our ferries.
Will BC Ferries be offering any incentives to bring people back onto the ferry system?Saver fares as low as $49 are available on select sailings on the three major routes connecting Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island. We also offer an over-height promotion on select sailings between Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay) and Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Nanaimo (Duke Point). Summer getaways with a third night free are available through BC Ferries Vacations.
Reimplementation of procedures for Transport Canada regulation re: Passenger access to closed car decks. Your questions, answered.
As of Sept. 30, 2020, Transport Canada is rescinding the temporary flexibility it granted to ferry operators allowing passengers to remain in their vehicle on closed vehicle decks. Transport Canada granted this flexibility in the spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q. Which ferries does BC Ferries’ reimplementation of procedures for Transport Canada’s regulation apply to?
As of Sept. 30, BC Ferries will reimplement its procedures for Transport Canada’s regulation on the following ferries:
- Spirit of British Columbia
- Spirit of Vancouver Island
- Coastal Renaissance
- Coastal Inspiration
- Coastal Celebration
- Queen of Alberni
- Queen of Coquitlam (while operating on Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route)
- Queen of Cowichan (while operating on the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route)
- Queen of New Westminster
- Queen of Oak Bay (if operating on Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route)
- Salish Orca
- Salish Eagle
- Salish Raven
- Northern Expedition
- Northern Adventure
- Northern Sea Wolf (Not currently in operation)
As of Sept. 30, BC Ferries will reimplement its procedures for Transport Canada’s regulation on the following routes:
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay)
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Nanaimo (Duke Point)
- Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Nanaimo (Departure Bay)
- Powell River (Westview) – Comox (Little River)
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Southern Gulf Islands
BC Ferries must comply with Transport Canada regulations. The company supports the regulation and its intent. Closed car decks are spaces that represent inherent risk to the travelling public. During the pandemic these risks were mitigated with additional safety procedures and patrols. Transport Canada has now advised us that measures have been developed and implemented to prevent the spread of the disease in all transportation modes and businesses across Canada. They have further advised the marine safety case for ending the practice of permitting people to remain in their vehicles on a closed car deck is clear.
BC Ferries has implemented the measures to which Transport Canada refers above. This includes additional cleaning, sanitization, physical distancing and mandatory wearing of face coverings indoors at our terminals and onboard ferries. The company will also reopen certain areas of the ferries, such as the Pacific Buffet area on the Spirit Class ferries, for seating only, as a way to provide passengers more space for physical distancing. Buffet food service is not being reintroduced at this time.
If you have concerns about the regulation, contact Transport Canada directly. The regulation can be found in Section 152 of the Cargo, Tackle and Fumigation Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act. For more information, visit tc.gc.ca.
Q. Have you reduced your average passenger capacity because more customers are coming upstairs?
When COVID-19 began, BC Ferries operated at 50 per cent passenger capacity as per Transport Canada requirements. After implementing additional safety measures, such as mandatory face coverings, the company shifted towards an average of 70 per cent passenger capacity on board ferries.
Q. Why are you not reimplementing procedures on the ships on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route?
BC Ferries received approval from Transport Canada for customers on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale to remain in their vehicle on the main (lower) vehicle deck while underway on the Queen of Surrey, Queen of Cowichan, Queen of Coquitlam or Queen of Oak Bay, if operating on the route.
The ferries on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route operate in ‘sheltered’ waters as defined by Transport Canada. BC Ferries received approval from Transport Canada to operate the ferries on that route with the stern doors open, which makes the deck an ‘open’ vehicle deck. The company added a new steel barrier gate across the opening to ensure safety and meet the requirements of an ‘open’ main car deck. There may be situations where the ships operate with the stern doors closed, in which case customers on the main car deck will be required to leave their vehicle.
Q. Why is the upper (open) vehicle deck not cleared of all passengers, surely the same reasons for the lower (closed) deck to be cleared can be used on the upper deck?
The regulation is in place to support passenger safety in the event of an accident and only applies to closed vehicle decks. This is due to a variety of factors, such as passengers being further away from an evacuation area in the rare event of an emergency. The upper vehicle deck is not a part of the regulation, primarily due to being open to the external environment.
Q. Are any vehicles exempt and why?
Broadly speaking, the vehicles that do not have to comply are vehicles that due to the nature of operation require their operators to be present, including but not limited to: ambulances, other emergency vehicles and livestock carriers.
Q. I want to request/book/reserve to be on the upper vehicle deck?
Customers can request to be on the upper vehicle deck by letting the Ticket Agent know when they check-in. BC Ferries will try and accommodate your request where possible. However, this is not always possible and may result in a customer needing to wait for the next sailing. The final decision to load a vehicle on the upper or lower car deck rests with the Loading Officer who is responsible for the safe stowage of all vehicles/cargo. Passengers with reservations are more likely to be loaded on the upper car deck.
Q. What are you going to do if I refuse to get out of my vehicle?
BC Ferries’ employees will inform you of the Transport Canada regulation and your responsibility to comply. We remind customers legally they must follow the federal regulation and we expect our customers to comply. Enforcement action in the event of non-compliance is Transport Canada’s responsibility.