We are reminding customers to be mindful of provincial travel restrictions during this difficult time. For the latest traffic updates or terminal conditions, follow @BCFerries, check current conditions, or visit our all routes status page.
For more information on BC's response to floods and landslides and to access a variety of resources, visit the government webpage here.
Canada-wide travel is back and all BC Ferries routes are open for travel.
Extra cleaning and sanitizing measures will remain in place to ensure a safe travel experience for customers and crew.
Following the direction of the Provincial Health Officer, as of October 12:
- Masks are mandatory in all indoor spaces for passengers five and older. This includes indoor areas on board BC Ferries vessels and at terminals.
- Proof of vaccination is not required.
- 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.
Travel to Indigenous communities
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), masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces on board BC Ferries’ vessels and at terminals. Proof of vaccination is not required at this time.
Am I required to wear a mask while in interior spaces (e.g. inside a terminal building, on vehicle decks and inside passenger decks on a ferry)?You are required to wear a mask in all of the following circumstances while in any interior spaces on a BC Ferries ship or at a terminal:
- All indoor spaces and facilities on the terminal
- All vehicle and passenger decks on the ferry
- While moving around the terminal or ferry
- In line-ups
- In seating lounges and waiting rooms
- In designated pet areas
Do I need to provide proof of vaccination to travel with BC Ferries?
Are there any exceptions?
- When you are seated in a vehicle
- When you’re eating or drinking in a designated area for this purpose
- Children under the age of five
- Anyone with an underlying medical condition or disability which prohibits them from wearing a mask
- Persons unable to place or remove a mask or mask without assistance
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. Although masks are mandatory in all indoor spaces at our terminals and on board our ferries, 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 remain in place?
Your safety is our top priority. Measures remain in place 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 continue to use take-out packaging for food and beverage services.
When did BC Ferries revert to 100 per cent passenger capacity?
As of July 1, we 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.
Per Transport Canada safety regulations, passengers loaded on enclosed lower decks are required to leave their vehicle during the sailing.
You can find the regulation in Section 152 of the Cargo, Tackle and Fumigation Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act. For more information, visit tc.gc.ca.
Which ferries does Transport Canada’s regulation apply to?
- 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)
Which routes does Transport Canada’s regulation apply to?
- 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
We’re being told we need to practice physical distancing and you’re forcing us to come upstairs. Why?
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.
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. As of July 1, we have reverted back to 100% passenger capacity on our ferries.
Why are you not reimplementing procedures on the ships on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route?
We received approval from Transport Canada for customers to remain in their vehicle on the main (lower) vehicle deck on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route while travelling on the Queen of Surrey, Queen of Cowichan, Queen of Coquitlam or Queen of Oak Bay ferries (if operating on the route).
The ferries on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route operate in ‘sheltered’ waters as defined by Transport Canada. We received approval from Transport Canada to operate the ferries on that route with the stern doors open and a steel barrier gate across the opening was installed to ensure safety and meet the requirements of an ‘open’ main car deck. At times the ships operate with the stern doors closed, in which case customers on the main car deck must leave their vehicles.
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.
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.
I want to request/book/reserve to be on the upper vehicle deck?
You can request to be on the upper vehicle deck to the ticket agent when you check in and we will try to accommodate your request when possible.
This is not always possible and you may need to wait for the next sailing to get on the upper vehicle deck. 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 bookings are more likely to be loaded on the upper vehicle deck.