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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FAQs - New website

Responding to your questions about our new website


Q. I tried to renew my account but haven't received the activation email. Where is it? 

A. We are aware that when we first launched the website, there were delays with the activation email being sent to customers. We implemented a fix as soon as we could and believe this issue has been resolved. Let us know if you are still experiencing a delay.


Q. I tried to renew or create my account but it will not validate. Why?

A. When creating or renewing an account, you must select the activation link and log in from the same device, preferably one right after the other. Otherwise your account will not validate. For example, if you create or renew an account, and activate the link from your computer and then try and log in for the first time from your mobile device, the process will fail and requires IT intervention to fix it. If this has happened to you, call our Customer Service Centre at 1-888-223-3779.


Q. Where are the Dangerous Goods sailings listed?

A. There is a link to the Dangerous Goods (DG) sailings at the top of the daily and seasonal schedules pages. This is something we recently added.


Q. Why doesn’t the print option print on one page?

A. When we first launched the website we did not have a print button on the schedules pages. We have since added the print button and there are a few improvements we are working on related to the print layout, number of pages printed and the ability to print a round trip on one page. We hope to have these improvements in place by Spring.


Q. There seem to be errors between the daily schedules and the seasonal schedules. Which one is right?

A. There were some discrepancies between the daily schedules and the seasonal schedules when we introduced the new website. The discrepancies with the seasonal schedules have been resolved. 

The daily schedules reflect the planned schedule for the day. For any changes made throughout the day, customers should refer to current conditions or service notices for the most accurate schedules as they incorporate any last minute changes such as potential cancellations, etc. 

We are still working through issues with the daily and seasonal schedules between Victoria (Swartz Bay) and the Southern Gulf Islands, and Inter-Gulf Island sailings. We have temporarily replaced these schedules with an alternate view to provide the accurate information. Thank you for your patience as we work through this issue. If you have a question about which sailing is correct, reach out to us on Twitter @BCFerries or call our Customer Service Centre.


Q. Where can I see thru fare options for the Southern Gulf Islands?

A. The thru fare options for the Southern Gulf Islands are listed on the thru fare page. A link has been added at the top of the daily and seasonal schedule pages for the Southern Gulf Islands. 


Q. Current conditions shows overall space available, but then displays a standard vehicle is “ticketing for tomorrow”. Is this a mistake?

A. Current conditions is not reflecting availability for standard vehicles correctly at points during the day. We are aware of this issue and are working on a fix for this. 

In the meantime, refer to “Total Deck Space Available” for an accurate view of the space available for the sailing. If Current conditions shows overheight space is sold out, this is accurate. The issue is with standard vehicle space. 


Q. I received an error message while trying to make a booking. What should I do?

A. If you received an error message while trying to make or retrieve a booking, let us know. As with any new website, we are working through some issues. Let us know if you experience an issue and we will assist you.


Q. I’m trying to access your website but it’s not working.

A. Check the browser you are using. The website can’t be accessed using Internet Explorer. Many websites no longer support Internet Explorer as a web browser. We suggest using Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge when using our website. We do not support Internet Explorer because it’s not supported by Microsoft and does not provide the security BC Ferries requires for our customers.

 

BC Ferries Vacations

Q. Why don’t I need to book a reservation separately for my BC Ferries Vacations booking?

A. Vacation package prices now include your return ferry reservations on major routes. If at the time of booking you don’t know the time you wish to travel, or can’t find the sailing you want, you can select the Open Ticket option. 

With an Open Ticket, you will travel on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be loaded on the next available sailing in the order you arrive at the terminal. You will not be confirmed on any sailing. This option can be found at the bottom of the sailing selection screen on applicable routes. There is no difference in price if you confirm your sailings versus selecting an Open Ticket.


Q. What are the benefits of creating an account if I am a Vacations customer and don’t use the site on a regular basis?

A. There are many benefits to creating an account if you are a Vacations customer, regardless of whether you book regularly or infrequently.

Within your online account, you’ll have the ability to view your saved quotes, so you can avoid having to recreate past searches. You can also view past and future bookings, and save your contact and payment details to make future bookings easier.

In addition, you can view and manage your ferry-only bookings within the same account, so all of your travel history will be in one place.


Q. I want to make a change to my package. Why do you need to refund and rebook an entirely new package for me?

A. We would be happy to update your booking if your departure date is within our change window. All changes to reserved Southern Route booking must be made more than seventy-two (72) hours prior to the date of travel. All changes to reserved Northern Route bookings must be made more than seven (7) full days prior to the date of travel. Change fees will apply ($100 processing fee for Northern Route bookings; $25 processing fee for Southern Route bookings) for all change requests.

Exceptions may apply depending on the products in your booking—if applicable, these will be highlighted in your original booking confirmation email. 

Due to system limitations, in order to fulfill your change request, we will need to cancel your original booking and issue a refund. After the refund has been processed, we will create a new booking with your updated request and collect payment.


Q. Why can’t I change my departure date for my vacation package online? 

A. You can request an updated departure date online through the Modify Booking form within your account. 

Alternatively, contact one of our Travel Experts at 1-888-223-3779 Ext. 3 for assistance with updating your departure date.