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For Immediate Release
0-020
May 25, 2020

BC Ferries resumes service on Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay route

Four daily roundtrips available as of June 3 – Reservations Strongly Recommended


VICTORIA – BC Ferries is actively working on plans to resume service throughout the fleet and is starting by resuming service on the Nanaimo (Departure Bay) – Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) route on June 3. The route will start with four round trips per day to support the movement of goods and people to coastal communities.

“In order to support coastal B.C. and respond to the need of British Columbians, we are gradually and safely restoring our service,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “Demand has increased such that resuming service on the Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay route better serves the needs of customers.”

The daily schedule on the Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay route will be:

  • From Horseshoe Bay: 8:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:50 pm, 6:50 pm
  • From Departure Bay: 10:30 am, 12:50 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:50 pm

BC Ferries’ priority is the health and safety of our customers and employees, and the company will strictly adhere to provincial and federal guidelines during this gradual resumption of service. The company is following the directives and guidance provided by the Province of B.C. and Transport Canada. Safety measures in place include limiting passenger capacity by 50 per cent to support physical distancing, allowing customers to remain in their vehicles during the sailing on all car decks, enhanced cleaning and screening of travellers.

The Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay sailings will operate at a 50 per cent passenger capacity as per Transport Canada guidelines to help support physical distancing. BC Ferries strongly recommends customers intending to travel on that route consider the following:
 
  • Due to reduced capacity on the route, make an advanced booking to guarantee your travel.
  • Arrive at the terminal at least an hour before your sailing. Check-in processing is currently longer due to the need to screen customers prior to travel.
  • Foot passengers should arrive well in advance because passenger capacity is limited.
  • Travel on an alternative route if possible, such as the Tsawwassen – Duke Point or Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay routes.
  • Check Current Conditions on bcferries.com or follow @BCFerries on Twitter for the most up-to-date service information.
Existing bookings made by customers on the Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay route between June 3 and July 1 will be cancelled and the reservation fee refunded as sailing times have changed. BC Ferries will contact these customers directly. Those passengers who wish to book on a new sailing can book online or call 1-888-223-3779.

The resumption of service on the Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay route brings back three routes operating out of Horseshoe Bay. As of June 3, schedules on the Horseshoe Bay – Snug Cove and Horseshoe Bay – Langdale routes will be adjusted to reduce the possibility of berth congestion. Some sailings are earlier or later than the previous schedules. The schedule on the Earls Cove – Saltery Bay route will also be adjusted to ensure connectivity for customers. Please visit bcferries.com/schedules for full schedule details.

These service level adjustments mean BC Ferries can begin recalling some of its skilled employees to help restore this service. “Through this challenging time, our employees have demonstrated courage and determination to support coastal ferry service,” added Collins. “I want to thank them for their continued dedication and the care they’ve shown for each other and the communities we serve.”

As this situation is evolving, BC Ferries encourages customers to monitor the website for any additional changes to service. For full details on service changes and the measures BC Ferries is taking in response to COVID-19, visit bcferries.com.
 
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Media Contact:
BC Ferries, Media Relations
Victoria: (250) 978-1267

Customer Contact:
Victoria: (250) 386-3431
Toll-free: 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779)

British Columbia Ferry Services Inc., 500-1321 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC V8W 0B7
Note to newsrooms: For urgent media inquiries off-hours, call our emergency pager at (250) 516-7211.