October 3, 2022
Extra Sailings and Travel Tips for Thanksgiving Long Weekend
6 a.m. departures on select days between Vancouver and Victoria
VICTORIA – For customers travelling between Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, BC Ferries is adding 85 extra sailings for the upcoming Thanksgiving long weekend to ensure smooth sailing. More than 420,000 passengers and 160,000 vehicles are expected to travel across the system from Thursday through Tuesday.
Between Thursday, October 6 and Tuesday, October 11, BC Ferries is adding:
- 66 extra sailings on the Vancouver – Victoria route (Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay), the most popular route in the fleet, including:
- 6:00 a.m. departures from Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen on October 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11
- 12 extra sailings on the West Vancouver – Nanaimo route (Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay)
- 7 extra sailings on the West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast route (Horseshoe Bay – Langdale)
Extra service is also being added for Southern Gulf Island customers (Salt Spring, Pender, Mayne, Galiano and Saturna Islands). These travellers are reminded that a modified schedule will be in effect on October 10 to accommodate heavy traffic. Passengers travelling from Tsawwassen to the Southern Gulf Islands also have the option of sailing via Swartz Bay terminal. Foot passenger reservations are also available for customers travelling from Tsawwassen to the Southern Gulf Islands.
Customers can take advantage of Saver fares which can be booked on select off-peak sailings on many routes. They are the most affordable fare choice and help reduce the pressure on long line ups at peak travel times.
The Thanksgiving long weekend is typically the most popular weekend of the year for walk-on passengers. At peak times, some sailings may reach passenger capacity and some walk-on customers may experience a sailing wait. Walk-on passengers can make a free booking on the three routes connecting Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island as well as on the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route.
BC Ferries appreciates the professionalism of staff and the patience of customers as the company navigates one of the busiest long weekends of the year. Abusive behaviour will not be tolerated and everyone is encouraged to be respectful, kind, calm, and safe.
Thanksgiving Long Weekend Travel Tips
- Book in advance – Book early to secure a spot on the sailing time of your choice. Book online at bcferries.com. Customers with advance bookings do not experience sailing waits, even when multiple waits are reported.
- Customers travelling with vehicles without an advance booking will likely experience sailing waits at peak times. The best option to avoid sailing waits is to travel during less busy times. These are typically mid-week days and early morning or late evening sailings.
- Ride-share, if possible – Customers are encouraged to carpool or travel as a foot passenger. Vehicle deck space fills up quickly.
- Travel the coast car free - Take public transit to and from major terminals. For schedule information visit TransLink or BC Transit.
- Consider parking options – Parking lots at the major terminals also fill up quickly on long weekends. If possible, choose public transit or arrange to be dropped off at the terminal to avoid traffic congestion. Parking lot status by terminal is provided via Twitter @BCFerries and on our website.
- Arrive early – Customers with advance bookings should plan to arrive at the terminal 45-60 minutes before their scheduled departure. Walk-on passengers should arrive 45 minutes early for their anticipated sailing. If you have an important appointment or connection with another ferry or flight, travel on an earlier ferry.
- It's always a good idea to check current conditions, service notices and travel advisories on BC Ferries' website before heading to the terminal and review the routes-at-a-glance page.
For full schedule information, travel tips, current conditions and vehicle and walk-on passenger bookings, click here. For the most up-to-date travel information, follow @BCFerries on Twitter.
BC Ferries, Media Relations
Victoria: (250) 978-1267
Victoria: (250) 410-1465
Toll-free: 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779)
Note to newsrooms: For urgent media inquiries off-hours, call our off-hours line at (250) 516-7211.