December 9, 2021
BC Ferries adds more than 160 extra sailings for the holidays
VICTORIA – There’s no place like home for the holidays, and BC Ferries is adding 167 extra sailings to make travel easier for customers sailing between Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.
Between December 17 and January 3, BC Ferries is adding:
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) - Victoria (Swartz Bay) – 128 added sailings (Dec 17-Jan 3)
- Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) - Nanaimo (Departure Bay) – 33 added sailings (Dec 19-28)
- Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) - Sunshine Coast (Langdale) – 6 added sailings (Dec 23-27)
Historically, the most popular travel times over the holidays before Christmas Day are between Dec. 20 and 23 for traffic moving from the Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals to Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. The most popular travel days over the holidays after Christmas Day will be Dec. 26 and 27, with traffic returning from the Departure Bay, Swartz Bay and Langdale terminals. BC Ferries is also adding a number of additional sailings between Tsawwassen and the Southern Gulf Islands.
Holiday Travel Tips
- Book in advance – Book early to secure a spot on the sailing day and time of your choice. Customers with flexibility in their travel plans can sail at off-peak times to avoid the rush, and take advantage of Saver fares on select sailings. Travel on a Saver fare from $49 one-way between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, including a free booking, or for $39 return between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale, including a free one-way booking departing Horseshoe Bay. Book online at bcferries.com.
- Arrive early – Customers with a booking should plan to arrive at the terminal 45-60 minutes before their scheduled departure. Walk-on passengers should arrive 45 minutes before their anticipated sailing. Please refer to current conditions and plan accordingly.
- Be prepared for sailing waits if not booked in advance – Sailing waits are common during popular travel periods. If bookings are sold out, 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. The best times to travel without a booking are posted on the Travel Planning pages at bcferries.com.
Did you know? A sailing wait only applies to people without a booking, when a vessel has reached capacity. Customers with a booking are guaranteed to be on their sailing of choice.
- Consider parking options – Parking lots at the major terminals fill up quickly at peak periods. If possible, choose public transit or arrange to be dropped off at the terminal to avoid traffic congestion. When parking lots fill up, BC Ferries informs customers via Twitter @BCFerries and on the website.
- For customers looking to get away this holiday season, BC Ferries Vacations is offering a 3rd night free when you book a 2-night package including hotel and return ferry. Choose from destinations like Victoria, Vancouver, Tofino, Parksville and more. Book by January 3 for travel by March 31, 2022.
- Make the holidays magical – BC Ferries’ gift certificates make great stocking stuffers, and are available in Passages. Get your shopping done on board at Passages as well.
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 emergency pager at (250) 516-7211.