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For Immediate Release
20-054
Oct. 5, 2020

Travel safely with BC Ferries this Thanksgiving Long Weekend

Wear a face covering to protect yourself and others, spread out on the ferry and stay in your vehicle on upper vehicle deck

VICTORIA – Customers planning to travel this Thanksgiving long weekend and explore coastal B.C. can do so safely with BC Ferries, here’s how:

Travel tips:
  • Book in advance. This guarantees you get on the sailing of your choice. BC Ferries recently launch a new mobile-friendly website that makes it simpler for customers to book and manage their bookings online. For full schedule information, current conditions and bookings, please visit the new bcferries.com.
     
  • Wear your face covering. For your safety, and the health and safety of other passengers and crew, BC Ferries requires all customers to wear non-medical masks or face coverings at terminals and while on board ferries. There are some exceptions listed on bcferries.com. Customers who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition may be asked to provide a medical certificate.
     
  • If you are travelling without a booking, you may experience sailing waits during popular sailing times. If you’d like to have a shorter wait, here are some of the less busy times you can travel from Oct. 8 – Oct. 12:
     
    • For the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route, the 9:10 pm and 11:20 pm sailings departing Horseshoe Bay, and the 6:20 am and 10:15 pm departing Langdale.
       
    • For the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route, the 6:30 am and 10:10 pm sailings departing Horseshoe Bay, and the 6:30 am departing Departure Bay.
       
  • Spread out on the ferry and enjoy the amenities. BC Ferries has opened up additional space on board for customers to spread out and maintain physical distancing. “Grab and go” limited hot food and items are available on select vessels and routes. Grab a bite and take it back to your vehicle on the upper deck, to one of the passenger areas or the outer decks.
     
  • If you’re travelling by foot, BC Ferries recommends you arrive early and be prepared for the weather. For the safety of passengers, BC Ferries cannot permit crowding in its foot passenger areas so some passengers may be required to queue outdoors. As we have moved into the cooler fall weather, please check the forecast and bring an umbrella if necessary. Some sailings may reach passenger capacity, meaning foot passengers may also experience a sailing wait, and BC Ferries wants you to be comfortable.
     
  • Know before you go. The most popular travel times are generally Thursday and Friday afternoon, as well as Saturday morning, with many travellers departing from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals. Historically, the Sunday, Thanksgiving Monday and the following Tuesday morning are popular times for people to return from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast via Langdale, Departure Bay, Duke Point and Swartz Bay terminals.
     
  • For customers looking to get away safely this Thanksgiving long weekend, BC Ferries Vacations is offering a free room upgrade at over 40 hotels when you book a 2-night package including return ferry travel. Choose from destinations like Victoria, Ucluelet, Vancouver or the Southern Gulf Islands. To book or find out more about BC Ferries Vacations packages, visit bcferries.com/vacations or drop by the BC Ferries Vacations Centre in downtown Vancouver at 1010 Canada Place.
     
  • Passengers travelling on enclosed vehicle decks are required to leave their vehicles during the sailing to comply with Transport Canada’s regulation. At this time of year, the enclosed decks remain cool and there are pet areas on the upper decks for passengers with pets, as well as plenty of space on board.
     
The health and safety of employees and customers is BC Ferries’ top priority, and the company assures customers it continues to have many additional measures in place for your safety and to prevent the spread of illness, including:
 
  • Transport Canada COVID-19 screening is in effect. Please arrive at least an hour before your sailing as it can take a little longer at check in.
     
  • Mandatory face coverings on board and at our terminals. This is for your safety, as well as the health and safety of other passengers and our crew.
     
  • Additional preventive measures including support for physical distancing, allowing customers to remain in their vehicles on upper (open) vehicle decks during the sailing, enhanced cleaning and physical barriers. Tap & Pay is encouraged and available on board and at our terminals for contactless payment.
     
BC Ferries does not tolerate any abuse, including verbal abuse, towards its employees. Please remember employees there to get you to your destination safely. BC Ferries takes this matter seriously, and a customer who abuses an employee, including verbal abuse, will be denied service. Let’s continue to heed Dr. Bonnie Henry’s sage advice: to be kind, be calm and be safe.
 
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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)

Note to newsrooms: For urgent media inquiries off-hours, call our emergency line at (250) 516-7211.