July 26, 2021
BC Ferries offers travel tips for B.C. Day long weekend
VICTORIA – The B.C. Day long weekend is just around the corner and BC Ferries offers travel tips for customers planning to take a ferry between Thursday, July 29 and Tuesday, August 3.
Historically, this weekend sees the highest traffic volumes of the year. The most popular travel times are Thursday and Friday afternoon, as well as Saturday morning, with lots of travellers departing from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals. B.C. Day Monday and the following Tuesday morning are typically the most popular times for people to return from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.
B.C. Day Long Weekend Travel Tips
- Book in advance – Book early to secure a spot at the sailing time of your choice. Customers with flexibility can travel at less busy times to avoid the rush. Book online at bcferries.com. Customers with a booking do not experience sailing waits.
- Consider alternate ferry routes – Customers planning to travel on the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route without a reservation should travel on either the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay or Tsawwassen – Duke Point route instead.
- Be prepared for sailing waits – Sailing waits are common during popular travel periods. If reservations 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.
- Easy check-in – BC Ferries is rolling out mobile check-in Langdale, Horseshoe Bay, Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay terminals to improve the check in process for our customers. There are occasions at the major terminals where checking in at the booth is unable to meet the demand of arriving traffic, causing traffic to backup beyond the pre-ticketing areas. The mobile check-in devices may also be used for foot passengers. These devices will provide terminal staff an additional option to check-in customers, which will speed up the check-in process overall. Follow traffic control flaggers and have your booking reference number ready upon arrival at the ticket booth to speed up the check-in process if you have an advanced booking. Watch for pedestrians and drive with care while navigating the terminals and vehicle decks.
- Arrive early – Customers with an advanced 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.
- Consider parking options – Parking lots at the major terminals fill up quickly on summer weekends. 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.
- Enclosed vehicle decks – Passengers in vehicles on enclosed vehicle decks must leave their vehicles during the sailing to comply with Transport Canada’s safety regulation. Passengers in vehicles on open vehicle decks are welcome to stay in their cars for the duration of the voyage.
- Keep hydrated – Bring plenty of water for you and your pets. Terminal holding compounds can reach high temperatures while waiting to board a ferry. Hats and sunscreen are always a good idea. BC Ferries makes every effort to get traffic inside the holding compounds, however during peak periods, customers may have to wait outside the terminal where access to amenities is extremely limited. Please plan ahead.
- Safe summer travel – Customer and crew safety is our top priority. Measures will remain in place to keep you safe and moving this summer including: plexiglass barriers, enhanced cleaning measures, sanitizer stations and ventilation to maximize the flow of fresh air. Masks are recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated. This includes BC Ferries vessels and terminals. High traffic volumes can be stressful for both customers and employees. We do not tolerate any abuse, including verbal abuse, towards employees. Our employees are doing their best to meet everyone’s needs and we take this matter seriously. We will deny service to any customer who abuses an employee.
- Saver fares – This summer, travel for less with BC Ferries’ new Saver fare from $49 for a standard vehicle and driver, including a free booking. Saver fares are available on select sailings on the three routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Take advantage of the savings today – book online to secure a spot. Availability is limited and Saver fares may sell out.
- Over-height Saver fares – Customers in private passenger vehicles over seven feet in height who book in advance can save on select sailings on the Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay) and Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Nanaimo (Duke Point) routes for travel from now through Oct. 13. Overheight vehicles also can save 50 per cent per additional foot over 20 ft.
For full schedule information, current conditions, reservations and promotional offers, please visit bcferries.com. 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 emergency line at (250) 516-7211.