BC Ferries remains committed to ensuring coastal communities have reliable access to essential goods and supplies. Our priority is the health and safety of our customers and employees, and the company will strictly adhere to provincial and federal guidelines.
We encourage our customers to continue to heed Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice to be calm, be kind, and be safe. Our vessel and terminal staff are working hard to adjust to changing circumstances and to implement protocols and procedures that keep everyone safe and healthy. BC Ferries does not tolerate any abuse, including verbal abuse, towards its employees. A customer who abuses an employee will be denied service.
On February 5, 2021 Dr. Bonnie Henry announced an update to the COVID-19 restrictions (in effect November 7 until further notice), for more information click here. BC Ferries advises customers to avoid non-essential travel at this time – this includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. If this new Provincial Health Officer restriction affects your travel plans please contact us to change or cancel your booking. Reservations fees for existing bookings will be refunded if travel must be cancelled as a result of Provincial Health Order (PHO) travel restrictions, please contact us in advance of travel. This applies to travel occurring during the PHO travel restriction period.
Masks are mandatory
All passengers must wear non-medical masks or face coverings when at terminals and on board ferries except:
- When inside a vehicle
- When consuming food or drinks, provided physical distancing is maintained
- Children under 2 years of age
- Medical condition or disability that inhibits the ability to wear a mask
- Persons unable to place or remove a mask without assistance
- BC Ferries employees working behind a physical barrier or within employee only areas provided physical distancing is maintained
* In the event that a passenger cannot wear a mask or face covering due to medical reasons, BC Ferries may require passengers to present documentation from a healthcare professional. This is a new Transport Canada requirement for ferry operators across Canada.
Passengers are reminded to continue to maintain physical distance while wearing a mask.
As defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, a mask should fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops, be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen) and be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping.
Transport Canada - Closed deck regulation - reinstatement on September 30th
The temporary flexibility Transport Canada granted ferry operators that allows passengers to remain in their vehicle on enclosed vehicle decks is being rescinded by the regulator on September 30th, 2020. Transport Canada allowed this temporary flexibility earlier this summer in response to COVID-19. BC Ferries must comply with Transport Canada regulations. Starting on September 30th, passengers loaded on enclosed lower decks will be required to leave their vehicles.
Transport Canada - COVID-19 screening
For any route longer than 30 minutes, BC Ferries will screen all customers for COVID-19 symptoms and restrict travel to any customer that does not meet the screening requirements, as per the federal guidelines.
Prior to entering a BC Ferries’ terminal, customers need to answer the following questions:
- Do you have a fever and a cough?
- Do you have a fever and breathing difficulty?
- Have you been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19?
- Are you the subject of a provincial/territorial or local public health order? Note: A provincial/territorial or local public health order is typically a quarantine order issued to a person who has tested positive or is presumed positive to COVID-19
- Are you in possession of a face covering that covers your mouth and nose, and do you agree to wear this covering when outside your vehicle at terminals and while on board ferries?
If you answer yes to any of questions 1 to 4 and/or no to question 5 above, or refuse to answer any of the questions, BC Ferries will deny you boarding. Customers not displaying symptoms and under a directive to self-isolate at home may be permitted on board but will be required to maintain physical distance by remaining in their vehicle.
BC Ferries has implemented measures in order to ensure that customers with serious medical conditions and a need for time sensitive treatments are able to continue to travel. Customers can communicate their travel needs to the ticket agent when they arrive at the terminal. Reservations are recommended, but non-reserved travel will be prioritized based on the essential travel needs.
Book in advance to avoid lengthy waits as sailings are limited. Check-in processing takes longer due to screening protocols in place.
Malahat Nation is currently under a Shelter in Place order that took effect January 8, 2021.
We ask that all Mill Bay ferry customers please wear a mask when on, or transiting to BC Ferries Mill Bay terminal outside of a vehicle. Commuting customers please see the request below from Malahat Nation regarding parking on Mill Bay Road.
For further information, please see malahatnation.com.
For more information on our current Northern schedules, visit bcferries.com/schedules.
Many communities served by BC Ferries have issued advisories to travelers notifying them of limited supplies, healthcare equipment and resources. These communities include Haida Gwaii, Bella Bella, Klemtu, and Bella Coola. Customers should inform themselves of local situations and remain committed to essential travel only.
For more information about travel and restrictions in these northern communities, see:
- For Haida Gwaii: haidanation.ca
- For Bella Coola: bellacoola.ca
- For Bella Bella: heiltsuknation.ca
- For Klemtu please see: klemtu.com
When travelling, we require customers wear a face covering onboard or in our terminals. Reservations for foot passengers are available for travel between Tsawwassen - Southern Gulf Islands and our North Coast routes, and can now be made online. On all other routes, foot passengers will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis until passenger capacity has been reached, and tickets may be purchased at the terminal.
BC Ferries Vacations
Customers with BC Ferries Vacation bookings affected by the COVID-19 restrictions (in effect November 7 until further notice) can contact us to change or cancel their booking. If you require immediate assistance, please contact BC Ferries Vacations at 1-888-223-3779 Ext. 3, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Vacations Call Centre business hours are:
- Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5 pm
- Weekends and statutory holidays: 9 am – 5 pm
Customers requiring wheelchair assistance: We are unable to provide wheelchair assistance at terminals or on board ferries. If you require a wheelchair, request one at the terminal. We ask that you travel with your own wheelchair assistant if required.
- For more information on travelling with BC Ferries during the COVID-19 Pandemic click here
Vehicles with U.S. license plates travelling on the Ferries
Canada Border Services Agency is screening people entering Canada at the borders. BC Ferries does not have a mandate to restrict travel.
We’re in this together
We are proud of the work our dedicated employees continue to provide during this situation. Crews have been taking, and will continue to take, extra measures to ensure continued safe transport of critical goods and supplies to coastal B.C. communities. If you have a chance to relay a ‘thank-you’ to our teams online, please do.
BC Ferries provides a lifeline to remote and to coastal communities in British Columbia, and will continue to provide vital services, such as delivering medical supplies and groceries to support communities.
For more information on all the steps BC Ferries is taking during COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 response page. For more information on schedules visit bcferries.com/schedules. BC Ferries hopes to resume the levels of service customers have come to expect soon.
About this ferry
The Coastal Renaissance provides regular ferry service between:
- Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) and Nanaimo (Departure Bay)
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and Victoria (Swartz Bay)
Note: Due to COVID-19 not all amenities are currently open. Learn more about which amenities are open.
As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, operational guidelines call for regular and frequent safety drills for all crew members on every ferry.
Over 1,000 drills will be conducted this year to ensure the highest safety standards for our ferries and crews.
In the event of an emergency, always follow the instructions of ferry’s personnel.
Important: in the case of an emergency, elevators are not available and vehicle access may be prohibited.
The following signals are used to crew members to an emergency:
Continuous ringing of the alarm bell.
- Person overboard
Three long soundings of the whistle and general alarm bell. Keep outer decks clear where rescue operations are underway.
- Boat/Raft stations
Seven (or more) short soundings, followed by one long sounding of the ferry’s general alarm and/or whistle.
Signals will be followed by an announcement explaining the nature of the emergency. If you hear a signal, don’t panic. Our crew will take immediate charge of the situation and clearly explain exactly what to do.
If the ferry needs to be evacuated, double track inflatable slides, similar to those used for passenger aircraft, can be deployed by crew members from Deck 5.
Using the same basic principles as playground slides, and looking much like them, the inflatable slides are easy for all passengers to use by sliding quickly down to a life raft.
There are 22 rafts, including four platform rafts:
- 20 of them are capable of carrying 100 passengers
- Two of them are capable of carrying 50 passengers
In total, the life rafts can accommodate more people than the maximum the ferry can carry.
Should there ever be a need to evacuate the ferry, crew members will direct you to an evacuation area.
This ferry carries two six-person rescue boats on Deck 5 to assist in towing life rafts, to respond to emergencies, and to help passengers to safety.
Life jackets are stowed in marked lockers:
- Outside Deck 5
- Inside Deck 6
Three sizes of life jackets are available:
- One for infants less than 33 pounds (15 kg)
- One for children up to 90 pounds (41 kg)
- One for adults
In the unlikely event of an emergency, crew members will instruct you on the proper use of your life jacket.
Fire extinguishers are located in all interior passenger areas, plus:
- Manual pull stations throughout the ferry
- A manual water deluge system on the vehicle decks
- Water mist fire suppression locally over the machinery and throughout the hull (2 systems)
- Water mist throughout the passenger areas and service spaces
- Chemical fire suppression over the Galley equipment
Fire suppression in both machinery and passenger spaces employs a state-of-the-art Hi-Fog water mist system that produces a thick fog of tiny water droplets to smother a potential fire.
The fire doors in public passageways on vehicle decks are smart. Open while in port for passenger convenience, the doors close automatically when the ferry is underway or when heat is detected. The force required to open the doors increases if heat levels rise above set temperatures. In addition to their automatic features, the doors can be controlled remotely from the bridge.
This ferry meets all Canadian stability requirements including the TP 10943 (SOLAS ’90 (Safety of Life at Sea)) damage stability standards for two compartment damage.
There are 17 separate compartments in the hull, plus eight independent machinery spaces, for a total of 25 watertight compartments. And eight automated watertight doors are fitted.
Watertight integrity is monitored continuously from the bridge. The main engines are in two independent Engine Rooms. The lower car deck is also watertight, with the bow and stern doors closing to form a seal with the deck.
All watertight opening and hatches are inspected, tested, and serviced annually.
Monitoring for safety
Each Coastal Class ferry has 36 controllable video cameras installed at various onboard locations, allowing the bridge crew to monitor all areas of the ferry and remotely activate safety systems as soon as possible. The crew also maintains regular inspection rounds of the ferry during the sailing.
View schedule for route between Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and Victoria (Swartz Bay)
View the schedule for route between Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) and Nanaimo (Departure Bay)
Find out more about accessibility on our ferries
Get tips for travelling with pets
Grab a freshly brewed coffee at Sitka Coffee Place
Relax in our quiet Seawest lounge
Find the perfect gift on board at Passages
Catch a Coastal Naturalist presentation (summer only)
Back to our ferries
The information on this page applies to the Coastal Renaissance only. Locations and complement of safety equipment on other ferries will vary.
Important: Ferries are periodically modified. BC Ferries does not accept any responsibility or liability for any errors in the information provided.
- Built 2007
- Overall length (m) 160.0
- Maximum displacement (t) 10034.0
- Car capacity 310
- Passenger & crew capacity 1604
- Maximum speed (knots) 23.0
- Horsepower 21444
To ensure a safe and comfortable journey for all passengers, BC Ferries provides a variety of accessibility options, including discounted passenger fares, assistance getting on and off the ferry, and wheelchairs to borrow for boarding.
The Coastal Renaissance has accessible washrooms on Decks 5 and 6, and three elevators.
During extreme weather, passenger elevators may be unavailable due to safety regulations.
If you use a wheelchair, please let the agent at the ticket booth know when you arrive, and we will do our best to arrange for you to park as close as possible to an elevator.
Special assistance in an emergency
If you would require special assistance in the event of an emergency, please inform the ticket agent at the terminal and a crew member on the ferry.
Learn more about BC Ferries accessibility