Travel Advisory: COVID-19 Update - Important information - Last updated January 11, 2021 View ×

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 January 7, 2021 Dr. Bonnie Henry announced an update to the COVID-19 restrictions (in effect November 7 - February 5, 2021), 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.

Learn more about the reinstatement of the Transport Canada regulation

View frequently asked questions

 

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:

  1. Do you have a fever and a cough?
  2. Do you have a fever and breathing difficulty?
  3. Have you been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19?
  4. 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
  5. 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.

View more details on Transport Canada’s announcement

Book in advance to avoid lengthy waits as sailings are limited. Check-in processing takes longer due to screening protocols in place.
 

Malahat Nation

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.

 

Northern routes

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:

Foot passengers

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 - February 5, 2021) 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 vacations@bcferries.com. Vacations Call Centre business hours are:

  • Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5 pm
  • Weekends and statutory holidays: 9 am – 5 pm

 

Additional information

  • 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
  • Updates from our President and CEO Mark Collins

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.

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Find your fit

Interested in working at BC Ferries? Curious about available positions and required qualifications? Whether your goal is to work behind the scenes, on board our ferries or within our shore-based operations, we offer a wide variety of career paths for those just joining the workforce, as well as experienced marine professionals. 
 

We’ve put together answers to our most frequently asked questions about shore and ferry-based opportunities and their specific requirements.
 

Shore-based opportunities

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Q: My ideal role is office based where I can help answer questions and work as part of a team. Is there a good role for me?

A: As a Customer Sales & Service Representative, you would work out of our downtown Victoria head office and are often the first point of contact as part of our highly-trained call centre team. Every day, our customers appreciate the information and assistance you provide, all while demonstrating your excellent communication skills and strong aptitude for customer service. Qualifications: Excellent customer service skills and a strong aptitude for computer applications.

Q: I would like to work at one of the terminals, supporting the traveling public. What opportunities exist for me?

A: As a member of our terminal staff, you would join about 1,000 other employees across the fleet. We have three popular positions that would be great ways to join our team:
 
1. Terminal Attendants
Showcasing your enthusiasm and reliability, some of the duties in this varied role include: managing baggage, keeping the buildings and grounds clean and welcoming, and ensuring the safe movement of vehicles while communicating with colleagues. Qualifications: A valid BC Driver's Licence. 

2. Foot Passenger Ticket Agents
When our walk-on passengers arrive at the terminal, the first person they would see is you. As a positive, helpful agent, you answer questions, provide schedule and route information, direct passengers and collect fares from walk-on passengers. If our passengers need help getting on their ferry, you are there to assist. Qualifications: Cash handling and customer service experience

3. Terminal Service Attendants
Working at one of our smaller terminals, this dynamic position can include cleaning and providing routine maintenance and security for the terminal while assisting our customers with getting safely on and off the ferry. Safety is a core value and of the highest priority at BC Ferries, so you would participate in safety drills, perform routine inspections and identify and report security issues or any hazards. Some light administration is also required as you update files and manuals and maintain activity logs. Qualifications: A valid BC Driver's License. Operation of a fork lift may be required.

 
 

Ferry-based opportunities

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Q: I really like customer service and I would like to work on one of the ferries. What’s the best role for me?

A: Customer Service Attendants
If you love working with people, you’ll love being a Customer Service Attendant as you have the opportunity to engage with our passengers in many ways. As part of our catering team, you would prepare and serve food and beverages, while answering any questions and generally keeping all areas of the ferry clean and safe. Qualifications: Successful completion of Grade 12 and Food Safe Level 1 or HAACP Certificate and a valid Seafarer’s Medical.

Q: Cooking is my passion. Do you have a role for me at BC Ferries?

A: Third Cooks
While keeping a clean work space throughout the day, you would prepare and cook burgers and breakfasts using grilling, oven and/or deep frying equipment. You would also assist in other areas of the galley, including taking over the steam table, making toast, deep fried food, sandwiches and salads, as well as washing dishes. Qualifications: 1 year Culinary Arts program and 2 years' apprenticeship

Q: I love being on the water and working as part of a team. I’m thinking a deck position would be interesting. What’s involved with this job?

A: Deckhand
At BC Ferries, we transport millions of passengers and as a Deckhand, you often are their first contact onboard. In a day, you would load and unload traffic, steer, control and maintain the vessel, and provide general maintenance duties. Keeping safety in mind, you look out for potential safety hazards, ensure passengers comply with regulations, perform docking procedures and conduct vehicle counts and safety equipment checks. Qualifications: Marine Emergency duties certificates: STCW Basic Safety (MED A1 and MED B2) and Survival Craft (MED B1) and a valid Seafarer's Medical. A Bridge Watch Rating certificate is preferred.

Q: I am an experienced deck officer. What positions should I apply for at BC Ferries?

While we offer many deck positions throughout the fleet, we’ve listed the positions most often hired.

A1: Mate (Chief Mate)
As a deck officer, you oversee activities including loading and unloading vehicles and passengers, navigation, ship husbandry, passenger/vehicle safety, equipment inspections, responding to emergency situations, supervising crew in the delegation of duties and providing training in crew fire, safety and boat drills. Qualifications: Valid Transport Canada certification as: Chief Mate or Chief Mate, Near Coastal; and a valid Seafarer’s Medical. 

A2: Mate/Relief Master – Casual (Master Near Coastal)
You would work on our smaller ferries as Executive Officer in deck department activities, including loading and unloading vehicles and passengers, navigation, ship husbandry, passenger/vehicle safety, equipment inspections, responding to emergency situations, supervising crew in the delegation of duties and providing training in crew fire, safety and boat drills. Qualifications: Valid Transport Canada certification as: Master Mariner or Master, Near Coastal and a valid Seafarer’s Medical.

Q: I love working with all things mechanical. What’s the best job for me at BC Ferries?

A: Engine Room Assistants (4th Class Motor or Engine Room Rating Certificate preferred)
Using your mechanical skills, you would assist in the maintenance of the mechanical, electrical and propulsion systems of vessels, maintain machinery, provide watch relief, and assist engineers with maintenance work. Safety is paramount in this role and you would participate in emergency and safety drills and meetings. Qualifications: Marine Emergency Courses Survival Craft and STCW Basic Safety, Fourth Class Motor Certificate or Engine Room Rating Certificate (preferred) and a valid Seafarer’s Medical.

Q: Having previous experience in the engine room and a higher Transport Canada license, what positions do you offer?

We offer many opportunities for experienced marine engineers with the positions listed below being the most common.

A1: 3rd Engineer
Based in our fleet, you maintain, monitor, and repair machinery and equipment on the vessel, conduct watch keeping duties, troubleshoot and perform routine maintenance, and oversee and assist in the transfer of fuel, lube oil, and waste oil. You will also perform occasional tasks including servicing sewage systems and purifiers, testing fuel injectors, and draining and cleaning injector cooling tanks. Qualifications: Transport Canada Fourth Class Motor Certificate and a valid Seafarer’s Medical. 

A2: 1st Engineer
As a first engineer, you will have the technical, interpersonal and leadership skills as well as the experience required for safe and efficient management and operation of the ship’s machinery and equipment. In this capacity, you supervise engineers who maintain, monitor, and repair machinery and equipment on the vessel, conduct watch keeping duties, troubleshoot and perform routine maintenance.
Qualifications: Transport Canada Second Class Motor Certificate and a valid Seafarer’s Medical.