COVID-19 impactsIn order for BC Ferries to comply with temporary emergency measures and orders issued by the Province and Transport Canada, the use of Assured Loading Cards may be denied at the terminal in order to ensure essential travellers are accommodated. This temporary measure will be in place while the Provincial Ministerial Order to support essential travellers is in effect. To avoid sailing delays, at this time, if you are an essential worker or resident, we recommend booking in advance instead of using your Assured Loading Card. This will help avoid lengthy waits.
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.
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 - 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 email@example.com. 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.
Assured Loading CardSign in | Register
Enjoy priority boarding on the following three routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island with a BC Ferries Assured Loading Card.
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay)
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Nanaimo (Duke Point)
- Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Nanaimo (Departure Bay)
- Guaranteed travel* when you arrive at least 20 minutes before the scheduled sailing and present your card to the ticket agent.
- Travel when you need to without a reservation
- Use any ticket booth
- Access travel history for the federal transit pass credit (if you qualify)
- Never run out of funds with Auto Purchase
*Guaranteed travel with an Assured Loading card is limited to standard vehicle types - up to 7 ft. (2.13 m) high and 20 ft. (6.10 m) long.
How to get and use your Assured Loading Card
Pick up your card:
- At any BC Ferries ticket booth
- At any major BC Ferries terminal
- By calling 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779) – we will mail your card to you
Once you have your card, register and load it with Assured Loading Tickets (ALTs) in groups of 10 to start using it to pay for travel.
- Load ALTs to your card in groups of 10 for $1,550* per group
- One Assured Loading Ticket pays for 1 driver plus 1 standard vehicle - up to 7 ft. (2.13 m) high and 20 ft. (6.10 m) long
- Present your loaded card to the ticket agent at least 20 minutes before your scheduled departure to ensure guaranteed travel
- Assured Loading Tickets expire two years from date of purchase
- Expired ALTs will not be refunded
- ALT travel is exempt from any regular discounts such as senior, student or disability fares
- Download and view full terms and conditions (below)
Once your ALTs expire, you will have an additional six months to purchase a new set using the remaining balance on the card. After this time, any remaining expired value will be removed from your card.
You can easily keep track of your ALTs online. Sign in.
- For example, you could set up your account to Auto Load 10 more ALTs whenever you get down to your last two tickets.
Sign in to your Assured Loading Card account to set up Auto Load.
- By phone at 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779)
- In-person at any major BC Ferries terminal administration office (we will ask for valid photo ID)
If you have any questions, call us at 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779).
Save on select routes with a BC Ferries Experience™ Card, and share the balance with your friends and family.
Get 30 day payment terms and more with a Commercial Travel Card.
The gift of travel
BC Ferries gift certificates can be used for ferry travel, food, and onboard shopping.