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What are shuttle sailings?

A shuttle sailing is when a ferry departs as soon as it is full, instead of waiting for a scheduled departure. We change to shuttle sailings when there is a large build up of vehicle or passenger traffic on the following routes:
 
  • Vancouver Island (Buckley Bay) – Denman Island West and
  • Denman Island East (Gravelly Bay) – Hornby Island (Shingle Spit)
 

After the ferry docks and unloads, customers waiting at the terminal will board straight away.

After traffic clears, sailings change back to the posted sailing schedule. We shuttle an average of 200–300 extra round-trips every year on each of these routes.

Why do we offer shuttle sailings?
Shuttle sailings allow us to run more frequent sailings - clearing large build ups of vehicle or passenger traffic at terminals and reducing wait times for customers.
What dates and times are shuttle sailings?
Shuttle times vary, but occur most commonly after 4:00 pm between early June and mid-October, when traffic volumes are highest.

On the Denman Island East – Hornby Island route, we change to shuttle sailings when 9 vehicles or 20 passengers are left behind for a sailing.

On the Buckley Bay – Denman Island West route, we change to shuttle sailings when 14 vehicles or 20 passengers are left behind for a sailing.
 
How long do we run shuttle sailings for?
We usually run shuttle sailings for two hours. After the backlog of traffic clears, sailings change back to the regular posted sailing schedule.
How will I know when the ferry is providing shuttle sailings?
Digital screens at the terminal will let customers know when the ferry is providing shuttle sailings.
Will this effect any regular school sailings?
To avoid conflicts with the 4:00 pm sailing from Buckley Bay that accommodates students returning home, we generally will not start shuttling before 4:00 pm on school days.
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