We’re ready to welcome you on board to connect you with the people and places you love. From June 1 to September 5, we expect to welcome over 8 million passengers and 3.2 million vehicles on board over fifty-six thousand sailings. System-wide, that’s capacity for over 5 million vehicles. On our busiest routes we’ve added nearly 350 additional sailings compared to last year. Our entire fleet of 37 vessels is set to sail successfully this summer.
 

Avoid sailing waitsView travel tips by regionBook a vacation package

Our top 10 travel tips

 
  1. Book in advance to avoid sailing waits during peak times, especially over holiday weekends.
  2. If bookings are sold out, plan to travel during less busy times to avoid sailing waits. Less busy times are typically during the week and early morning or late evening sailings.
  3. Walking on board is a good option to avoid sailing waits, you can book in advance as a foot passenger on our most popular routes.
  4. If you booked in advance, arrive 45 - 60 minutes before your sailing.
  5. Check parking lot capacities on bcferries.com. Public transit, ride-sharing or drop-offs are good options if they work for you. View our transit guide for travel between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
  6. If sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo (Departure Bay) are sold out or there are sailing waits on your day of travel, consider travel between Tsawwassen and Nanaimo (Duke Point)
  7. Travel with sun protection and water for your pets. Ferries and staffed terminals have AC and water stations. Shade and misting tents will be in place too.
  8. Let the ticket agent know if you booked in advance and have your booking number ready. If you’re driving on board, park close to the vehicle in front of you so we can load as many passengers as possible.
  9. Check Current Conditions on your day of travel and follow @BCFerries on X
  10. Read our tips on travelling with pets here.


Fire safety this summer

Every summer, the risk of wildfire impacts the communities we serve. Before your trip, check all bans and restrictions for the Coastal Fire Centre, which includes the Lower Mainland, Sea-to-Sky, Vancouver Island, Central Coast and Haida Gwaii. Please be extremely cautious with cigarette butts, barbecues and all heat-producing items.

Reporting wildfires or activity that might cause wildfires is a great way for you to help the BC Wildfire Service. To report a wildfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone.

 

More sailings, more Saver fares

This summer, more than 30% of all bookable fares on our most popular routes will be Saver fares. That’s 500,000+ fares starting from $39 for a standard vehicle and driver. Saver fares are offered on sailings at off-peak times. Customers travelling in oversized vehicles like RVs and Campers, foot passengers and our commercial customers can take advantage of Saver fares on select routes and sailings too. Learn more.

Accessibility and travel assistance

To ensure a safe and comfortable sailing for all passengers, we provide a variety of accessibility options. View accessibility options.


Travelling with pets

Dogs on leashes and cats in carriers have access to new outdoor, upper deck pet areas on six vessels. The majority of our vessels have indoor pet areas too. Water, waste bags and waste bins are available for all four-legged passengers.
 

Car alarms

As a courtesy to our crew, passengers and especially pets, please consider disarming your vehicle’s alarm for the duration of your sailing. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on how to do so.
 

Prevent leaks and spills

Uncontained oil & vehicle fluid leaks can reach rivers, streams, lakes and the marine environment, potentially harming fish, wildlife & degrading habitat. Check your vehicle for oil and fluid leaks to protect BC's coast when you travel.
 

Loading vehicles during extreme tide conditions

At some of our smaller terminals, vehicles with very low ground clearance or extended overhangs on the rear axle (e.g., buses, RVs, low-bed vehicles) may be asked to wait for a later sailing when the tide is extremely high or low to avoid damage to the vehicle, vessel and environment.

We will post known tidal concerns that may impact vessel operations on our service notice page here. Our crew at the terminal will let you know if tidal conditions are extreme, and if it is necessary to have you wait for a later sailing. You can check tidal conditions here.
 

Wi-Fi

Complimentary BC Ferries Wi-Fi is available at 21 terminals. Wi-Fi is not currently available on board our vessels due to the unreliability of the ship-to-shore networks,
 

Respect our staff and crew 

High traffic volumes can be stressful for both customers and our people. We do not tolerate abuse, including verbal abuse. Our staff and crew are doing their best to meet everyone’s needs and we take this matter seriously. We will deny service to any customer who is abusive. For more information view our conditions of carriage, policies and regulations.
 

 

Travel tips by region

South Coast
Routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island 
Plan ahead

We strongly recommend to book in advance on the following routes:

  • Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay)
  • Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Nanaimo (Departure Bay)

If no bookings are available on these routes, consider booking travel between Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and Nanaimo (Duke Point) or travel during less busy times.

 

Popular travel times

The most popular travel times are usually Thursday afternoon, Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, with lots of travellers departing from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals.


 

Lower vehicle decks

Passengers in vehicles on enclosed lower vehicle decks must leave their vehicles during the sailing to comply with Transport Canada’s safety regulation.

 

Parking

Parking lots fill up quickly, especially on holiday weekends. Check parking percentage availability at major south coast terminals with current conditions.

 

BC Ferries Connector

The BC Ferries Connector bus operates between the downtown Vancouver bus terminal (Pacific Central Station) to the downtown Victoria terminal (Capital City Station). View schedule.


 

Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) to Bowen Island (Snug Cove)

 
Before you travel
 
Approaching the ticket booth
  • Bowen Island bound customers uses ticket booth 8 in the far right lane
  • Digital signs will direct you to the booth. Traffic control will guide you during peak times.
  • Advise the traffic controller of your destination
  • If there is a line-up, please stay in your lane. Vehicles are ticketed based on order of arrival
  • Ticket sales and check in closes 10 minutes prior to the scheduled sailing time
  • Signs above the ticket booth will provide status updates:
    • SALES HELD – ticket sales will resume shortly
    • POSSIBLE WAIT – the next sailing is near capacity
  • You do not have to pay to return from Bowen Island
 
In the terminal
  • You will be directed to drive down lane 1
  • Stop at the bottom of lane 1 where a terminal attendant will direct you to your lane
  • If vehicle traffic is backed up in lane 1, we are boarding a sailing to Nanaimo. Stay in your vehicle and you will be directed to move after the Nanaimo boarding is complete
  • Drive slowly and follow the direction of Terminal Attendants
  • Note: The lane number on the ticket reads 69, you will be directed to lanes 6570
 
Loading
  • Ensure you are with your vehicle when the ferry arrives
  • Wait to be directed to board the ferry by a BC Ferries Terminal Attendant
  • When you drive onboard, follow the direction of our deck crew and park within 60 cm (24 inches) of the vehicle in front of you so we can maximize space on board
 

 

Bowen Island (Snug Cove) to Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay)

 
Before you travel
 
Ferry instructions for vehicles
  • Do not park in the ferry line-up unless you are waiting to board the next sailing.
  • There is no toll booth. The fare you purchased in Horseshoe Bay includes the return trip.
  • Enter the ferry line behind the last vehicle in the line, or in the first open space closest to the ferry.
  • Do not leave a gap. Park within two feet (or 0.6 metres) of the vehicle in front of you. If there’s a cross-hatched area behind the next vehicle, pull right up to the edge of the cross-hatched area.
  • Do not stop or park any portion of your vehicle on the cross-hatched areas.
  • In the two-lane area of the ferry line, enter the shorter lane. When vehicles start loading, signage will indicate to merge like a zipper at the point where it narrows to one lane.
  • Do not stop or park beyond the “End of Ferry Line Up” sign. If the lanes are full you will not get on the ferry. Come back for the next sailing.
  • Be in your vehicle at least 10 minutes before the scheduled departure of the ferry.
  • Drive safe. Speed limits are enforced by the RCMP.
  • Motorcycles: will be loaded and unloaded before cars. Go right to the front of the line.
  • Cyclists: load and unload with foot passengers. Walk your bike across the ramp.
 
Ferry instructions for foot passengers
  • There is no toll booth. The fare you purchased in Horseshoe Bay includes the return trip!
  • Arrive at the waiting area at least 10 minutes before the scheduled departure.
  • Wait for ferry traffic to load or unload before crossing the street including crosswalks.
  • Do not walk on the road after you cross the ramp. Move to the sidewalks so that vehicles can unload.
  • For information on Bowen Island loading and transit check here:   https://bowenislandmunicipality.ca/our-community/transportation/ferry-guide/ 
Gulf Islands
Southern and Northern Gulf Islands routes
Peak travel times

If bookings are sold out for sailings to the Gulf Islands you can add yourself to a waitlist online. If we can confirm your booking prior to departure, we will contact you with the details. If we have not confirmed your booking within 24 hours of the scheduled departure, consider travelling via a thru fare that connects through Victoria (Swartz Bay).

To check if a sailing is sold out, select the Southern Gulf Islands route and dates you want to travel here, enter your passenger and vehicle information, then continue. If a sailing is full, you will see "Reservations sold out" and an option to add yourself to the waitlist. Select "Add yourself to waitlist" and complete the form to get on the waitlist.

 

Vehicle and foot passenger bookings

You can book vehicle and foot passenger travel in advance from Vancouver (Tsawwassen) to:

  • Pender Island (Otter Bay)
  • Galiano Island (Sturdies Bay)
  • Mayne Island (Village Bay)
  • Saturna Island (Lyall Harbour)
  • Salt Spring Island (Long Harbour)

Note: Sailings departing from Vancouver (Tsawwassen) provide service to Swartz Bay (Victoria), Duke Point (Nanaimo) and the Southern Gulf Islands.

 

Thru fares

Thru fares provide more sailing options for customers travelling to the Southern Gulf Islands. With a thru fare, you can travel between Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and the Southern Gulf Islands via a connection at Victoria (Swartz Bay) for the same price. This is a good option when direct sailings are sold out. Learn more about thru fares.

 

Terminals without ticket agents

When you arrive at the terminal, follow signage and park in the first available vehicle lane. Some lanes at terminals are designated based on your vehicle type. You will be loaded on the next available sailing based on space on board.

 

Travel safely through coastal communities

Help us keep the communities we serve safe. Obey speed limits, watch for pedestrians and cyclists and maintain a safe distance. During popular times to travel there may be vehicles queuing on roads approaching terminals.

If you need to exit your vehicle, watch for oncoming traffic and cyclists. Please care for the community you’re in by leaving space around driveways, disposing of litter and respecting private property.

 

Waitlists

If bookings are sold out for sailings to the Gulf Islands you can add yourself to a waitlist online. If we can confirm your booking prior to departure, we will contact you with the details. If we have not confirmed your booking within 24 hours of the scheduled departure, consider travelling via a thru fare that connects through Victoria (Swartz Bay).

To add yourself to a waitlist, select the Gulf Islands route and dates you want to travel, enter your passenger information, select "Add yourself to waitlist" under the list of sailings, then complete the waitlist form.

Sunshine Coast
Routes between Metro Vancouver/Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast
Book in advance

Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Sunshine Coast (Langdale) is one of our busiest routes. We strongly recommend booking in advance. If bookings are sold out, we recommend travelling during less busy days and times. These include:

  • Mid-week days

  • Early morning or late evening sailings


Seamless travel tips

Find more travel information for routes between Vancouver, Sunshine Coast, and Texada Island here
 

Arriving at Horseshoe Bay in a vehicle

During busy travel times, look out for traffic flaggers as you approach the ticket booths at Horseshoe Bay. Let our staff know if you have a booking and they will direct you to the correct lane. Once at the terminal, listen to announcements and follow the direction of our staff who will guide you during boarding.
 

Arriving at Horseshoe Bay as a foot passenger

TransLink offers service between Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay via the 257 Horseshoe Bay Express or 250 Horseshoe Bay routes. Self-serve kiosks are available at the entrance to the departures building to purchase or your ticket or redeem your booking. Cyclists should buy their tickets at the foot passenger ticket office.

During peak travel times the pre-ticketing area can be busy, so arrive expecting a wait. Washrooms facilities are available but long lines can form quickly. Public washrooms are also available at Horseshoe Bay park from 7am to 10pm, a two-minute walk away.
 

Access to the village at Horseshoe Bay

If you arrive at Horseshoe Bay terminal with enough time to spare, you can leave your vehicle in your parking lane and walk into the village. Just remember to wait until your vehicle has been directed to its assigned lane and take your ticket with you.
 

Staying in your vehicle during the sailing

Passengers travelling between Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Sunshine Coast (Langdale) can stay in their vehicle for the duration of the sailing regardless of which deck they're on.
 

Travel assistance

Inform the ticket agent when you arrive at the ticket booth if you are travelling with a Travel Assistance Program (TAP) form, or if you have accessibility requirements like a wheelchair or mobility aid access.

View details on Medical Assured Loading (MAL)
Learn more about accessibility options

 
Travel to the upper Sunshine Coast

The distance from Langdale terminal to Earls Cove terminal is approximately 90 minutes driving time and the duration of the sailing from Earls Cove to Saltery Bay is 50 minutes.
From Saltery Bay, it’s about a 25 minute drive to Powell River and Westview terminal with service to Comox and Texada Island.
View transit options available from your departure and arrival terminal

Central and North Coast
Bella Bella, Bella Coola, Haida Gwaii, Klemtu, Ocean Falls, Port Hardy, Prince Rupert and Shearwater
Book in advance

Our Central and North Coast routes are busiest during the spring and summer months. We strongly recommended you book in advance on these routes during those seasons.

 

Arrive prepared

If you have a booking, arrive at the terminal 120 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.

 

Cabins and reserved seating

You can book cabins or seats on board the Northern Expedition and cabins on board the Northern Adventure when you book online or over the phone. If cabins are sold out, you can add yourself to a waitlist.

 

Waitlists

If sailings, cabins or amenities you try to book are sold out, add yourself to the waitlist and we will contact you if space becomes available.

To add yourself to a waitlist, select the Northern route and dates you want to travel, enter your passenger information, select "Add yourself to waitlist" under the list of sailings, then complete the waitlist form. You can also add yourself to a waitlist after you complete your Northern booking online.

If you are still on the waitlist on the day you want to travel, we recommend you try arriving at the terminal a minimum of three hours prior to the scheduled departure time. If customers with confirmed spots don’t arrive for the sailing, we fill their spots with waitlisted customers.

 

Wi-Fi

There is no Wi-Fi onboard BC Ferries vessels and due to the region there may be limited cellular coverage, so plan with this in mind. We are currently working on expanding free Wi-Fi to select terminals along the Central and North Coast.

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