Travel advisory: Multiple advisories in effect⁠. Check before you travel.

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  1. Safe travel this summer - Last updated July 1, 2021 - View details
  2. Revised Schedule – Northern Adventure – Northern Sea Wolf – Port Hardy – Prince Rupert – Central Coast – Haida Gwaii - View details

We’re thrilled to help you reconnect with friends and family throughout coastal BC this summer. To help make your journey as safe and enjoyable as possible, here are some travel tips:
 

Safe summer travel
with BC Ferries
Avoid sailing waits
this summer
View travel tips
by region
Book a vacation package
 

Your journey. Your safety. Our priority.

Keeping with Phase 3 of BC’s Restart plan, Canada-wide recreational travel is back and all of our routes are open to all types of travel.

Customer and crew safety is our top priority. Measures will remain in place to keep you safe and moving this summer including: plexiglass barriers, enhanced cleaning measures, sanitizer stations and ventilation to maximize the flow of fresh air.

Learn more about safe summer travel with BC Ferries

Avoid sailing waits this summer

Nobody likes to wait at the terminal and our staff and crew will do their best to get you to your destination as safely and efficiently as possible. Here are some tips for you to reduce the chances of experiencing sailing waits this summer. Region-specific travel tips are also available below.

Book in advance
Booking your spot on the ferry is the best way to guarantee travel on a sailing of your choosing.

Book online now
Stay up to date
For the latest information on your day of travel, check current conditions, service notices and more by following @BCFerries on Twitter.

View current conditions
Travel at less busy times

Sailing waits are most common during peak travel periods and especially over holiday weekends. 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.

Arrive prepared

Arrive at the terminal 60 minutes before your scheduled departure if you have a vehicle booking and arrive at least 45 minutes before your scheduled departure if you have a foot passenger booking. Have your booking reference number ready at the ticket booth and tap to pay to for a faster check-in.

Book lower fare choices
With our new Saver from $49 for a standard vehicle and driver, travel for less by sailing at off peak times between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Includes a free reservation. Learn more about Saver fares.
Save on over-height vehicle fares
Travelling with an RV, camper or motorhome this summer? Over-height Saver fares are now available starting from $76.10 to book for travel between June 23 – October 13, 2021. Over-height vehicles also save 50% per additional foot over 20 ft. when you sail during off peak times. View over-height vehicle promotion.
Book foot passenger travel
You can now book foot passenger travel online for our three routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

Book now
 

Stay cool. Stay hydrated.

Pop up tents have been installed to provide shade at our largest terminals where foot passengers may need to form lines during peak travel times.

The tents can be found at Tsawwassen, Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Departure Bay, Duke Point and Langdale. Select terminals have misters in place to help keep you cool.

Water fountains and fill up stations are available once you’re inside our staffed terminals. During peak travel times you may need to lineup in the pre-ticketing area so bringing your own water bottle is recommended.

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 generally Thursday afternoon, Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, with lots of travellers departing from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals.

On holiday weekends, Sunday afternoon and Monday are popular times to return from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast via Langdale, Departure Bay, Duke Point and Swartz 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 in the summer. Check parking percentage availability at major south coast terminals by visiting 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.

Gulf Islands
Southern and Northern Gulf Islands routes
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

During peak travel times it’s possible that vehicle passengers may need to queue on the roadway leading up to terminals while waiting for the next available sailing. If you need to exit your vehicle, watch for oncoming traffic and drive with care in congested areas.

Remember to 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, especially during the summer. 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


 

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 ferry from Earls Cove to Saltery Bay is about 50 minutes driving time.

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 summer. We strongly recommended you book in advance on these routes.

 Northern Expedition is temporarily out of service due to a mechanical issue

The Northern Adventure will service from Port Hardy – Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert – Haida Gwaii on a modified schedule. View travel advisory.
 
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 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.

Respect our staff and crew

High traffic volumes can be stressful for both customers and employees. We do not tolerate any abuse, including verbal abuse, towards employees.

Our employees are doing their best to meet everyone’s needs and we take this matter seriously. We will deny service to any customer who abuses an employee.

 

Accessibility and travel assistance

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


BC Ferries Vacations

 
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Call us

1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779 Ext. 3)
Toll-free within North America.

More phone options

Visit us at the Vacations Centre, located at 1010 Canada Place in downtown Vancouver.

 

Tourism resources

Know before you go with the help of Destination British Columbia. View current travel restrictions, wildfire info, and other key resources.

For travel inspiration, explore 10 quintessential BC experiences that are sure to inspire long-overdue adventures.