Reserve and Plan

May Long Weekend Traffic

What to expect, travel tips and planning ahead

The long weekend is coming up and we’re looking forward to welcoming you on board and helping you get to your final destination. We’re encouraging customers to plan ahead as we’re expecting heavy traffic from Thursday, May 17th to Monday, May 21st. To ensure your journey with us is pleasant, we’ve put together the following information to assist you.

Additional Sailings

In anticipation of heavy traffic, we have scheduled 115 additional sailings over the course of the long weekend. This is 30 more sailings than what we had in place for the same weekend last year.

Metro Vancouver – Victoria route:

  • 73 extra sailings are scheduled on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route, including some 6 am, 10 pm sailings as well as a 10:50 pm sailing departing Swartz Bay on Monday, May 21

Four of our largest vessels will operate on this route providing up to 32 departures each day. We will arrange for further additional sailings at the end of each day if they are required.

For customers travelling to and from the mid-island, the Tsawwassen – Duke Point route may also be a good option.

View sailing schedules »

West Vancouver – Mid Island/Sunshine Coast routes:

  • 18 extra sailings are scheduled on the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route
  • 12 extra sailings are scheduled on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route
  • 12 extra sailings are scheduled on the Earls Cove – Saltery Bay route
View sailing schedules »

Southern Gulf Islands Schedule Update

We are pleased to let our customers know that the Queen of Cumberland has returned to service on the Swartz Bay-Southern Gulf Islands route and regular schedules are in effect. 

View the sailing schedules »

Please note, reservations for Tsawwassen to the Southern Gulf Islands are full for the long weekend, but customers can still travel thru-fare by going to Swartz Bay and transferring to a vessel bound for the island of their choice. Learn more about thru-fare »

Peak Travel Times over the Long Weekend

The most popular travel times are expected to be mid-day Friday to late morning Saturday with traffic moving from the Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen) to Vancouver Island and from Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast. The holiday Monday afternoon is expected to be busy with traffic returning to Metro Vancouver. The link below highlights the peak sailing times we are expecting the highest traffic and provides a look at the off-peak sailings which tend to be less busy.

View busy travel periods on major routes »

Foot Passengers

If you're travelling as a foot passenger over the long weekend, we recommend you plan to arrive at the terminal early as we're expecting heavy foot traffic during the peak travel times shown below.

2018 May Long Weekend peak times for foot passenger


For travel certainty and to ensure you’re on the sailing of your choice, we strongly encourage customers to make reservations for the May long weekend. Reservations are available from $10 when booked seven days in advance of travel.

Make a reservation »

Terminal Parking

On holiday weekends, parking lots at our terminals tend to fill up quickly. It’s likely a number of them will be at maximum capacity throughout the long weekend, from Thursday through Monday. If possible, we strongly encourage customers to take public transit or to arrange to be dropped off at the terminal. At Tsawwassen, a Park & Go service is available near the start of the causeway.

View terminal parking information »

When parking lots are at capacity, we will advise via Twitter @BCFerries.

Spirit of British Columbia Project Update

The Spirit of British Columbia has returned to BC following extensive upgrades, including a conversion to dual fuel that will enable her to run on natural gas. We’re underway preparing her for service with sea trials, crew training and vessel certification. Over the May long weekend, she will be performing sea trials in the Georgia Strait and continuing with preparations for service with crew training while the vessel is in berth at Tsawwassen. We are excited to welcome her back into service in time for the summer season. Learn more about the vessel’s extensive upgrades »

Keeping You Informed

Follow us on Twitter @BCFerries for sailing status, current conditions, travel advisories and service updates throughout the weekend. Here are some additional travel tips to help ensure your journey with us is as pleasant as possible.

We're Here to Help

Extra crew and staff will be ready to welcome and assist you at the terminals, onboard and in the Customer Care Centre.

Customer Care Centre
Phone: 1-888-BC FERRY (223-3779)
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-10pm / Sat-Sun 7am-7pm

Make sure to check out the balloon twisters and face painters at select major terminals throughout the long weekend and the #DrawTheCoast Kids’ Drawing Contest to win some great prizes! View the contest »

We'll see you on board soon! Enjoy the long weekend!