From Dec. 18 through Jan. 3, BC Ferries is adding over 150 extra sailings to the three major routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island to ensure smooth sailing for holiday travellers.
Over 100 sailings have been added to the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route, the busiest route in the fleet.
Over 40 extra sailings are scheduled between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay. Sailings have also been added to the Tsawwassen-Duke Point run on Saturdays.
From Dec. 20-29, the schedules have been expanded on the three routes utilizing the Horseshoe Bay terminal (Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay, Horseshoe Bay -Langdale and Horseshoe Bay-Bowen Island) to allow more in-dock time in order to maintain on-time performance during this peak period.
Dec. 23 is expected to be the busiest pre-Christmas travel day. Historically, Dec. 27 is the busiest post-Christmas travel day. BC Ferries has posted a calendar of forecasted busy sailings for the major routes on its website, which is a great tool to consult when making holiday travel plans.
While arriving early at peak times is often recommended, selecting a sailing at non-peak times is an alternative strategy that can reduce wait times at terminals.
Customers with specific sailing times in mind are encouraged to book a reservation.
Walk-on travellers are advised that pay parking lots at the major terminals may reach capacity at the height of the season, so public transit is a popular option.
“In addition to the extra sailings, more crew members will be on duty on our ships and at our terminals over the holidays to assist our customers,” said Corrine Storey, BC Ferries’ vice-president of customer services. “Our gift shops are stocked with great gift ideas such as apparel, jewelry, toys and ornaments. For that someone who has everything, BC Ferries’ gift certificates make great presents this time of year.”
For customers looking to get away this winter, BC Ferries Vacations is offering holiday retreats to Victoria and Vancouver that include ferry travel, hotel accommodation and festive extras. To book a holiday retreat or find out more about BC Ferries Vacations packages, visit bcferries.com/vacations or drop by the BC Ferries Vacations Centre in downtown Vancouver.
BC Ferries reminds customers that on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, sailing schedules are reduced on some routes due to traditionally low demand.
For schedule details, visit bcferries.com.