Plan ahead if you are hoping to travel on B.C. Ferries during the Thanksgiving weekend, the corporation says.
Motor vehicle reservations on several sailings to and from Vancouver Island are sold out and heavy traffic is expected.
Reservations on four evening ferries from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay are sold out on Friday, Oct. 6, as well as on most sailings from Tsawwassen to Duke Point and Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay.
On Saturday, Oct. 7, reservations are sold out on sailings from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen between 8 a.m. and noon, as well as most morning sailings from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay and some morning sailings from Tsawwassen to Duke Point.
Reservations on sailings between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on the ferries from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen are sold out on Monday, Oct. 9, as well as most sailings from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay and most sailings from Duke Point to Tsawwassen late morning until mid-evening.
“Even if there are no reservations available, sailings on [all routes] will have space available for ‘standby’ customers,” said Darin Guenette, public affairs manager. He said reservations account for 40 to 70 per cent of a sailing’s capacity, “depending on the vehicle loads and route.”
Guenette said B.C. Ferries will add 93 sailings over the weekend, with most on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay routes.
“These are the routes where we do see the heaviest demand,” he said, adding that details will be announced Monday.
The ferry corporation will bring in more staff for the weekend.
“We want to see a smooth flow of customers while keeping sailings on time and everyone safe,” Guenette said.
He said Thanksgiving weekend is often the busiest time of the year for foot passengers.
“Our experiences tell us that a large portion of these foot passengers are post-secondary students travelling to and from home for the weekend,” he said.
While there is no official cap on walk-on passengers, each vessel has a maximum number of people allowed on board. Sailing waits are rare for walk-on passengers but they can occur, he said.
For updated information on reservations and added sailings, go to bcferries.com
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