B.C. Ferries’ busy long weekend expected to overflow into Tuesday

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B.C. Ferries is advising motorists to leave plenty of time for travel on Tuesday as sailings are expected to be busy with overflow traffic from the long weekend.

File photo by Adrian Lam/Times Colonist

Ferries are also expected to be “busy” on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. out of Tsawwassen and between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. out of Swartz Bay, according to the B.C. Ferries travel calendar. Travellers who extended their long weekend by a day might be contending with commercial traffic, said spokeswoman Deborah Marshall.

On Monday, the statutory holiday, all reserved spaces between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen were full. Motorists without reservations faced up to a two-sailing wait at both terminals for much of the day, Marshall said.

B.C. Ferries had three vessels — Spirit of British Columbia, Coastal Celebration and Coastal Inspiration — running between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen to handle high volumes on Monday.

Marshall said some customers are reserving multiple sailings to give themselves flexibility, and as a result, the B.C. Ferries schedule can look busier than it actually is. (A fee is charged for each reservation.)

“So what we’re seeing is the space we have allocated and our current conditions may be artificially inflated,” she said.

The reservation is held until 30 minutes before the sailing and then that space is given to “show and go” traffic, Marshall said.