Up to three-sailing ferry waits on busy holiday Monday

Roxanne Egan-Elliott / Times Colonist


The Monday afternoon lineup at Swartz Bay for boarding ferries to Tsawwassen. Oct. 14, 2019
Photograph By B.C. FERRIES

Long weekend travellers kept B.C. Ferries busy over the Thanksgiving holiday, with many sailings at capacity.

Passengers travelling without reservations experienced up to three-sailing waits Monday afternoon.

As of 2:30 p.m. Monday, the 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. sailings on the Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route were full.

The 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. sailings from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay were also at capacity, while the 5 p.m. was 67 per cent full.

There were also waits for passengers travelling out of Nanaimo. From Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay, the 3:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. sailings were at capacity and the 8 p.m. was 52 per cent full.

Departures from Duke Point fared slightly better, with the 3:15 p.m. full, the 5:45 p.m. at 80 per cent capacity, and the 8:15 p.m. at 71 per cent.

Walk-on passengers normally don’t experience sailing waits, but the Thanksgiving long weekend is one of the few weekends in the year when it may happen. B.C. Ferries advised walk-on passengers to arrive 45 to 60 minutes ahead of their desired departure.

B.C. Ferries wasn’t able to confirm whether walk-on passengers experienced waits.

Monday is the most popular travel day of the Thanksgiving long weekend, with traffic returning to the mainland from Swartz Bay, Departure Bay and Langdale.

B.C. Ferries added 93 sailings, with 74 between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen, the most popular route. Thirteen sailings were added between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay, and six between Langdale and Horseshoe Bay.

The busy weekend played out as expected, with no major hiccups, said Tessa Humphries, B.C. Ferries communications manager.