You can drink beer and wine on BC Ferries sailings out of Vancouver as of this week


Thirsty BC Ferries passengers will have the chance to sip an alcoholic beverage on sailings between Vancouver and Victoria starting this Thursday, Oct. 24.

Beer and wine will be available in the Pacific Buffet – a unique dining experience that is available on three vessels that service the Vancouver – Victoria (Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay) route. These three include The Spirit of Vancouver Island, the Spirit of British Columbia and the Coastal Celebration.

BC Ferries beer wine
Photo: VANCOUVER, BC – JULY 23: A BC ferry between Vancouver and Vancouver Island on July 26, 2013. BC Ferries announced plans to build three new vessels on July 23, 2013 / Shutterstock

The pilot program is operating on a trial basis.

The ferry operator originally proposed the idea in April, and stated that passengers would be able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage on board as early as the summer season.

This is the first time beer and wine will be offered on sailings linking Vancouver and Victoria. However, drinks are limited to one per customer, and they must be purchased with a meal. You must also be 19 years of age or older to purchase a drink, but people under 19 are welcome in the Pacific Buffet.

“Many of our customers have said they would like to have a glass of wine or beer with their meal while sailing with us,” says Melanie Lucia, Executive Director of Catering and Terminal Operations.

“We look for ways to enhance the customer experience and are pleased to now offer these beverages in the Pacific Buffet.”

The options for customers who wish to enjoy an alcoholic beverage during their ride can choose from a 12-ounce beer for $6.99 or a five-ounce glass of wine for $9.99. Sales will begin at 11 a.m. and end a half-hour before docking. Minors are still permitted in the Pacific Buffet dining area during the pilot program of beer and wine sales.

BC Ferries already offers beer and wine for sale on northern routes sailing to and from Port Hardy, Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii and Central Coast ports.

The trial will continue for one year to provide BC Ferries with the opportunity to review customer and employee feedback, as well as revenue numbers to evaluate the pilot and determine its success.