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Why B.C. Ferries’ beer and wine sales announcement falls flat

It’s finally happening. After much anticipation and delay, select B.C. Ferries’ voyages between Vancouver and Victoria will be made a little more enjoyable with the opportunity to drink alcohol by the end of October — legally, that is.
Before you raise your mead glass in the air, we’d like to offer up a few sobering observations on B.
Before you raise your mead glass in the air, we’d like to offer up a few sobering observations on B.C. Ferries' announcement regarding beer and wine sales.

It’s finally happening. After much anticipation and delay, select B.C. Ferries’ voyages between Vancouver and Victoria will be made a little more enjoyable with the opportunity to drink alcohol by the end of October — legally, that is.

But before you raise your mead glass in the air, we’d like to offer up a few sobering observations.

1. No Baja Rosa

Sadly, ferry passengers won’t be able to feel the sweet embrace of this strawberry, cream and tequila elixir — or any booze-based drink, for that matter. Only beer and wine will be offered for purchase. 

2. It’s not available on every B.C. ferry because that would be crazy

Beer and wine sales will only be available on three vessels on the Tsawwassen–Swartz Bay route — the Spirit of Vancouver Island, the Spirit of British Columbia and the Coastal Celebration. You’d think sailings between Nanaimo and Vancouver would be a no-brainer, but perhaps B.C. Ferries figured most of its Nanaimo passengers are already half-cut by the time they get on the boat anyway.

3. You have to pay for the buffet to play

The only place you’ll be able to purchase beer and wine is at the ferries’ Pacific Buffet. In other words, you have to fork over $26 for the dinner buffet, or $22 for the lunch buffet, in order to buy a beer or wine. Why passengers can’t purchase a beer or glass of wine in the regular cafeteria, like they can at a restaurant, café, concert or sports event, remains one of life’s great mysteries, along with whatever happened to Super Socco and who let the dogs out.

4. One is the loneliest number  

If you want to drink more than one glass of wine or beer during your ferry trip, you’re out of luck — Pacific Buffet customers will be limited to one, solitary beverage. We get that B.C. Ferries doesn’t want intoxicated people driving off their boats, but what about those of us sitting in the passenger seat or taking public transit and would like to tune out the dude droning on about cryptocurrencies?

5. It’s just a trial

According to B.C. Ferries, this great beer and wine sales experiment will last a year, after which the company will review customer and employee feedback, as well as crunch the revenue numbers, to see if it should continue or, god forbid, be expanded.

Just don’t hold your breath for any Baja Rosa.

@KudosKvetches