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BC Ferries warns of major waits this busy long weekend

Passengers without bookings must walk on or wait
HS Bay Ferry Traffic MW web
Travellers wait in long lines at West Vancouver's Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, July 30, 2021. BC Ferries has warned of full sailings and long waits.

It’s the busiest weekend of the year for BC Ferries and both major terminals are rather clogged.

With wildfires and smoke as well as warnings of COVID-19 outbreaks in the Interior, Lower Mainland vacationers have been clamouring to get to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

As of late Friday morning, all available bookings for vehicles on ferries departing from Tsawwassen were sold out for Friday and Saturday, with walk-on and standby the only options.

Return trips from Vancouver Island on Sunday and Monday are also extremely limited, and the ferry corp is suggesting space will open up on Tuesday.

That has left travellers seeking a more roundabout route to their island destinations via Horseshoe Bay, though most sailings from there are also now walk-on and standby only.

Traffic from the Horseshoe Bay terminal was backing up onto Highway 1 as far as the Caulfeild exit as of late morning Friday.