BC Ferries cancels numerous Vancouver to Victoria sailings amidst pandemic

Mar 14 2020, 7:30 pm

With falling traffic demand due to growing concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, BC Ferries announced today it has cancelled a slew of sailings between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, specifically the route between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay.

At least 10 scheduled sailings have been cancelled on this major route. Travellers with reservations will be fully refunded, and an effort will be made to reschedule affected travellers on other sailings.

These are the following scheduled sailing cancellations:

  • Sunday, March 15
    • 12:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
    • 12:00 pm departing Tsawwassen
    • 2:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
    • 2:00 pm departing Tsawwassen
    • 4:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
    • 4:00 pm departing Tsawwassen
    • 6:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
    • 6:00 pm departing Tsawwassen
  • Monday, March 16
    • 12:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
    • 2:00 pm departing Tsawwassen

As this is the first weekend of spring break for public schools, the ferry services are typically busy. The possibility holds for additional sailing cancellations beyond this list as the week progresses.

Additionally, BC Ferries has noted that its Pacific Buffet on the Spirit of Vancouver Island, Spirit of British Columbia, and Coastal Celebration vessels are closed until further notice to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“Customers will be loaded on a standby basis in their order of arrival at the terminal, after customers with reservations for the scheduled sailing,” reads the bulletin by the ferry corporation.

“Our goal is to inform customers as early as possible of any changes to scheduled sailings.”

Last week, BC Ferries stated it was taking heightened measures to clean and disinfect its terminal facilities and ferry vessels, and urged sick travellers to not travel until they have recovered.

Due to Transport Canada regulations, the 2017-enacted policy that bans passengers from remaining in their vehicles on closed lower decks is still in effect.

The provincial government has enacted a ban on gatherings of 250 or more people, and encouraged the practice of social distancing to slow down the rate of infection.