BC Ferries warning travellers of 'extremely busy' Canada Day weekend

Jun 27 2018, 8:27 pm

BC Ferries is advising customers that the Horseshoe Bay – Nanaimo route will be “extremely busy” on Thursday, June 28 and Friday, June 29, heading into the Canada Day long weekend.

The company planned to add a third major vessel to the route as of this past weekend, weekend, but repairs to the vessel – the Coastal Inspiration – are “taking longer than originally anticipated.”

As there are no “other vessels available to replace this service, BC Ferries is informing customers that the company will need to cancel reservations on some Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay sailings,” the company said in a statement.

Last Friday, BC Ferries informed customers that the Coastal Inspiration had experienced a problem with a planned propeller hub repair and would be delayed in returning to service until at least June 30.

Now it appears that repair work won’t be done and the vessel won’t be back in service until Monday, July 2.

In light of this unplanned delay, BC Ferries said it is adding a 12:30 am sailing from Horseshoe Bay at the end of the sailing day on both June 28 and June 29.

Reservations are available for these sailings, which will be an addition to the other previously added trips in preparation for the long weekend.

BC Ferries is also offering travel tips on how to minimize delays and headaches for long-weekend travellers travelling without a reservation:

  • Take public transit to and from the ferry terminals or have a friend or family member drop you off. Terminal parking lots will reach capacity early in the weekend.
  • Travel on days other than June 28 and 29.
  • Travel early in the day. Sailings prior to 9 am are less busy.
  • Saturday, June 30 is expected to be busy in the morning. Sunday, July 1 will be the least busy of the days affected.

Customers who had reservations on sailings that have been cancelled will be contacted via
email by BC Ferries Customer Care to notify them of the cancellation and provide a fee refund.

“BC Ferries regrets that it will not be able to move customers to the next available sailing,
as reservations are near capacity for all sailings,” the company said in a statement.

Traffic across all BC Ferries routes is expected to be very busy from Thursday, June 28 through to Tuesday, July 3.

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