BC Ferries preparing for exceptionally busy May long weekend

May 20 2022, 4:11 pm

With the sun shining and a lot of people getting out of town for the May long weekend, BC Ferries is warning about a very busy few days.

Earlier this week, the corporation announced it added more than 100 additional sailings, but it seems like a lot of people are trying to get on a boat.

If you’re trying to get from Tsawwassen to the Southern Gulf Islands — good luck. Almost all sailings are full over the next couple of days.

Reservations are also full on several other routes, including:

  • Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay Thursday, May 19 through Saturday, May 21 and Monday, May 23
  • Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay Monday, May 23
  • Horseshoe Bay – Langdale Wednesday, May 18 through Saturday, May 21
  • Langdale – Horseshoe Bay Sunday, May 22 and Monday, May 23
  • Tsawwassen – Duke Point Thursday, May 19 through Saturday, May 21
  • Duke Point – Tsawwassen Monday, May 23
  • Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21
  • Swartz Bay – Tsawwassen Monday, May 23

BC Ferries says the most popular travel times are Thursday and Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, with many travellers leaving from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals.

Victoria Day Monday and the following Tuesday morning are typically the most popular times for people to return to Metro Vancouver from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

BC Ferries tips for smooth travel on a long weekend

  • Book in advance – Book early to secure a spot on the sailing day and time of your choice. Customers with flexible travel plans can sail at off-peak times to avoid the rush and take advantage of Saver fares on select sailings.
  • Arrive early – Customers with a booking should plan to arrive at the terminal 45-60 minutes before their scheduled departure. Walk-on passengers should arrive 45 minutes before their anticipated sailing. Please refer to current conditions and plan accordingly.
  • Be prepared for sailing waits if not booked in advance – Sailing waits are common during popular travel periods. If bookings are sold out, the best option to avoid sailing waits is to travel during less busy times. These are typically mid-week days and early morning or late evening sailings.
  • Consider parking options – Parking lots at the major terminals fill up quickly at peak periods. If possible, choose public transit or arrange to be dropped off at the terminal to avoid traffic congestion. When parking lots fill up, BC Ferries informs customers via Twitter @BCFerries and the website.
  • Ride-share, if possible – BC Ferries encourages customers to carpool or travel as foot passengers. Vehicle deck space can fill up quickly and will be sold out at popular times.

For the latest info on current conditions and bookings, please visit bcferries.com. For the most up-to-date travel information, you can head to Twitter.

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