Next week, BC Ferries will restore service to one of its most popular routes, the Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay.
Service will resume on Wednesday, June 3, and will begin with four roundtrips per day.
Mark Collins, president and CEO of BC Ferries, said in a statement that demand is increasing and that reactivating the route “better serves the needs of customers.”
The sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo will take place at the following times:
- Horseshoe Bay: 8:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:50 pm, and 6:50 pm
- Departure Bay: 10:30 am, 12:50 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:50 pm
Because sailing times have changed, all existing bookings made by passengers on the route between June 3 and July 1 have been cancelled, according to BC Ferries. Customers will be contacted directly to have their reservation fee refunded.
Two other routes that operate out of the Horseshoe Bay terminal are also being restored: Horsehoe Bay – Snug Cove, and Horseshoe Bay – Langdale.
While the three routes are being restored, the health and safety measures currently in place will remain. Passenger capacity will remain at 50% in order to support physical distancing. Additionally, customers will still be allowed to stay inside their vehicles for the duration of the trip. Enhanced cleaning of vessels, as well as the screening of travellers, will also remain in place.
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BC Ferries adds that since service levels are being restored, they will be able to “begin recalling some of its skilled employees to help restore this service.”
“Through this challenging time, our employees have demonstrated courage and determination to support coastal ferry service,” said Collins. “I want to thank them for their continued dedication and the care they’ve shown for each other and the communities we serve.”
The Horseshoe Bay – Nanaimo route was suspended in early April after a lack of revenue and plummeting passenger traffic. The company pivoted and focused resources on its other two major routes to Vancouver Island, both of which are also used as vital routes for cargo.
Capacities on both of these routes were increased earlier this month when the ferry corporation opened up select cargo-only sailings to passengers.
Additional sailings were added to the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route starting Victoria Day long weekend, as well as additional sailings on select days throughout the month.
The ferry corporation continues to advise the public to avoid non-essential travel.