BC Ferries suspends Horseshoe Bay-Nanaimo route "until further notice"

Apr 3 2020, 6:43 pm

BC Ferries is suspending its Horseshoe Bay – Nanaimo service “until further notice,” as of tomorrow (Saturday, April 4).

The company said this route “carries much less commercial traffic than the other two routes connecting Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.”

Commercial traffic, it said “is the priority right now to move essential goods to Vancouver Island.”

Alternate travel is available on the Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen) to Nanaimo (Duke Point) route.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect all of us, including BC Ferries,” the company said. “Traffic across all of our routes is down approximately 80% because of COVID-19, and BC Ferries is adjusting service levels across multiple routes.”

Customers with bookings on cancelled sailings will be automatically refunded. Those who wish to book on a new sailing can contact BC Ferries directly to do so.

Th full list of route changes and adjustments includes:

Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island

The three routes operating between Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island will change as follows:

  • Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay will operate with four departures from each terminal daily from the present eight:
    • Swartz Bay: 9 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 7 pm
    • Tsawwassen: 7 am, 11 am, 5 pm, 9 pm
  • Tsawwassen – Duke Point route will operate with four departures open to the public from each terminal daily from the present eight:
    • Tsawwassen: 7:45 am, 12:45 pm, 5:45 pm, 10:45 pm
    • Duke Point: 5:15 am, 10:15 am, 3:15 pm, 8:15 pm

Tsawwassen – Duke Point route will also operate with four CARGO ONLY departures from each terminal Monday through Friday. These sailings are reserved for the movement of commercial goods and essential service workers, and the schedule Monday through Friday is:

  • Tsawwassen: 5:15 am, 10:15 am, 3:15 pm, 8:15 pm,
  • Duke Point: 7:45 am, 12:45 pm, 5:45 pm, 10:45 pm

Metro Vancouver – Sunshine Coast

Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route will operate with six departures from each terminal daily from the present seven:

  • Langdale: 6:20 am, 8:40 am, 10:50 am, 3:15 pm, 5:25 pm, 7:40 pm
  • Horseshoe Bay: 7:30 am, 9:45 am, 11:55 am, 4:20 pm, 6:35 pm, 8:45 pm

Metro Vancouver – Southern Gulf Islands

BC Ferries said changes will be coming to the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route. Details are “currently being finalized” and are expected to be announced soon.

Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay

This route has also been suspended until further notice, and it will be re-evaluated based on demand. The Malahat highway allows an alternative for customers to travel between these two areas by vehicle.

Northern Routes

For northern and mid-coast communities, BC Ferries will continue to operate at the current off-peak (winter) service levels.

This means the Northern Expedition will travel between Port Hardy – Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert – Skidegate. The summer direct service from Bella Coola to Port Hardy will not be introduced at this time. Instead, service to these communities will continue to be provided by the Nimpkish and Northern Expedition. Customers with reservations on affected sailings will be notified by mid-May. For more information on the revised Northern schedules, please visit bcferries.com/schedules.

All of these measures, changes, and updates “are being taken to protect the health and safety of communities and our crew, ensure the resiliency of our service, and match service levels to current demand,” said BC Ferries. “The changes are designed to ensure BC Ferries has sufficient capacity to allow the flow of essential goods, services, supplies and workers to their destinations.”

Service reductions will go into effect on Saturday, April 4, for a period of 60 days on major routes and until further notice on other routes.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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