BC Ferries added 85 extra sailings over the Thanksgiving long weekend in anticipation of increased travel.
The company said the November long weekend tends to be its busiest as many travel between Vancouver Island and the mainland to visit family.
“Big family gathering and stuff so it will be really nice to be together again,” Francesca Regier said on Saturday.
Elimelech Brandt told CHEK News he was going to Vancouver to visit his children.
“It’s our grandson’s birthday and our eldest son’s birthday,” Brandt said.
In a release, BC Ferries said it is more than 420,000 passengers and 160,000 vehicles from Thursday through Tuesday.
It added 85 extra sailings, including 66 between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay, 12 between Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay and seven on the Horseshoe Bay and Langdale route.
To avoid extra wait times at terminals, the company has also released a list of helpful travel tips.
This list includes pointers like arriving early for all sailings, consider parking options or public transit to get to and from the terminals and booking reservations.
Most travellers who spoke to CHEK News at Swartz Bay on Saturday said they booked reservations in advance.
“When you don’t get a booking and you try your luck, you often get a couple of sailing wait,” Clive Gorman, travelling to Mission, said.
Gary Roberts and Francois Pelleguer were using the ferry for the first time this weekend — meaning reservations were very important to them.
“Especially on a busy weekend like this,” Roberts said.
BC Ferries has also suggested travelling at non-peak times like mid-week days, early mornings or late evening sailings.
It said this helps reduce the pressure on long lineups at the terminals.