BC Ferries is adding 152 extra sailings between Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast for the holiday weekend.
Between Dec. 21 and Jan. 1, BC Ferries has added 112 extra sailings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay, 34 extra sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay and six extra sailings and the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route.
BC Ferries is also adding a number of additional sailings between Tsawwassen and the Southern Gulf Islands.
The most popular travel time over the holidays, before Christmas Day, is typically Dec. 23 for traffic moving from the Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals to Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.
Dec. 26 and 27 are typically the most popular after Christmas Day, with traffic returning from the Departure Bay, Duke Point, Swartz Bay and Langdale terminals.
Due to traditionally low demand on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, the ferries are reminding customers that sailing schedules are reduced on some routes.
Customers are encouraged to book reservations if they plan to travel as 62 per cent of bookable space is already reserved.
BC Ferries sent a few other tips for travellers to ensure a safe trip including:
- Checking the current conditions on the BC Ferries website or X, formerly known as Twitter.
- Arrive at the terminal 45-60 minutes before your booked departure. Walk-on passengers should arrive 45 minutes before the sailing.
- Ride-share, take transit or carpool where possible as vehicle space and parking fills up quickly.
- Be prepared for winter conditions.
BC Ferries said it will be adding some holiday magic to the travel experience.
Captain Kelp and a B.C. reindeer equipped with a camera will be looking to the skies to capture the magic that starts to unfold throughout the coast.
There will also be seasonal displays, festive trees, limited-time holiday dessert items, and holiday promotions in Passages Gift Shop.
Last year, 911,000 passengers and 428,000 vehicles travelled on a BC Ferry over the holiday season. The company is ready to transport similar numbers this year.