BC Ferries passengers on the Malaspina Sky can now bring their cats and dogs with them to the upper outside decks, in a pilot project that could help expand the service to other routes.
On Wednesday, the ferry company launched its “You barked we listened” pet pilot, meaning passengers sailing between Powell River (Saltery Bay) and the Sunshine Coast (Earls Cove) no longer have to leave pets in vehicles or a designed pet area.
The pilot reveal, which was met with applause on social media, comes amid pet owners’ requests to allow their four-legged friends access to outside areas on board, according to BC Ferries.
The company also notes that it has noticed an increase in the number of passengers travelling with pets in recent years — from 5.5 per cent in 2018 to 13.7 per cent in 2020.
“Based on the success of the pilot and feedback from customers, we will look to expand pet access to outer decks on more BC Ferries routes,” BC Ferries said.
It says owners must keep their dogs on a leash and cats in a travel carrier while on the outer decks, which are accessed by a designated stairwell or an elevator for people with accessibility requirements.
“Paw prints on the deck mark access points. Waste bags and water bowls will be provided, and the area will be routinely cleaned,” the company added.
“BC Ferries loves all animals but only dogs on leash and cats in carriers are safe on the upper outer decks. There will be a limit of two dogs per owner.”
The company has more travelling with pets tips on its website.