BC Ferries cancels Friday morning sailings in anticipation of winter storm

BC Ferries cancels Friday morning sailings in anticipation of winter storm

BC Ferries has cancelled multiple Friday morning sailings at the height of the holiday travel rush as a winter storm approaches.

Round trips were cancelled on all major routes between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, including the first four sailings on either side of the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, due to the potential for roads and terminals to be impacted by the storm.

That means anyone booked on the 7, 8, 9 and 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. sailings on the company’s most popular route will spill over into later sailings on an already busy travel day ahead of Christmas weekend.

Improved weather conditions meant sailings leaving Duke Point, Saltery Bay, Little River, and Tsawwassen were able to depart on Friday around 10 a.m.

After that, however, eight sailings between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen have been cancelled due to a lack of crew.

READ MORE: B.C. eyes highway closures as snowstorm, freezing rain expected to cause chaos

Customer service agents will contact anyone with reservations on those sailings to let them know if a later sailing has space for them, or if they’ll have to cancel their booking entirely, BC Ferries said.

In addition to cancellations on the Nanaimo and Victoria routes, BC Ferries is also cancelling the first two round trips on the following routes:

  • Nanaimo Harbour – Descanso Bay (Gabriola Island)
  • Buckley Bay – Denman Island West
  • Gravelly Bay (Denman East) – Shingle Spit (Hornby Island)
  • Earls Cove (Sechelt) – Saltery Bay (Powell River)
  • Westview (Powell River) – Blubber Bay (Texeda Island)
  • Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Bowen Island (Snug Cove)
  • Salt Spring Island (Vesuvius Bay) – Crofton
  • Brentwood Bay – Mill Bay
  • Preedy Harbour (Thetis Island) – Telegraph Harbour (Penelakut Island) – Chemainus

The company had warned passengers earlier in the day of cancellations due to the incoming winter storm.

On Thursday, the province urged anyone who is able to avoid driving to do so while the storm brings snow, freezing rain and a downpour from now through Christmas Eve.

“The safety of our passengers and crew is of primary importance to us. We apologize for any inconvenience as a result of these cancellations,” said BC Ferries.

Passengers are urged to check BC Ferries website or Twitter page for the latest sailing information.

Jeff LawrenceJeff Lawrence

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