Traffic and walk-on passengers are moving across the Salish Sea quicker than anticipated.
Traditionally, on the tail end of the Canada Day long weekend, people returning home on major sailings to and from Vancouver Island will pack ferry lines, creating multiple sailing waits.
On Monday afternoon, there was only one sailing wait to go in either direction with no major interruptions for passengers with reservations. Some travellers with reservations even managed to get on an earlier ferry.
Karen Johnston, a communications executive with BC Ferries, says the company believes travellers are hanging on to the last second before going home.
“It is typical for people to stretch out their departure for a long weekend and to have their return concentrated as people are trying to squeeze every last hour out of their holiday time before they get to work and their daily lives,” said Johnston.
Major cancellations and above-average wait times leading up to the long weekend came as the Coast Celebration ferry was out of service.
According to BC Ferries, the vessel was undergoing mechanical work that took longer than expected, and the delay in the refit led to 48 cancelled sailings at one of the year’s busiest travel times.
Johnston is optimistic about the vessel as it started its first sea trial around 10 a.m. Monday.
“She’s in the water for sea trials again. That is great news, but she has to get through those sea trails and make sure that everything is in good working order. This is a safety issue we will not compromise on the safety of our passengers and our crews,” said Johnston.