BC Ferries says crew shortage to blame for 2 Nanaimo-Vancouver sailing cancellations

BC Ferries says crew shortage to blame for 2 Nanaimo-Vancouver sailing cancellations
The Queen of Alberni is seen in this file photo.

A pair of BC Ferries sailings between Nanaimo and Vancouver are cancelled Wednesday night, and the company says it’s because staff can’t safely get to the terminal amid the snowfall.

A shortage of crew is to blame for the two Queen of Alberni cancellations, including the 8:15 p.m. departing Tsawwassen (Vancouver) and the 10:45 p.m. leaving Duke Point (Nanaimo), according to BC Ferries.

The company says it “has been unsuccessful in securing the required number of crew on the Queen of Alberni due to unsafe road conditions resulting in the crew’s inability to arrive at the terminal…” 

While it says other sailings on this route are expected to proceed as scheduled, customers’ last opportunity to travel from Duke Point to Tsawwassen will be the 8:15 p.m. departure on the Coastal Celebration, reads a notice Wednesday.

“We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience you may experience as a result of these cancellations,” said BC Ferries.


It adds that a specific number of crew is required on board vessels to ensure the safety of passengers in case of an emergency and to comply with Transport Canada regulations.

“The decision to cancel a sailing in these circumstances is made when we have exhausted all options to find replacement crew,” it explained. “That said, if circumstances change and replacement crew become available, we will notify customers immediately.”

BC Ferries says its customer service centre will contact customers with bookings on cancelled sailings to let them know if there is space on an alternate sailing, or if their booking must be cancelled and refunded.

Snowfall warning lifted

Environment Canada’s snowfall warning for parts of Vancouver Island, including the East Island and Nanaimo, has been lifted. The weather agency had warned of up to 20 cm of snow falling through Wednesday afternoon.

Nanaimo Airport also said the weather was impacting arrivals and departures, so, in a social media post earlier in the day, it advised passengers to check their flight status before arriving.

BC Ferries says people can check its website or X (formerly Twitter) account for up-to-date sailing and departure information.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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