BC Ferries slashing select fares by 75 per cent this summer

BC Ferries slashing select fares by 75 per cent this summer
Until Sept. 1, BC Ferries is “significantly” slashing the rates for select early-morning and late-evening sailings.

BC Ferries is making the ferry-going experience more affordable for some passengers this summer by offering 75 per cent off several inter-island routes, starting today.

Through Sept. 1, the corporation is “significantly” slashing the standard rate for select early-morning and late-evening sailings — with the cheapest fare around $5.

“The promotion is designed to encourage customers to travel on less busy sailings by giving them a discount, freeing up space at more popular times,” BC Ferries said in a news release.

For both standard and overheight vehicle fares, savings only apply at terminals and are not available for advance bookings. That means customers should arrive early to ensure they board their desired sailing, BC Ferries warns.

Departing Greater Victoria, the Monday to Friday 7 a.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. sailings on the Swartz Bay to Fulford Harbour (Salt Spring Island) route will see customers pay $8.20 — a savings of over $24. 

Meanwhile, the Nanaimo Harbour to Descanso Bay (Gabriola Island) Monday to Friday 5:45 a.m. and weekend 6:35 a.m. sailings will see customers pay $6.

However, fares won’t be reduced during the BC Day long weekend, which runs from July 28 to Aug. 1.

Here’s the complete list of routes included in the promotion, including fare savings and sailing schedules:

The promotion comes amid ongoing staff shortages.

This past Monday, for example, BC Ferries said the Spirit of British Columbia ferry was hit with delays due to an issue with “availability of crew.”

Last month, spokesperson Deborah Marshall said the corporation was looking to hire back an estimated 150 employees on unpaid leave after federal vaccine requirements were lifted.

“What this means for us is, as of June 20, BC Ferries will be suspending its mandatory vaccination policy for our staff,” Marshall told CHEK News at the time.

“So we will be reaching out to our employees who are currently on leave without pay to seek their intentions of coming back to work with us at BC Ferries.”

Marshall stressed that their return is “absolutely critical” for BC Ferries.

-With files from CHEK’s Mary Griffin.

READ MORE: BC Ferries wants 150 unvaccinated workers back on the job

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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