BC Ferries warns one Nanaimo route will be extra busy this weekend


WATCH: BC Ferries is warning that a busy long weekend is coming. Officials say the Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay route will be especially bad. That’s because the Coastal Inspiration was supposed to be back in service for extra sailings over the long weekend but repairs are taking longer than expected. And if you don’t have a reservation, ferry officials are suggesting you avoid that route altogether. Kendall Hanson reports.

It could be a very long weekend for people trying to sail on BC Ferries from Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay.

“I’ve got a three-hour wait,” said BC Ferries customer Shannon Boothman after just missing her desired sailing.

On Thursday, many sailings were sold out with travellers waiting at the terminal.

“We originally planned to have three major vessels on the Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay run for the long weekend,” said BC Ferries’ Deborah Marshall. “What it means is that we’ve had to cancel some sailings because we don’t have that third vessel available to us.”

The backlog has been caused by ongoing repairs to the Coastal Inspiration.

“The work on the propeller hub did take longer than expected originally. It is a complex job,” said Marshall. “Unfortunately, the vessel won’t be available to us for the beginning on the long weekend and we don’t have any other spare vessels.”

BC Ferries is adding extra sailings leaving Horseshoe Bay after midnight Thursday and Friday night and is suggesting people board as foot passengers.

For some traveller,s it’s meant cutting their trips to Vancouver Island short.

“I was hoping to stay one more day but we didn’t know if we could get a ferry out and we have reservations up in Whistler so didn’t want to miss that,” said Janna Harrell, a tourist from Utah.

“Coming home today anyway but we got away early to come back home because we didn’t want to be in a long line-up this evening,” said Richard Saunders. a BC Ferries customer from Vancouver.

BC Ferries expects Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning to be the busiest days for travel.

The Coastal Inspiration is now expected to be back in service Monday, relieving some of the congestion as people travel home after the weekend.

The full BC Ferries advisory can be found here.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!