Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay route full for drive-up traffic: BC Ferries

Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay route full for drive-up traffic: BC Ferries
BC Ferries terminal webcam
Vehicle traffic lined up at Horseshoe Bay to head to Departure Bay on June 28, 2024.

On this busy long weekend travel day, BC Ferries says there is no more capacity for drive-up passengers leaving from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay.

Just after 2:30 on Friday afternoon, BC Ferries shared on Twitter (now X) that its remaining sailings for the day leaving Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo were all full for non-reserved vehicle passengers.

“Those travelling with reservations, please arrive at the terminal within your booking’s check in window,” the tweet said.

Looking to capacity for Saturday morning, travellers on that route may experience waits, with the 6:30, 9:05 and 11:25 a.m. sailings already almost at capacity for vehicles. The first two sailings of the day have 20 per cent capacity remaining and the third has 27 per cent capacity remaining as of 3 p.m.

Leaving Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, there are four sailings with drive-up availability as of 3 p.m. Tsawwassen to Duke Point has availability on three sailings.

BC Ferries says there is limited space on its Vancouver to Vancouver Island routes on the Canada Day long weekend, with the busiest travel days expected to have been Thursday and Friday.

Monday is expected to be the busiest travel day for those leaving Vancouver Island to Vancouver.

“If you plan to drive on board without a booking during peak times, arrive prepared for sailing waits,” BC Ferries says on its website.

“To avoid sailing waits, walk on board or, if you’re planning to drive, travel on off-peak days (Saturday, Sunday) and times (early morning or late night).”

BC Ferries is expecting to transport 8 million passengers between June 1 and Sept. 5 and has added 350 sailings compared to its summer schedule from 2023.

In order to experience smooth sailings, BC Ferries advises people to book in advance or travel in off peak times, which are typically during the week or early mornings and late evenings.

Travelling as a walk on passenger is another good way to skip the waits.

RELATED: BC Ferries adding sailings, dropping fuel surcharge this summer

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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