Travellers between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay are almost out of luck on Thursday, with all sailings except two being sold out for the day.
As of 3 p.m., the 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 p.m. sailings leaving Swartz Bay for Tsawwassen were all completely full, and only the 11 p.m. sailing had 72 per cent of its vehicle deck space remaining.
Similarly, there is only room on one sailing leaving Tsawwassen for Swartz Bay at 1 a.m. Friday morning, with the Thursday sailings at 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9 p.m. all sold out.
On all of the sailings there is still room for walk-on ferry passengers, and the company says it will post on Twitter if that changes.
This backlog of ferry traffic is the result of multiple sailing cancellations after the Coastal Celebration had to be pulled from service due to an ongoing mechanical issue.
Eight one-way sailings each day are cancelled every day until at least July 26.
As a result of these cancellations, the ferry company added an 11 p.m. sailing leaving Swartz Bay on July 20, 21 and 23, and a 1 a.m. leaving Tsawwassen on July 21, 22 and 24.
B.C.’s Premier David Eby was asked about the cancellations and he said it is “not acceptable.”
“Every Islander know that the ferries are part of our highway system, it’s not just, as it is for our family, a good way to visit grandma and come over to the Island for a visit, it’s an essential part of the Island economy,” Eby said.
“It’s not acceptable that the ferries are not available for people on Vancouver Island, for British Columbians. I’ve touched base with the chair of BC Ferries. The new CEO is in place, they are working hard to ensure that BC Ferries ensures consistent reliable service for all British Columbians it’s a priority for me and for our government and it is a priority for the new leadership of BC Ferries as they ensure that our ferry system is available for people.”
On @BCFerries problems and reservations for vehicles sold out until August “it’s not acceptable the Ferries are not available.”
Says he’s talked to board chair Joy McPhail and “it’s a priority” to get it working better.
— Rob Shaw (@RobShaw_BC) July 20, 2023