BC Ferries is adding 186 extra sailings to help turn the tide in anticipation of the busy holiday weekend.
“We’ve pulled out all the stops to protect each and every Easter sailing,” said Dean Dobrinsky, BC Ferries interim vice-president of people and culture.
The company expects to see over 400,000 passengers and 160,000 vehicles grab a voyage between the Island and Mainland over the Easter holiday, adding:
- 128 extra sailings between Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay)
- 42 extra sailings between Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Nanaimo (Departure Bay)
- 16 extra sailings between Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Sunshine Coast (Langdale)
By Wednesday morning, all trips from Vancouver to Victoria for Good Friday had been fully reserved and were no longer available for booking.
We're adding over 180 extra sailings over Easter long weekend between #MetroVancouver #VancouverIsland and the #SunshineCoast. More than 400,000 passengers and 160,000 vehicles are expected from Thursday through Monday.
Travel tips: https://t.co/n7nLBdhmWD
🧵 (1/6) pic.twitter.com/17ttOUETDI
— BC Ferries (@BCFerries) April 4, 2023
On top of the extra trips, the company is offering overtime pay and says it also has a list of staff on standby which even has some chief officers that are currently on educational leave at the ready.
If you’re still keen on taking a trip to or from the Island, the company has a few recommendations it says will help make travel easier:
- Don’t drive. Foot passengers are more likely to get aboard when vehicle deck space is in short supply.
- If you do decide to drive and plan to leave your car in their parking lots, keep an eye on the company’s Twitter page to make sure the lot isn’t full.
- Book in advance — many reservations are already sold out.
- Arrive early. If you’ve booked ahead, they say to show up 45-60 minutes before your departure. The same goes for foot passengers.
Sometimes, even after you’ve done everything right and there’s no shortage of staff, conditions on the open water can be too treacherous. BC Ferries says it’s always a good idea to look at its Current Conditions page to ensure adverse weather hasn’t held up any departures. In the case of a major delay or cancellation that affects travel, it might be worth trying to get a reimbursement from the company under their “making it right” page.