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First long weekend of summer will bring sailing waits at BC Ferries terminals

Ferry company offers travel tips ahead of the Canada Day weekend
BC Ferries is offering travel tips ahead of what is expected to be a busy long weekend at ferry terminals. (News Bulletin file photo)

The first long weekend of the summer is shaping up to be a busy one at BC Ferries terminals.

With “very high” vehicle volumes expected, the ferry company issued a press release offering travel tips.

“Not only will Canadians be celebrating the Canada Day long weekend, our American friends also will be commemorating Independence Day,” noted BC Ferries in the release. “For the first time in six years, July 1 and July 4 will bookend the same weekend.”

The ferry system’s busiest route between Victoria’s Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen will be serviced by four vessels combining to provide up to 32 sailings per day this weekend. Three vessels will handle up to 22 sailings per day between Nanaimo’s Departure Bay and West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay, and two more vessels will combine for 16 sailings between Nanaimo’s Duke Point and Tsawwassen.

“Schedules are designed to provide maximum capacity at peak travel times,” BC Ferries noted.

Summer service changes have also added sailings on routes between Horseshoe Bay and Gibsons’ Langdale terminal, as well as between Tsawwassen and the Southern Gulf Islands.

The ferry company reminds customers to book sailings early, arrive at the terminal at least 45 minutes before sailings, travel during off-peak times when possible, and share rides. Travelling on Saturday, July 2, is advised, as Thursday and Friday, June 30-July 1, and Sunday and Monday, July 3-4, are all expected to be busy days at ferry terminals.

“Customers travelling with vehicles without an advance booking will likely experience sailing waits at peak times,” the release noted. “Be prepared for sailing waits if you are travelling without a booking.”

Some travellers will face a long, hot wait at the terminal and BC Ferries reminds them to pack sunscreen, a sun hat and plenty of water.

BC Ferries also reminds travellers who require parking that lots tend to fill up quickly on long weekends.

For sailing schedules and more information, visit or

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