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BC Ferries adding 150 sailings to meet holiday travel demand

Most of the extra trips will be along the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route

BC Ferries plans to add almost 150 sailings between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland for people travelling over holidays.

The additional sailings begin Thursday (Dec. 21) and will run until New Year’s Day, with 112 trips added along the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route and another 34 between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo’s Departure Bay.

Dec. 23 is typically the busiest travel day for those headed to the Island before Christmas, according to a BC Ferries news release. Boxing Day and Dec. 27 are the most popular travel days after Christmas.

BC Ferries said it will also be adding sailings between Tsawwassen and the Southern Gulf Islands, along with six extra ones between Horseshoe Bay and the Sunshine Coast.

It also reminded the public that sailings will be reduced on some routes on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, due to the low demand on those days.

Those without a reservation should expect waits during popular travel times, the ferry operator said, noting 62 per cent of bookable space has already been reserved for the holiday period.

In an aim to make holiday travel smoother, BC Ferries encouraged passengers to carpool, walk on the ferry and get dropped off at the terminal to avoid traffic congestion. Those with a booking are asked to arrive 45 to 60 minutes before their scheduled departure.

It also reminded passengers to dress for cold and wet weather, and wear appropriate footwear to avoid slips, trips and falls.

Vessels have been decorated with seasonal displays and festive trees to get people in the holiday spirit.

BC Ferries said it will also be tracking Santa as he arrives in B.C. with the help of Captain Kelp, a camera-equipped reindeer who will be looking to the skies. Those wanting to follow Captain Kelp’s Santa tracking can tune into the company’s social media feeds starting at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve

READ: Coastal Renaissance won’t be sailing over the holidays: BC Ferries

Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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