Three-sailing waits for much of day at Swartz Bay


Update: At 5:45 p.m. on Thanksgiving Monday, the 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. sailings from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen were listed as full. The 8 p.m. was nearly 90 per cent full, and the 9 p.m. about 50 per cent full. 

Sailings have been scheduled for every hour from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., instead of just on the odd hour.

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Travellers hoping to get off Vancouver Island via ferry at Swartz Bay are facing at least a three-sailing wait.

By 2:20 p.m., ferries leaving for Tsawwassen at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. were full for vehicle traffic. The 5 p.m. sailing was 80 per cent full, the 6 p.m. sailing 40 per cent full and the 7 p.m. sailing 60 per cent full.

Nanaimo ferry terminals are also busy. From Duke Point, the 3:15 p.m. sailing was 97 per cent full and the 5:45 p.m. sailing was 88 per cent full. From Departure Bay to Horshoe Bay, the 3:10 p.m. is 45 per cent full and the 5:20 p.m is 47 per cent full.

Ferries bound for Vancouver Island from the Lower Mainland were facing fewer waits. From Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, only the 3 p.m. was full. The 4 p.m. was 56 per cent full and the 5 p.m. was 58 per cent full.

From Tsawwassen to Duke Point, the 3:15 p.m. was 98 per cent full and the 5:45 p.m. was 63 per cent full.

The 3:10 p.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay was 93 per cent full.

B.C. Ferries added 70 extra sailings for the Thanksgiving long weekend, including 56 extra sailings on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route, which is the busiest route in the fleet. Twelve additional sailings were added on the Horshoe Bay-Departure route at peak times.

In advance of the weekend, B.C. Ferries vice-president of customer service encouraged foot passengers to arrive early, too.

“The holiday Monday of the Thanksgiving long weekend is traditionally the busiest day of the year for foot passengers and is one of the few times of the year where we experience foot passenger overloads,” Corrine Storey said in a statement.

“Customers travelling as foot passengers are advised to arrive at the terminals well in advance of their desired sailing.”

B.C. Ferries also recommends checking the website for current conditions before heading to the terminals and making reservations if you have a specific sailing time in mind.

© Copyright Times Colonist

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