Three-sailing waits for much of Monday at Swartz Bay


While travellers heading to the Lower Mainland via B.C. Ferries at Swartz Bay on Thanksgiving Monday faced three-sailing waits at times, conditions improved later in the day.

The 9 p.m. ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen had room to spare

At Swartz Bay in the early afternoon, all spaces were taken on the 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. sailings.

By 5:45 p.m., the 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. sailings were also listed as full, and the 8 p.m. ferry nearly 90 per cent full.

Because of the holiday, sailings were scheduled for every hour from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., instead of just on the odd hour.

Ferries bound for Vancouver Island from the Lower Mainland generally faced fewer waits until late in the day. The 9 p.m. from Tsawwassen, normally the last sailing of the day, was full. But B.C. Ferries had scheduled a 10 p.m. sailing for the holiday Monday, so no one was left stranded.

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 Horseshoe 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.

“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.

© Copyright Times Colonist

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