BC Ferries is offering tips for “smooth sailing” this Canada Day long weekend. (File Photo)

Reserve, ride-share, be prepared: Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

BC Ferries wants travellers to enjoy “smooth sailing” this Canada Day long weekend.

To make the transportation portion of your long weekend more enjoyable, BC Ferries is celebrating Canada’s birthday at major terminals. Face painting, bubble machines, mascots, kids music, magic and more will keep youngsters entertained during ferry waits, and the Stream of Dreams Murals Society will give them a chance to participate in public art. On Monday, July 1 the society will be at Swartz Bay terminal to help kids paint wooden fish to be installed along the terminal fences.

READ ALSO: BC Ferries has no plans to implement debit for vehicle ticket payments

But even though waits over the long weekend will offer more than terminal snacks, the ferry service company is giving the public tips for smooth travels via ferry over the busy weekend.

BC Ferries says the busiest times to sail are Thursday and Friday afternoon, as well as Saturday morning. Historically, the Monday and Tuesday after the long weekend sees another rush of people returning from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. “To avoid sailing waits, BC Ferries recommends you reserve, or travel at less busy times,” the company stated in a media release.

READ ALSO: Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

Other recommendations include:

  • Reserving in advance to secure a spot. Avoid the line ups and zoom past the last-minute sailors. Those who make reservations have zero sailing waits, even when multiple waits are reported. Reservations be made online at bcferries.com.
  • Get a deal by travelling at “off-peak times.” BC Ferries offers deals for travellers who opt for the early morning and late evening sailings. The “Sunrise and Sunset Savings” promotion offers deals on more than 1,600 sailings, with some discounted as low as $49 for standard passenger cars on select routes.
  • Move things along by being prepared. BC Ferries asks passengers to follow traffic control flaggers and have their booking reference number ready upon arrival.
  • Arrive early. For extra busy weekends, it’s recommended that passengers arrive 45-60 minutes prior to their scheduled departure. Walk-on travellers are asked to arrive 45 minutes ahead of time.
  • Ride-share! Car-pooling cuts down on the number of vehicles backing up the ferry terminal and parking lots. “BC Ferries encourages customers to car-pool or travel as a foot passenger. Vehicle deck space can fill up quickly and will be sold out at popular times.”
  • Use the travel-planning pages on bcferries.com to check for sailing waits. Those travelling without a reservation are pushed onto the next ferry once the first one is full.

    Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Houston mill to re-open June 8

Ends lengthy shutdown which began in March

No fines issued in provincial parks over May longweekend

Activities restricted to day-use only

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Social distancing at the skatepark — kids style

Kids in the village have taken on board this season of social… Continue reading

Spirit Square reopened on June 1

Spirit Square was closed to the community in accordance with the public… Continue reading

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Most Read