BC Ferries has scheduled 73 extra sailings on the Tsawassen-Swartz Bay, 12 extra sailings the Langdale-Horseshoe Bay route and 12 on the Earls Cove-Saltery Bay run for the Victoria Day weekend.
Ferries predicts Thursday and Friday afternoon and Saturday morning will see peak traffic heading out of Tsawassen and Horseshoe Bay on all routes.
According to BC Ferries, four vessels will provide hourly service on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route on the Victoria Day long weekend. For customers travelling to and from the mid-island, the Tsawwassen – Duke Point route is another option. The Coastal Inspiration and Queen of Alberni will provide up to 16 sailings per day. Door to door travel times from Metro Vancouver to the mid-island are often shorter when using Tsawwassen terminal instead of Horseshoe Bay.
While the holiday Monday is often the busiest day for traffic heading from the Sunshine Coast back to Horseshoe Bay, the Tuesday after a long weekend is also typically busy and BC Ferries is predicting heavy traffic at Langdale right up until the 5:45 p.m. departure.
Parking lots also tend to fill up quickly on long weekends.
For travellers heading to Vancouver Island, Ferries has added 18 sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo and 73 on the heavily travelled Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route.
Ferries also said in a release this week that it will have extra staff on the job aboard the vessels, at the terminals and at the Customer Service Centre. It’s also opening weekend for the marketplace at the Langdale terminal.
Travellers looking for something to pass the time while they wait for the next sailing may want to offer their thoughts on the future of Horseshoe Bay terminal.
The online engagement on the upgrades to Horseshoe Bay is open until May 31 at bcferries.com/about/hsbvision.
The $250-million project is expected, along with a similar upgrade project at Langdale, to create the infrastructure needed for Ferries to look at more frequent service on Route 3.
BC Ferries plans to gather feedback through fall 2018 and will be going back to the community and its customers later this summer with potential design options.
Ferries says it plans to have a final design for the Langdale upgrades ready later this year, and construction could begin in early 2019. The Langdale project also requires a rezoning from the Sunshine Coast Regional District.
With files from Sean Eckford