Island residents looking to head to the mainland this Victoria Day long weekend are in for some good news!
BC Ferries is adding over 90 extra sailings this long weekend, the bulk of which are meant for the Victoria to Vancouver route.
Some of these additional sailings can also be paired with BC Ferries’ Sunrise and Sunset summer discounts.
In total, 92 extra sailings will be scheduled between May 16th to 20th.
For Victoria, 66 sailings will be added to the Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route, including 6 a.m. sailings.
Meanwhile for Nanaimo, 15 extra sailings will be added to the island community’s Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay route.
The remaining 11 extra sailings will be scheduled for the Horseshoe Bay to Langdale route for travelers on the mainland.
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Certain sailings tend to be very busy during the Victoria Day long weekend, according BC Ferries.
In general, Saturday morning and Thursday and Friday afternoons tend to be the most popular times for people to depart. Meanwhile, Monday afternoon is consistently busy as travelers return to the Island after visiting the mainland over the weekend.
To avoid sailing waits, BC Ferries recommends reserving a spot or traveling outside of these popular sailing times.
BC Ferries’ full list of tips for travelling during the long weekend
While dozens of extra sailings are being scheduled for the Victoria Day long weekend, ferries are still expected to be busy.
To help with your travel plans, BC Ferries has offered a few tips for the weekend:
- Book in advance – Commuters may want to reserve early to guarantee a spot on their desired sailing. Alternatively, if your travel plans are flexible, then traveling at off-peak will help you avoid the rush.
- Arrive early – BC Ferries recommends that vehicle passengers arrive 30 – 60 minutes before their departure, and that walk-on passengers arrive 45 minutes before their sailing.
- Consider parking options – Parking lots at the major terminals tend to fill up quickly over the Victoria Day long weekend. If possible, travellers are advised to take public transit or arrange to be dropped off at the terminal to avoid traffic congestion.
- Ride-share if possible – Customers are encouraged to car-pool or travel as a foot passenger as vehicle deck space fills up quickly.