A windstorm is affecting the BC Ferries schedule
(Image / BC Ferries Twitter)

BC Ferries has added 93 extra sailings over Thanksgiving long weekend in order to accommodate passengers travelling for the holiday.

These additional sailings will take place between Thursday, October 10th and Tuesday, October 15th.

See also: BC Ferries Commissioner approves annual fare-increase cap of 2.3% until 2024

According to the transportation company, the most popular travel times during Thanksgiving long weekend have historically been Thursday and Friday afternoons, and Saturday morning for traffic moving from the Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals to Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

However the most popular travel day of the long weekend will be Thanksgiving Monday, as people make their way home from the Departure Bay, Swartz Bay and Langdale terminals.

Here are the additional sailings for this weekend:

  • 74 extra sailings on the Vancouver – Victoria route (Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay), the most popular route in the fleet, including
    • 6:00 a.m. departures from Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen on October 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th.
  • 13 extra sailings on the West Vancouver – Nanaimo route (Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay).
  • 6 extra sailings on the West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast route (Horseshoe Bay – Langdale).

Travel tips and tricks

While dozens of extra sailings are being scheduled for the Thanksgiving 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 Thanksgiving 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.
  • Be prepared for sailing waits – At popular times, customers travelling without a vehicle
    reservation may experience sailing waits.
  • Departure Bay terminal is usually more popular than Duke Point terminal. Customers
    returning to Metro Vancouver from the Nanaimo area may consider travelling via Duke
    Point, to avoid the rush often experienced at Departure Bay.
  • Southern Gulf Island customers (Salt Spring, Pender, Mayne, Galiano and Saturna Islands) are reminded the holiday Monday schedule will be in effect after 2:00 p.m. on October 14. Passengers travelling from Tsawwassen to the Southern Gulf Islands also have the option of sailing via Swartz Bay terminal.