(BC Ferries/Twitter)

BC Ferries has announced a second expansion of their summer schedule after initially adding 120 more sailings per week for July.

In a statement on Monday, the ferry company announced the addition of 79 more weekly sailings on four major routes starting July 2.

Extra sailings are being added to the following routes:

  • 33 additional round trips per week on the Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Vancouver Island (Swartz Bay) route,
  • 8 additional round trips per week on the Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Nanaimo (Duke Point) route,
  • 30 additional round trips per week on the Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Nanaimo (Departure Bay) route, and
  • 8 additional round trips per week on the Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Sunshine Coast (Langdale) route.

“We are keeping capacity well ahead of demand all through the recovery,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO, in a statement.

“Ferry traffic has returned to an average of about 30 per cent lower than this time last year. We are forecasting that it will be two to three years before traffic returns to pre-COVID levels.”

However sailings at popular times this summer may still be full as BC Ferries continues to adhere to Transport Canada guidelines and remains at 50 per cent capacity.

All passengers are now required to carry a face mask or face covering while on board any ferry route longer than 30 minutes, and will be asked to put them on in situations where physical distancing is not possible.

Last week, the company also announced the resumption of some food services after they were suspended on March 19 to minimize the risks of transmission.