(BC Ferries)

Let the long weekend travels begin!

Ferry terminals and airports are about to get hectic, as Vancouver Islanders head to the mainland (and vice versa) for the Victoria Day long weekend.

To accommodate the increase in traffic, BC Ferries is adding up to 110 extra sailings to handle increased influx of customers.

The ferry company said the recent hiring of more than 500 staff will allow it to add more sailings from Thursday, May 19th to Monday, May 24th.

Majority of the extra sailings are scheduled for the most popular routes linking Metro Vancouver with Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

On the Vancouver-Victoria route, 74 extra sailings are being added, including 6 a.m. sailings on May 19th, 20th, 21st and 24th.

Based on previous years (prior to the the pandemic), the most popular travel times are anticipated to be on Thursday and Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and Monday.

Historically, Monday afternoon is the most popular time for people to return from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

On the West Vancouver, Nanaimo and Sunshine Coast routes, 25 extra sailings will be added on the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route, and 11 extra sailings on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route.

During the May long weekend, BC Ferries will operate about 2,400 sailings — the equivalent of 19,200 nautical miles, or the driving distance from Vancouver to Halifax and back twice.

The company says 300,000 passengers and 100,000 vehicles will be transported from Thursday through Monday, while about 20,000 burgers, 5,000 bowls of ice cream and 21,000 cups of coffee will be served.

Safe travels!

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