The summer weather has arrived and so has the BC Day long weekend.
With those two factors combined, BC Ferries is anticipating an extremely busy weekend and is encouraging travellers to book in advance or face sailing waits on its busiest routes.
The company says it expects to move nearly 140,000 vehicles and more than 400,000 passengers over the long weekend, with the heaviest traffic expected Thursday, Friday, Sunday afternoon and Monday.
To keep up with the demand, BC Ferries said it will be operating at maximum capacity with more than 2,500 sailings—covering more than 22,000 nautical miles—Thursday through Monday.
The company recommends you book early so you don’t have to experience sailing waits.
“Be prepared for sailing waits if you are travelling without a booking. The best option to avoid sailing waits is to travel during less busy times. These are typically mid-week days and early morning or late evening sailings,” BC Ferries said in a statement.
BC Ferries drivers are encouraged to check current conditions, plan out parking options in advance as lots at major terminals fill up quickly on long weekends and those with advance bookings should arrive at the terminal 45-60 minutes ahead of their scheduled departure.
The company said abusive behavior towards staff would not be tolerated. The quietest time to travel this long weekend will be Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.
Last Friday, Mark Collins was fired as CEO of BC Ferries as the company works to improve staffing shortages and service interruptions plaguing its routes.