The Canada Day long weekend has barely begun and BC Ferries is already experiencing delays and heavy traffic.
This comes after BC Ferries issued a warning earlier this week of 48 sailing cancellations over the long weekend.
Due to that warning, it appears many people came up with the same plan—arrive early.
In a tweet just after 7 a.m. Friday, BC Ferries said it was experiencing heavy traffic at its Tsawwassen terminal. “Customers without a booking will face multiple sailing waits and may not be able to travel.”
The heavy traffic volumes, even during the early morning hours, caused significant delays.
By 8 a.m., passengers on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route were being ticketed for 3 p.m. sailing, leading to a 7-hour wait.
#BCFHeadsUp We are experiencing heavy traffic at #Tsawwassen today. Traffic control is in place to assist with directing reserved vehicles. Customers without a booking will face multiple sailing waits, and may not be able to travel.
Travel Advisory: https://t.co/WTNIITLkXb ^ts
— BC Ferries (@BCFerries) June 30, 2023
BC Ferries reported that the Coastal Renaissance sailing scheduled for 5:15 a.m. departed 39 minutes later than expected.
As of this publication, the next available sailing leaving Tsawwassen with availably for standby traffic is the 6 p.m. vessel. While traffic at Swartz Bay is higher than usual as well, there are still minimal sailings still available for the 1 p.m. vessel.
On Thursday, BC Ferries warned passengers to expect busy terminals and potential sailing waits this long weekend after the Coastal Celebration, one of BC Ferries’ vessels, experienced unexpected complications with its propulsion systems during its dry dock period, causing delays in its return to service.
As a result, over 6,600 bookings had to be reassigned to other vessels, namely the Spirit of Vancouver Island, Spirit of British Columbia, and the Queen of New Westminster.
“The service recovery effort undertaken by our team to mitigate the impact of refit issues
beyond our control has been exemplary,” said Nicolas Jimenez, President and CEO of
Passengers with existing reservations will not be affected and will make up the vast
majority of those sailing this weekend. However, customers travelling without a confirmed booking are strongly encouraged to go as walk-on passengers given a limited number of spaces for standby vehicles on each sailing.