Thanksgiving sailings are expected to be busier than usual while the Spirit of Vancouver Island ferry is being repaired. (Black Press Media file photo)

Thanksgiving sailings are expected to be busier than usual while the Spirit of Vancouver Island ferry is being repaired. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Ferries asks for patience over Thanksgiving weekend with main vessel out of service

Mechanical issues limiting capacity on Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route

BC Ferries is asking passengers to plan ahead and be patient this upcoming Thanksgiving long weekend.

The holiday is expected to be busier than usual on the popular Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route, as the Spirit of Vancouver Island ferry is out of commission until further notice due to mechanical issues. The Spirit Class vessel has been temporarily replaced with a smaller, lower-capacity Coastal Class ferry.

Because of limited capacity created by the vessel substitution, BC Ferries recommends those wanting to travel to and from Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver consider taking alternative routes. The West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) to Nanaimo (Departure Bay) and Vancouver (Tsawwassen) to Nanaimo (Duke Point) routes are expected to be less busy.

READ MORE: Ferry cancellations continue between Victoria and Vancouver

To prepare for one of the company’s biggest sailing weekends of the year, BC Ferries has sent out a list of travel tips for prospective passengers. The company says it typically sees higher traffic from Vancouver to destinations on Vancouver Island on the Thursday and Friday afternoons before Thanksgiving weekend begins, as well as Saturday morning.

READ MORE: Three men arrested after defying mask mandate, threatening passengers on ferry to Swartz Bay

The most popular travel day for sailings from Nanaimo (Departure Bay), Victoria (Swartz Bay) and the Sunshine Coast (Langdale) will be Thanksgiving Monday.

Anyone who plans to sail with BC Ferries this weekend should book in advance, be prepared for long waits and arrive early, the company reminded passengers. It also noted foot passengers – those walking instead of driving onto vessels – have an easier time boarding the sailing of their choice.

However, there have been waits for walk-on passengers as well on Thanksgiving weekend.

PNR


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