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BC Ferries adding sailings for busy holiday travel season

Dec. 26-27 anticipated to be busiest travel days from Vancouver Island
A BC Ferries vessel in Horseshoe Bay. The ferry corporation has added 167 sailings as it expects a busy holiday travel season. (News Bulletin file photo)

Ferry-goers on B.C.’s coast will have extra sailing options this holiday season.

BC Ferries announced it is adding 160 sailings to its regular schedule, mostly on the Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay and Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen routes.

“There’s no place like home for the holidays, and BC Ferries is adding 167 extra sailings to make travel easier,” noted the ferry corporation in a press release.

Even with the extra sailings, BC Ferries anticipates that certain days and times of day will be busy at the terminals, and it’s recommended that travellers book their ferry trips early and arrive at the terminal with plenty of time to spare. Sailing during off-peak hours, if possible, is recommended, as travellers can take advantage of ‘saver’ fares during select sailings.

BC Ferries says traditionally, the busiest travel days are Dec. 20-23 from Horseshoe Bay and Tsawwassen and Dec. 26-27 from Departure Bay and Swartz Bay.

Customers with reservations should try to arrive at the terminal 45-60 minutes ahead of their sailing time, BC Ferries advises, and customers without reservations should be prepared for sailing waits.

Parking lots at major terminals fill up quickly during “peak periods,” the ferry corporation says, so travellers should consider arranging to be dropped off and picked up if possible, or choose public transit.

The press release notes that BC Ferries is adding 128 sailings on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route between Dec. 17-Jan. 3, 33 sailings on the Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay route between Dec. 19-28 and six sailings on the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route between Dec. 23-27.

For schedules and more information, visit

READ ALSO: B.C. Ferries reports record-breaking summer vehicle traffic

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