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B.C. Ferries cancels sailings heading into busy Thanksgiving weekend

Travellers to consider walking on Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route
BC Ferries’ Spirit of Vancouver will be out of service during Thanksgiving weekend due to repairs. (Photo by Theresa Bodger) BC Ferries’ Spirit of Vancouver will be out of service during Thanksgiving weekend due to repairs (Photo by Theresa Bodger)

BC Ferries will be cancelling several sailings after the Thanksgiving long weekend due to ship repairs.

Following the busy Thanksgiving long weekend, the Spirit of Vancouver Island will be temporarily removed from service from the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route.

The vessel will be drydocked from Oct. 10 to 18 for necessary ballast tank repairs. From Oct. 11 to 18, two vessels will provide service on the route. Additional sailings are not possible as a relief vessel is not available. Customers are strongly advised to make reservations during this time. Overloads are expected throughout the week, particularly on Oct. 13 and 15.

Brian Anderson, community engagement vice-president of BC Ferries, encouraged passengers who have the option of not travelling with a vehicle to instead walk on to a ferry.

“If you can’t book ahead, it’s best to avoid the busiest peak periods during the day,” said Anderson.

The Coastal Renaissance on the Nanaimo-Tsawwassen route also remains out of service.

BC Ferries is preparing to welcome approximately 380,000 passengers and 175,000 vehicles over the Thanksgiving long weekend and will provide over 3,000 sailings between Oct. 5 and 10.

Foot passenger traffic is anticipated to be especially high due to post-secondary students travelling home for the holiday weekend.

Foot passenger wait times may occur at peak times and customers travelling on the major routes are strongly urged to make a reservation to secure a spot on their desired sailing. Customers travelling without a confirmed booking are strongly encouraged to be dropped.

READ MORE: Broken-down Nanaimo-Tsawwassen ferry won’t be back in service until December