It’s the last long weekend of summer and to help you make the most of it, BC Ferries is offering some long weekend travel tips for a smooth ride between Thursday, Aug. 29 and Tuesday, Sept. 3.
According to BC Ferries, the most popular travel times are Thursday and Friday afternoon, along with Saturday morning, with lots of travellers departing from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals.
Labour Day Monday and the following Tuesday morning are typically the most popular times for people to return from Vancouver Island to the Lower Mainland.
Want to avoid sailing waits? BC Ferries recommends travellers make a reservation, or travel at less busy times. The best times to travel can be found on the Travel Planning page on BC Ferries’ website.
They also recommend arriving at the terminal about 45 to 60 minutes prior to their scheduled departure. Walk-on passengers should arrive 45 minutes before their anticipated sailing.
Follow traffic control flaggers and have your booking reference number ready upon arrival at the ticket booth to expedite the check-in process if you’ve made a reservation.
Be prepared for sailing waits if you’re travelling at a popular time. Sailing waits only apply to those who have not made a reservation, and a one-sailing wait can mean staying in the terminal for an extra hour.
Make sure you consider parking when planning your travels as the major terminal parking lots fill up quick. If possible, BC Ferries asks you take public transit or arrange to be dropped off at the terminal. Double check BC Ferries Twitter, where they post when parking lots fill up.
To entice you to travel at off-peak times, BC Ferries is offering a deal. Until Sept. 4, the Sunrise and Sunset Savings promotion features savings on more than 1,600 early morning and late evening sailings. Select sailings are discounted to $49, $59 or $69 for a one-way standard passenger vehicle and driver on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen to Duke Point and Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay routes.
Finally, BC Ferries wants you to celebrate the weekend, and will be hosting entertainment at major terminals for passengers to enjoy while waiting. There will be face painting, bubble machines, mascots, magic and more. The Coastal Naturalists will be on site at varying times throughout the weekend.
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