Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Ferry sailings to be reduced from Departure Bay, bumped up from Duke Point this summer

Goal is to reduce congestion at Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay terminals
B.C. Ferries Departure Bay Terminal in Nanaimo. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

B.C. Ferries is reducing service on the Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay route this summer in a bid to ease congestion at the two terminals.

Sailings will be bumped up on the Duke Point-Tsawwassen run to take the extra traffic.

Two-vessel service is expected to be in effect on the Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay route between June 25 and Sept. 4.

Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries spokesperson, said there is more holding capacity for vehicles at Duke Point and Tsawwassen than at Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay. The latter also handles traffic to and from Langdale on the Sunshine Coast and Bowen Island.

Reducing the number of sailings through Horseshoe Bay will help prevent ferry-bound traffic from backing up on the highway approaching the terminal, Marshall said. “At peak times, vehicles can back up onto the Upper Levels Highway, which is a safety issue.”

Increasing service between Tsawwassen and Duke Point will also help meet the growing demand to carry large recreational and commercial vehicles in a safer way than through the tighter Horseshoe Bay terminal, Marshall said.

To lure passengers to the Tsawwassen-Duke Point route, B.C. Ferries is offering incentives: more $39 saver fares will be available on that run as of July 5, extra reservation space is being added, promotions for over-height vehicles are planned and commercial traffic will get a 33 per cent discount at select times.

B.C. Ferries urges passengers to book in advance and suggests travellers consider the Duke Point-Tsawwassen route to reduce the chance of sailing waits.