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Friday ferry sailings cancelled as repairs continue on Queen of Alberni

Multiple ferry sailings have been cancelled Friday between Departure Bay in Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay because of a mechanical problem with the Queen of Alberni.
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B.C. Ferries said during repair work on the Queen of Alberni, a problem was discovered with the Queen of Alberni’s piston assembly. BC FERRIES

For the second day in a row, B.C. Ferries has cancelled several sailings between Departure Bay in Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay because of a mechanical problem with the Queen of Alberni. 

The following Queen of Alberni ferry sailings have been cancelled for Friday:

  • 7:40 a.m. out of Departure Bay
  • 10 a.m. out of Horseshoe Bay
  • 12:25 p.m. out of Departure Bay
  • 2:45 p.m. out of Horseshoe Bay
  • 5 p.m. out of Departure Bay
  • 7:20 p.m. out of Horseshoe Bay

B.C. Ferries said a problem was discovered with the Queen of Alberni’s piston assembly during repair work on the ferry, and it will require critical machining to repair. 

Eight sailings were cancelled on Thursday, and the corporation had said initially said the ferry might be back in service on Friday.

It is now expected to be back in service Saturday morning.

Other sailings on the route are expected to proceed as scheduled, B.C. Ferries said.

Travellers without a booking on this route are advised to make alternative travel plans as a foot passenger, B.C. Ferries said. Booking in advance is strongly recommended.

The cancellations meant long lineups as B.C. Ferries readied for a crush of holiday travellers for Canada Day and U.S. Independence Day this weekend.

There were waits of up to four sailings on Thursday afternoon, with all trips out of Tsawwassen to Duke Point in Nanaimo sold out by 3 p.m.

The 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. sailings from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay were also sold out by then.

Sailings from the Island were also busy — as of 3:15 p.m., travellers without reservations on the Duke Point-Tsawwassen route were facing several-sailing waits, with both the 5:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. departures from Duke Point full.

To accommodate a higher volume of travellers expected this weekend, B.C. Ferries has put four vessels on the busy Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route and is offering as many as 32 sailings per day.

B.C. Ferries’ customer service centre will contact customers with bookings on the cancelled sailings to let them know if it has space on the next available sailing or if their booking must be cancelled. “In the case of a cancellation, we will automatically refund fees and/or fares,” said the ferry corporation.

More information about bookings on cancelled sailings can be found on the B.C. Ferries website.