If you are planning to travel on BC Ferries in the near future, here are a few travel tips and some information on new safety rules that have been introduced.
Make a reservation.
If you are traveling with a vehicle on a popular route during a popular time (like weekends and holidays), try to make a reservation if it's a reservable route.
Bookings start at just $10 when booked 7 days in advance. Customers who make bookings are guaranteed to be on their sailing of choice when they arrive at least 30 minutes in advance.
Be prepared for sailing waits if you don't book ahead on a reservable route.
At popular times, if you are travelling without a booking on a reservable route, that means on a "first come, first-served" basis. You may experience sailing waits if the ferry has reached capacity.
Arrive an hour early to check in.
BC Ferries recommend that you arrive at least an hour before your sailing. Foot passengers are advised to arrive at least an hour in advance as sailings may reach passenger capacity.
If you arrive early, you can use some of the terminal facilities like food & beverage, dog walking and washrooms.
You can also watch some of the cars load and unload like shown in my Youtube video:
You will be asked COVID-19 screening questions at check-in.
For any route longer than 30 minutes, BC Ferries will screen all customers for COVID-19 symptoms at check-in and restrict travel to any customer that does not meet the screening requirements, as per the federal guidelines.
- Do you have a fever and a cough?
- Do you have a fever and breathing difficulty?
- Have you been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19?
- Are you the subject of a provincial/territorial or local public health order?
- Are you in possession of a face covering that covers your mouth and nose, and do you agree to wear this covering in situations where you cannot maintain two metres of physical separation from fellow passengers?
If you answer yes to any of questions 1 to 4 and/or no to question 5 above, or refuse to answer any of the questions, BC Ferries will deny you boarding.
Customers not displaying symptoms and under a directive to self-isolate at home may be permitted on board but will be required to maintain physical distance by remaining in their vehicle.
Face masks are required.
As of August 24, all walk-on and vehicle passengers will be required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings at all times when at a BC Ferries terminal or on a BC Ferries vessel except:
- When inside a vehicle
- When consuming food or drinks, provided physical distancing is maintained
- Children under 2 years of age
- Medical condition or disability that inhibits the ability to wear a mask
- Persons unable to place or remove a mask without assistance
Staying in your car is recommended.
If you are driving on with your vehicle, you are encouraged to stay in your car during the voyage even on the enclosed lower decks.
BC Ferries strongly suggests that vehicle passengers stay in their vehicle regardless of the car deck during sailing.
Tips for eating and seating on the passenger deck.
On the ferry, food services is available in takeaway format. Many seats on the passenger deck are blocked off. You’ll find hand sanitizer readily available on the ferry.
And while you are traveling on BC Ferries, be sure to take in the beautiful coastlines. Safe and happy travels!