British Columbia

BC Ferries prepares for hectic holiday traffic

It's a busy travel week on BC Ferries and spokesperson Deborah Marshall is warning passengers to give themselves extra time arriving at the terminals.

Approximately 400,000 vehicles and 1 million passengers expected between Christmas and Jan. 2

B.C. Ferries has added extra sailings, but is warning passengers to allow extra time at terminals due to holiday crowds. (Richard Zussman/CBC)

BC Ferries has added extra sailings this holiday season, but travellers should still be prepared to arrive early and expect crowds at terminals.

Approximately 400,000 vehicles and one million passengers will travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2.

BC Ferries has added 176 sailings during this time period to ease travel strain.

Despite the extra sailings, spokesperson Deborah Marshall advises passengers to check online for current conditions whether they are travelling by vehicle or as a foot passenger.

Arrive 30 minutes early

"Give yourself lots of extra time and arrive 30 minutes in advance," said Marshall.

Marshall also recommends walk-on passengers use public transit, or have someone drop them off, as terminal parking lots fill up quickly. Parking conditions are also available at

BC Ferries has added 6 a.m, 10 p.m. and midnight sailings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay. Passengers travelling on these non-peak time sailings can take advantage of discount prices.​