Expect long travel delays this Thanksgiving weekend, says BC Ferries

BC Ferries has added extra sailings, but is warning some foot passengers could face waits on holiday Monday.

BC Ferries has added extra sailings, but is warning some foot passengers could face waits on holiday Monday

BC Ferries is asking foot passengers to arrive early at terminals during the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, saying that some could face ferry waits on Monday. (BC Ferries/Twitter)

Officials at BC Ferries and B.C.'s borders are expecting a crush of travellers this holiday Thanksgiving weekend.

BC Ferries has added 90 extra sailings. But it's still warning foot passengers to arrive earlier than they normally would — especially Monday at Departure Bay in Nanaimo and Swartz Bay outside Victoria.

BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said the Thanksgiving long weekend is traditionally the most popular day of the year for foot passengers.

Extra sailings have been added to the following routes:

  • Vancouver – Victoria (Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay).
  • Metro Vancouver – Nanaimo (Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay).
  • Metro Vancouver – Sunshine Coast (Horseshoe Bay – Langdale).

"The busiest day of the long weekend will be Monday, with traffic returning from the Departure Bay, Swartz Bay and Langdale terminals," said BC Ferries in a release.

It advises travellers to use Duke Point, as it tends to be less busy.

BC Ferries is offering discounts on some routes to encourage travellers to travel outside of peak times. 

Reduced border lanes

Meanwhile, the Canada Border Services Agency says 20,884 vehicles entered Canada through five Lower Mainland border crossings on Thanksgiving Day last year. 

The Douglas (Peace Arch) and Pacific Highway crossings are the two busiest. However, at the Douglas crossing there is ongoing construction with only seven general traffic lanes, compared to the usual ten.

CBSA officials are advising travellers to use other ports of entry to avoid delays.

Current border wait times can be checked here.

Another wrinkle that will impact some is construction along the Coquihalla Highway.

Officials say there will be delays due to two major road and bridge construction projects underway between Hope and Merritt.

Weather should be good

On the bright side, if travellers face waits, at least they will be in the sunshine.

While there is a chance of rain in some parts of the province, most Thanksgiving forecasts call for sun and temperatures in the mid-teens.