VICTORIA -- Daily sailings are set to return between Nanaimo’s Departure Bay and Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay beginning June 3.

In total, four round trips will resume along the route, at a maximum of 50 per cent passenger capacity as mandated by Transport Canada.

Sailings on this route will also follow other transportation guidelines, including enhanced cleaning, traveller screening and allowing passengers to remain in their vehicles on all car decks.

Due to the reduced number of sailings and maximum passenger capacity, BC Ferries recommends that travellers reserve spots ahead of each sailing.

BC Ferries is also recommending that vehicle passengers arrive at the terminal at least one hour before their sailing departs, as the check-in process is longer than usual due to screening protocols. Foot passengers are advised to arrive “well in advance.”

Due to limited vessel capacity, BC Ferries is asking travellers to consider taking an alternate route, like the Duke Point to Tsawwassen route or Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen if possible.

“In order to support coastal B.C. and respond to the need of British Columbians, we are gradually and safely restoring our service,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO in a release Monday.

“Demand has increased such that resuming service on the Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay route better serves the needs of customers.”

Anyone who had previous reservations for the Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay route between June 3 and July 1 will have their bookings cancelled and automatically refunded. BC Ferries says that it will contact anyone who is affected by the cancellations.

The new daily schedule for the Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay route, starting June 3, is:

  • From Horseshoe Bay: 8:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:50 pm, 6:50 pm
  • From Departure Bay: 10:30 am, 12:50 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:50 pm