BC Ferries has cancelled multiple sailings between Vancouver Island and the mainland this week due to crewing problems and engine maintenance.
Travellers leaving Greater Victoria faced long waits again on Wednesday due to the issues.
A revised schedule between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen posted on the corporation’s website noted the 8 a.m., noon, 4 and 8 p.m. sailings from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen were cancelled between Monday and Wednesday (June 6 to 8), while the corresponding 10 a.m. and 2, 6 and 10 p.m. sailings were cancelled from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay.
BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said in an email the cancellations were due to being down one vessel on the route, with the Spirit of Vancouver Island out of service for engine maintenance related to resuming the use of LNG fuel. The Coastal Celebration is replacing the Spirit vessel on its regular Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen run. Typically this time of year, up to four vessels are used on the run as summer nears, Marshall added.
As such, the schedule lists odd-hour sailings from both sides between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., with extra sailings scheduled for 2 and 6 p.m. from Swartz Bay, and noon and 4 p.m. from Tsawwassen.
As of noon Tuesday, the 1 and 2 p.m. sailings from Swartz Bay were full and little room remained on the 3. The 1 p.m. sailing from Tsawwassen was full with 23 per cent available on the next sailing at 3 p.m.
The heavy traffic volumes prompted BC Ferries to recommend travellers either make reservations or consider using the Duke Point to Tsawwassen route. However, on Monday the corporation announced the cancellations of four Tuesday sailings (June 7) on that run due to what it called “crewing challenges” on the Queen of Alberni.
Those include the 5:45 and 10:45 p.m. sailings from Duke Point, and the 3:15 and 8:15 p.m. sailings from Tsawwassen.
An ongoing notice about schedule adjustments for the Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay run from Nanaimo to the North Shore is in place through Sept. 5.
For more information, visit bcferries.com/current-conditions or @BCFerries on Twitter or call 1-888-223-3779.
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