Boats added for May long weekend

Damaged Celebration still pulling duty

BC Ferries is ready for a whole lot of traffic as the travel season kicks off on the May long weekend. Often seen as the unofficial start of summer, it’s a busy weekend on BC Ferries which is offering 80 extra sailings on its most popular routes over the holiday.  Extra service is available from Thursday, May 19 through Tuesday, May 24.

Locally, a total of 58 extra sailings are scheduled from May 19 to 24 on the Tsawwassen — Swartz Bay route.

On Tuesday, May 24, early morning sailings are scheduled to depart both Tsawwassen  and Swartz Bay at 6 a.m. so post-weekend travellers can get an early start on the day.

The most popular travel times are expected to be mid-day Friday to late morning  Saturday with traffic moving from the Lower Mainland to Vancouver Island and from  Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast.

Monday afternoon is expected to be busy with traffic returning to the Lower Mainland.

The Coastal Celebration, which sustained damage to one of its bow doors last week, will provide supplemental service over the long weekend on the Tsawwassen — Swartz Bay route.

The ship will sail as a single-ended vessel, so drivers will notice a different loading and  unloading pattern. Repairs to the ship will be made after the long weekend when new parts arrive from the supplier. The vessel is expected to be back in regular operation by mid-June.