Ferry service ready for busy weekend

NANAIMO: Corporation reminds travellers Duke Point is an alternative from busy Departure Bay terminal.

Labour Day, the unofficial end to summer, marks one of the busiest weekends on B.C. Ferries’ calendar and officials are expecting this weekend to be no exception.

Historically, multiple sailing waits can be experienced at both the Departure Bay and Duke Point terminals. The Thursday and Friday before the long weekend and the Monday and Tuesday after are the busiest times at Nanaimo’s terminals.

Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries spokeswoman, said if a specific sailing is required it is highly recommended to make a reservation in advance as space can become fully booked.

“It’s a long weekend so we know it’s going to be busy,” said Marshall. “It begins to pick up Thursday and into Friday. One thing we can’t tell at the moment is how busy Sunday might be. If the weather isn’t so great sometimes families come home a day early so they can get all of their things done before school starts so that’s something to keep in mind.”

On Aug. 19, police arrested a 65-year-old Surrey man who had become agitated at the long ferry lineup on Stewart Avenue after learning there was a three-sailing wait. When asked to return at a later hour, the man drove his Volvo onto the sidewalk and tried to elude police.

Marshall said Departure Bay is often the first to reach capacity, so travellers should consider using the Duke Point-Tsawwassen route.

Until Sept. 3, sailings depart Duke Point as early as 5:15 a.m. and as late as 10:45 p.m. with six sailings in between.

At Departure Bay, sailings begin at 6:20 a.m. and end at 9:30 p.m. with 10 sailings in between.

For up-to-date information, please visit www.bcferries.com.

Nanaimo News Bulletin