By the time you read this, you may have already been left on the wrong side of the water.
Between Thursday, Dec. 22 and Saturday Dec. 24, hazardous winter conditions could make ferry travel difficult across B.C.'s South Coast.
On Thursday, BC Ferries had already cancelled sailings after frigid temperatures led to burst pipes on some ships.
Now another snow storm is bearing down on the region, expected to bring snow, freezing rain and cold temperatures.
“BC Ferries is closely monitoring the weather forecast over the next few days but is warning of the strong possibility of sailing cancellations on a variety of routes across the fleet,” warned BC Ferries in a travel advisory Thursday.
“Poor road conditions leading to the terminals as well as high winds are expected to impact operations.”
Within hours, the province held a press conference warning, that as road conditions worsen, all British Columbians should avoid unnecessary travel.
If the ferry corporation is forced to cancel a sailing, it says customers will be automatically refunded.
Those looking for another way to get to their destination may also wish to ask BC Ferries about thru-fares, which shuttle passengers through other terminals before bringing them to their final destination.
Anyone who booked their passage on the company’s website can also change or cancel their booking in advance of a storm, BC Ferries said.
Friday, Dec. 23 was initially expected to be the busiest travel day of the year for BC Ferries. Earlier this month, the corporation said it had added more than 150 extra sailings between Friday and Jan. 2.
But with the frigid winter weather, the ferry service is asking travellers to check for advisories and services notices on its website at BCFerries.com, or to follow the corporation on Twitter. BC Ferries lists current conditions online as well.
Customer service agents are also available at 1-888-223-3779 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“We have been experiencing large call volumes causing extended waits for customers trying to reach us by phone,” warned BC Ferries in its advisory.