Extra holiday sailings start Dec. 19

BC Ferries says it’s adding more than 170 sailings to handle the extra holiday traffic this year.

Most of the extra sailings between Dec. 19 and Jan. 1, 2020 will be on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route.

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Six extra sailings will be added on the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route and 37 to the run from between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo.

According to the BC Ferries release announcing the extra service, historically, the most popular travel times over the holidays for traffic moving between Horseshoe Bay and the Sunshine Coast are from Dec. 20 to 23. Dec. 26 and 27 are the busiest days for the return trip to the Lower Mainland.

The extra trips on the Langdale-Horseshoe Bay run are mid-afternoon sailings on Dec. 23, 26 and 27. The other significant change is the cancellation of the first sailings on the mornings of Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, something BC Ferries has been doing for several years.

The ferry company is also offering some holiday travel tips:

• Reserve in advance.

• Arrive early, even if you’re a walk-on passenger. Ferries recommends walk-ons get to the terminal 45 minutes before the sailing they want to catch.

• Be prepared for waits, especially at peak travel times. You can check out the times traffic is expected to be lighter bcferries.com/travel_planning/holiday-tips.html

• Parking lots at the major terminals fill up quickly so, if possible, choose public transit or arrange to be dropped off at the terminal.

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