About BC Ferries

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Aerial photo of a BC Ferries Terminal

BC Ferries is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy travel experience for our passengers and employees. At this time, we are advising customers to avoid any non-essential travel.

Crews have been taking, and will continue to take, extra measures to ensure the safe transport of critical goods and supplies to coastal BC communities.

These extra measures include cleaning and disinfecting all touch points. Touch point cleaning focusses on common areas and locations that are touched frequently by people throughout the day. They include hard surfaces such as tables, handrails, payment pin pads, door handles, and elevator buttons. We have also stepped up our cleaning protocols in all washroom facilities. In addition to these efforts, customers can now remain in their vehicle on any deck, access open air decks and spread themselves out on board to support physical distancing.

Updates from BC Ferries' President and CEO

March 27, 2020

BC Ferries President and CEO Mark Collins provides an update on COVID-19 and our commitment to coastal communities. Watch the full video »

March 18, 2020

Read the full message »

March 12, 2020

Read the full message »

Travelling with us soon? What you need to know

Current Conditions button-link    Service Notices button-link   Travel Advisory button-link   BCF Twitter button-link

Essential travel only 

In line with directions provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada and other leading health authorities, BC Ferries is advising customers to avoid non-essential travel at this time.

BC Ferries provides a lifeline to remote and to coastal communities in British Columbia, and will continue to provide vital services, such as delivering medical supplies and groceries to support communities, and transporting emergency workers, doctors and nurses, safely.

Sailing schedule changes 
Please be advised that BC Ferries is reducing service between Vancouver and Victoria until Wednesday, April 8. View the Travel Advisory.

On March 20, 2020, in response to a decline in traffic, BC Ferries announced sailing cancellations in April on four routes. This allows us to continue to provide essential services to coastal communities, while safeguarding resources of the ferry system for when traffic increases.

View the latest schedules »

To support physical distancing and self-isolation and to reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease including COVID-19, please note the following for your travels.​

Customers can remain in their vehicles on enclosed lower decks
We are strongly advising passengers to stay in their vehicles, regardless of their car deck, during the crossing. If you must come up to the passenger decks, please maintain physical distancing on board, and stay at least two metres away from employees. Our crew are making announcements asking customers to stay in their cars, distance themselves if they must come upstairs and wash their hands.

This change applies to all routes with the exception of travel on the north coast between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert, and Prince Rupert and Skidegate.

The decision is the result of collaboration between Transport Canada and the Canadian Ferry Association to provide ferry operators with important flexibility to help protect passengers and their families from COVID-19 related risks, while also ensuring additional measures are taken to ensure passenger safety. BC Ferries will increase patrols on the enclosed car deck to ensure safety in the rare event of an emergency. Passengers will not be allowed on closed car decks once the COVID-19 situation ends.​  ​

Pay electronically and 'Tap' where possible
Please use electronic payment (Debit, Credit or Experience™ Card) only during this time. We recently completed the installation of Debit at terminal vehicle and foot passenger ticketing areas. Tap and pay capability for both credit and debit is available for customers with transactions under the $100 tap limit.

Food and retail outlets are closed
This applies to over the counter service and ‘grab and go’ pre-packaged items.

Closed outlets include: Passages Gift Shop, Seawest Lounge, Coastal Café, Coast Café Express, Arbutus Coffee Bar, Pacific Buffet, Sitka Coffee Place, Kids Zone play area, Video Zone arcade.

Baggage service suspended on south coast routes
The baggage service for walk-on passengers has been suspended until further notice.  

We will continue to offer baggage service on our north coast routes.

Customers requiring wheelchair assistance
If a customer requires a wheelchair, they can request one at the terminal. To support physical distancing, we ask customers who require wheelchair assistance to travel with their own pusher. 

BC Ferries Vacations™ customers 
All customers with a confirmed BC Ferries Vacations booking for travel up until May 30th should contact BC Ferries Vacations for updates prior to travelling. To contact an agent, call 1-888-223-3779 Ext. 3, or email [email protected]. Call Centre business hours are 8:30am - 5:00pm from Monday – Friday, and 9:00am – 5:00pm on weekends and statutory holidays.  

To ensure the safety of our customers and employees, our team is handling requests and customer inquiries over the phone or by email. We’re here to help you and we’ll do our best to respond to you as quickly as possible – please don’t hesitate to reach out.  ​

For general visitor information, please visit Destination BC

We're in this together
We are proud of the work our dedicated and courageous employees continue to provide during this situation. Our front line teams are committed to continuing to safely transport critical supplies to coastal British Columbian communities. If you have a chance to relay a ‘thank-you’ to our teams online or during your travels, please do.

Information and Resources​

Doing business with BC Ferries during the COVID-19 situation
We continue to modify our operations as the COVID-19 situation develops. Please read this letter containing information that will be helpful to you and your staff as you continue to service our business. Information and resources are also available via the Business Opportunities section of our website.​

Recently returned to Canada? Follow the direction of the BC Centre for Disease Control:
Those returning from travel outside of Canada should stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days after they have returned. Monitor yourself daily for symptoms like fever, cough or difficulty breathing for these 14 days. If you develop symptoms, call HealthLinkBC (8-1-1) at any time or speak with your health care provider to discuss any need for testing and follow up.

BC Centre for Disease Control Information Page
The BC Centre for Disease Control Information Page contains answers to many common questions surrounding COVID-19.

Information and updates including travel advice, prevention, risk, response.

Healthlink BC COVID-19 Latest Updates
Healthlink BC's information page contains general updates regarding COVID-19 news, prevention tips and information on self-monitoring/self-isolation. Their 8-1-1 number allows anyone with COVID-19 concerns to speak to a health service navigator at any time who can provide information and advice.

Province of British Columbia Pandemic Preparedness Plan
The provincial government is currently drafting a specific COVID-19 pandemic plan based on the existing BC Pandemic Influenza Response plan. As new COVID-19 materials are produced, they will be published on this page. Visitors can also reference earlier, flu-specific pandemic plans for reference.

Office of the BC Provincial Health Officer – COVID-19 Updates
To support BC's health care providers, this web resource has been established to provide a centralized, current, and evidence-based source of information about this emerging health issue in BC.

Tips for Looking after Mental Health During COVID-19
Infectious disease outbreaks can take a toll on mental health. Stay informed and learn how to manage anxiety with this guide from the UK Mental Health Foundation.

HelloBC - Destination BC Traveller and Tourist Information​ 
Do your part now, so we can all explore BC again later.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is BC Ferries doing to reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease including COVID-19?
When we learned of the outbreak, we took proactive measures to mitigate the spread of infectious disease including COVID-19 on our ferries and at our terminals. Crews have been taking, and will continue to take, extra measures to clean and disinfect all touch points. Touch point cleaning focusses on common areas and locations that are touched frequently by people throughout the day. They include hard surfaces such as tables, handrails, payment pin pads, door handles, and elevator buttons. We have also stepped up our cleaning protocols in all washroom facilities.

B.C. health officials have announced a ban on gatherings of over 50 people, does this apply to ferries?
No. This ban applies to events and does not apply to transportation services.

What advice does BC Ferries have for passengers?
BC Ferries regularly monitors information from the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Right now, the best advice from health authorities is to follow some simple tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve and not your hand
  • Stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others

Is it possible to self-isolate in my vehicle on board?
Yes. BC Ferries will allow customers to remain in their vehicles on the enclosed car deck during the COVID-19 situation, to help support physical distancing and self-isolation. This change applies to all routes with the exception of travel on the north coast between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert, and Prince Rupert and Skidegate. 

The decision is the result of collaboration between Transport Canada and the Canadian Ferry Association to provide ferry operators with important flexibility to help protect passengers and their families from COVID-19 related risks, while also ensuring additional measures are taken to ensure passenger safety.

The purpose of keeping passengers off closed car decks is to ensure their safety in the case of an emergency. BC Ferries will increase patrols on the enclosed car deck to ensure safety in the rare event of an emergency. Passengers will not be allowed on closed car decks once the COVID-19 situation ends.​​

What's the difference between travelling on BC Ferries versus a cruise ship?
With the exception of our north coast routes, passengers are on our ferries from between 10 minutes to two hours. Cruise ship passengers are on board for one or two weeks on average, or longer. Depending on the vessel, our ferries carry between 150 to 2,100 passengers and crew. Cruise ships carry up to 6,000 passengers. Our entire service area is within a "low risk" region. We sail along coastal British Columbia and do not travel to any foreign ports.

   

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