Ferry repairs over the long weekend will create travel challenges for B.C. Ferries and passengers.
B.C. Ferries announced today, June 26, that the Queen of Coquitlam has been removed from service, meaning 34 sailings June 27-July 1 are being cancelled between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale, replaced by eight additional sailings first thing in the morning – some as early as 4 a.m. – and late at night.
In a media release, B.C. Ferries advised that the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route “will be extremely busy” Thursday, June 27, through Tuesday, July 2.
“The Queen of Coquitlam has been removed from service for approximately one week to repair a sealing mechanism on the propeller blades…” the release noted. “Unfortunately due to peak season demand, all other major vessels are serving other communities and can’t be re-deployed to sail in its place. B.C. Ferries is doing everything it can to make repairs to the Queen of Coquitlam as quickly as possible.”
To try to mitigate the travel congestion, B.C. Ferries has scheduled water taxi trips between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale. Up to three 40-person water taxis will follow the same schedule as the cancelled Queen of Coquitlam sailings and will be offered at no charge.
“In addition to these extra sailings, our operational teams will be monitoring traffic levels closely over the long weekend, and the company has the ability to add extra service at the end of the night if the need arises,” the release notes.
Three Nanaimo sailings will be affected over the next few days as the Queen of Cowichan will be required on the Sunshine Coast route. The Horseshoe Bay-to-Departure Bay 11:40 p.m. sailings on June 28 and July 2 have been cancelled and a Horseshoe Bay-to-Departure Bay sailing set for 7:20 p.m. Thursday, June 27, has been delayed until 9:40 p.m.
The ferry corp expects congestion approaching Horseshoe Bay terminal at the beginning of the long weekend and at the Langdale terminal at the end of the weekend.
B.C. Ferries suggests riders travel as a foot passenger, take public transit to and from ferry terminals or arrange rides, or consider travelling on Saturday or Sunday, which aren’t expected to be as busy.
“B.C. Ferries recognizes how much this unexpected ship removal from service affects its customers and the travel plans they have made, especially over this long weekend,” the release notes. “The company appreciates your patience and apologizes for disrupting travel plans on this important holiday weekend.”