The Canadian state-owned passenger shipping company BC Ferries announced it is preparing for an increase in passenger traffic by adding 120 more weekly crossings to its major routes. The new schedules are for the routes Tsawwassen (Delta City, BC Canada)-Duke Point (Vancouver-Nanaimo), Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay (connecting Metro Vancouver with Victoria BC), Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay (West Vancouver-Nanaimo) and Horseshoe Bay-Langdale (West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast).
Ferry traffic on these routes is still down 50% and the additions are a significant jump from an 80% drop in April 2020 - amid the health crisis.
Responding to the trend for increased demand, the ferry company says the additional sailings will ensure the capacity exceeds summer demand by an average of 20%.
However, BC Ferries said sailings at popular times might still be full and is advising clients to reserve in advance or sail at less busy times of the day.
The corporation also revealed it could be 2 to 3 years before cruise traffic returns to pre-COVID-19 levels.
BC Ferries' measures to ensure social distancing remain in place on all vessels, including allowing passengers to remain in their vehicles, while clients outside of the vehicles are urged to wear a face covering and maintain a physical distance from others.