As BC Ferries' Coastal Renaissance is not expected back on the water until December, the Sunshine Coast will not receive extra holiday service between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale Thanksgiving weekend, nor will the Horseshoe Bay-Nanaimo and Tswwassen-Victoria routes.
However, further service reductions on Route 3 because of the Coastal Renaissance's absence are not expected following Thanksgiving weekend, BC Ferries' executive director of public affairs confirmed in an email to Coast Reporter.
The Coastal Renaissance's unexpected absence since late summer has seen BC Ferries shuffling around its vessels to meet its contracted sailing levels. This resulted in dozens of cancellations throughout September and the beginning of October on the Sunshine Coast route, notably the 5:30 p.m. commuter run between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale. The sailings are set to return after Thanksgiving weekend when the Queen of Coquitlam is expected back from its scheduled refit.
The reduced service will affect Route 3 during the Thanksgiving long weekend with previously announced cancellations:
- Friday, Oct. 6 – 5:30 p.m. leaving Horseshoe Bay
- Saturday, Oct. 7 – 9:05 a.m. leaving Horseshoe Bay and 10:10 a.m. leaving Langdale
- Monday, Oct. 9 – 3:20 p.m. leaving Horseshoe Bay and 4:45 p.m. leaving Langdale
In anticipation of heavy Thanksgiving weekend traffic a BC Ferries news release said that foot passenger traffic is expected to be especially high because of post-secondary students returning home for the holiday weekend. "Foot passenger wait times may occur at peak times and customers travelling on the major routes are strongly urged to make a reservation to secure a spot on their desired sailing. Customers travelling without a confirmed booking are strongly encouraged to be dropped off at the terminal and travel as foot passengers as standby vehicle spaces are extremely limited."
Heavy foot-passenger traffic warnings
BC Ferries also warned of large group reservations on Route 3 in a service notice issued Sept. 28.
- Thursday, October 5: 9:50 am departing Horseshoe Bay (Vancouver) to Langdale (Sunshine Coast)
- Friday, October 6: 1:15 pm departing Langdale (Sunshine Coast) to Horseshoe Bay (Vancouver)