Two BC ferries expand pet-accessible areas

More pet access on ferries

Now, even Rover can enjoy the stunning vistas of Howe Sound and the Strait of Georgia when travelling on BC Ferries. 

The Queens of Surrey and Coquitlam, two ferries that travel between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale as well as Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo, are now allowing dogs on leashes and cats in carriers onto upper outdoor decks in designated areas, BC Ferries announced April 22. 

BC Ferries has introduced upper deck pet areas on six other vessels to date, those on the Powell River-Southern Sunshine Coast, Powell River-Comox and Horseshoe Bay-Nanaimo routes. 

On the outer decks, dogs must be on one-metre leashes at all times and cats must be in travel carriers. Users must access the areas via designated stairwells, which are marked with paw prints, or designated elevators. BC Ferries will provide waste bags and water bowls and the pet areas will be cleaned regularly, said a press release.

Terminal lounges, passenger walkways and passenger lounges remain off-limits to pets. (Guide and service dogs are allowed in all passenger areas.)

Customer surveys found an average 92.5 per cent of respondents in favour of expanding upper outer deck pet areas, according to the press release. "Our customers have told us that their pets need a better way to travel and we’ve taken steps to make that a reality," said Melanie Lucia, Vice-President of Customer Experience at BC Ferries, in the release. 

The ferry corporation is now looking at expanding outdoor pet spaces on vessels serving the Tsawwassen-Vancouver Island routes. 

In 2023, 9.9 per cent of BC Ferries passengers travelled with pets, said the release. 

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