Multiple ferry sailings have been cancelled between Departure Bay in Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay because of a mechanical problem with the Queen of Alberni.
The cancellations will mean long lineups as B.C. Ferries readies for a crush of holiday travellers for Canada Day and U.S. Independance Day this weekend.
The Queen of Alberni is expected to remain out of service Thursday and maybe Friday.
B.C. Ferries said during repair work on the ferry, a problem was discovered with the Queen of Alberni’s piston assembly, which will require critical machining to repair.
“In order to complete these and the earlier repairs to its main engine cylinder head and liner, the Queen of Alberni will remain out of service for Thursday, June 30,” said the ferry corporation in a posted advisory. “Our engineering team continues to work diligently to resolve the issue.”
Other sailings on the route are expected to proceed as scheduled. To accommodate a higher volume of travellers expected this weekend, B.C. Ferries has put four vessels on its busiest route — Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen — and is offering as many as 32 sailings per day.
B.C. Ferries says the repairs to the Queen of Alberni are significant, “and with a number of tests and trials remaining to ensure it is ready to sail, there is a potential impact to service for Friday, July 1.”
If Canada Day sailings are affected, customers will be notified as soon as more information is available, said the ferry corporation.
The following Queen of Alberni ferry sailings today have been cancelled:
- 7:40 am out of Departure Bay
- 10:00 am out of Horseshoe Bay
- 12:25 pm out of Departure Bay
- 2:45 pm out of Horseshoe Bay
- 5:00 pm out of Departure Bay
- 7:20 pm out of Horseshoe Bay
- 9:30 pm out of Departure Bay
- 11:40 pm out of Horseshoe Bay
The following routes are available for those without a booking on the Queen of Alberni who want to travel between Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver ( booking in advance is strongly recommended):
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay)
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Duke Point (Nanaimo)
B.C. Ferries’ customer service centre will contact customers with bookings on the cancelled sailings to let them know if it has space on the next available sailing or if their booking must be cancelled. “In the case of a cancellation, we will automatically refund fees and/or fares,” said the ferry corporation. Click here for more information about bookings on cancelled sailings.