BC Ferries to serve alcohol on three major Vancouver Island to mainland Routes


Travellers on three ferry routes between Vancouver Island and the mainland will soon be able to have a glass of wine or a beer with their meal.  

After a trial run serving alcohol at Pacific Buffets between 2019 and 2020, BC Ferries announced Monday it will be introducing alcoholic beverage options in Coastal Cafes by the end of this summer. Alcohol will be available aboard Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen – Duke Point, and Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay routes. 

The ferry corporation stated that there had been no issues with the introduction of wine and beer service in Pacific Buffets, which took place between October 2019 and March 2020. Following this, BC Ferries applied for licences with the province’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB). 

The corporation has received an “approval in principle” from the LCRB, subject to a review by inspectors, and will be implementing the beverage service by the end of the summer. 

Introducing alcoholic beverages is “in response to customer feedback,” the ferry corporation stated. Under the licence, customers 19 years and older will be limited to purchasing two drinks, provided they are also getting a meal. The offerings will include “B.C. wine, craft beer, cider and other alcoholic beverages.”

Mondays’ news release did not mention BC Ferries’ zero tolerance policy for passengers under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Under the policy, BC Ferries prohibits the consumption of drugs and personal alcohol aboard its vessels.

“Intoxicated person(s) on a ferry may be arrested and detained if their conduct is disruptive and/or confrontational, or if they pose a potential risk to the safety or security of passengers or crew,” the policy states.

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