Ferry service returns to Long Harbour as of June 9

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Salt Spring’s Long Harbour ferry terminal will be back in use as of Tuesday, June 9. 

“In collaboration with the Province, BC Ferries is increasing service on routes to the Southern Gulf Islands as of June 9, 2020 to match capacity with demand and better meet the needs of customers,” the ferry corporation said in a press release Tuesday.

The number of sailings will resemble winter-service levels, however, not the usual beefed-up summer schedule travellers are accustomed to.

“Traffic is still nowhere what it was,” said Salt Spring Ferry Advisory Committee chair Harold Swierenga on Tuesday.

Since routes are operating at 50 per cent passenger capacity as per Transport Canada regulations, the sailings have limited capacity and reservations are strongly recommended.

“This route is 100 per cent reservable and only customers arriving with bookings including correctly identified passenger numbers are assured they will be accommodated on sailings,” BC Ferries advises.

Bookings for the Tsawwassen-Long Harbour route are now open for June 9 and beyond. Existing bookings made by customers on the Tsawwassen–Southern Gulf Islands route between June 9 and June 23 will be cancelled and the reservation fee refunded as sailing times have changed.

The company continues to advise customers to avoid non-essential travel and is following the directives and guidance provided by the Province of B.C. and Transport Canada. Safety measures in place include limiting passenger capacity by 50 per cent to support physical distancing, allowing customers to remain in their vehicles during the sailing on all car decks, enhanced cleaning and screening of travellers.

Full schedules are available at bcferries.com.

In other Salt Spring route news, Swierenga said the Mayne Queen will replace the Bowen Queen on the Vesuvius-Crofton route for the next week or so. The Bowen will be used on the Campbell River-Quadra Island run while its usual vessel — the Powell River Queen — is being serviced.

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