BC Ferries awaits: Long lines for Canada Day in Horseshoe Bay

There was more frustration for BC Ferries passengers at the Horseshoe Bay terminal on Friday, with waits of up to five hours at the start of the long weekend.

The hectic conditions were the result of mechanical problems on the Queen of Alberni, which forced the ship out of service this week and led to several canceled departures during one of the busiest travel times of the year.

With six cancellations at Horseshoe Bay on Canada Day, travelers arriving at the terminal around 10:30 a.m. without a reservation were hoping for a seat on the 3:55 p.m. departure.

Conditions were similar Thursday, as many drivers waited for hours hoping to get to Vancouver Island for the weekend. Among them was Richard Baumet, who tried to plan ahead by making a reservation, only to learn that his sailing had been canceled due to Alberni’s queen engine problems.

“This morning I was quite stressed because we are going to the island to take possession of a house that we have just acquired and we have things to move,” Baumet told CTV News from the line. waiting for the ferry.

“I’ve been looking for options for Tsawwassen and elsewhere and everything is complete.”

BC Ferries said the mechanical problem involved Alberni’s queen piston assembly and said it would require “critical machining to fix”.

The ship is expected to return to service on Saturday morning.

The company suggested passengers hoping to board at Horseshoe Bay or Departure Bay in Nanaimo on Friday without reservations consider walking on foot to have a better chance of crossing.

“We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience you may experience as a result of these cancellations,” BC Ferries said in a statement.

Even before Alberni’s Queen was retired from service, the company was bracing for a bumpy holiday, noting that it was the first time in six years that Canada Day and Independence Day of the United States- United were ending the weekend.

Up-to-date information on sailing times and available space is available on the BC Ferries website.

With files from Tahmina Aziz of CTV News Vancouver

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