Best times to travel

Demand for car space on the Gabriola ferry varies from day-to-day and month-to-month, but with traffic data from BC Ferries we can predict the likely availability of vehicle space on any sailing.

The introduction of a two-vessel service on April 12th brings substantial changes to the daytime schedule and as a result, it will take some time to produce accurate predictions of these ‘best times to travel’ charts.

The busiest sailings will continue to be during the morning and early afternoon leaving Gabriola and during the afternoon and early evening leaving Nanaimo.

Timing your journey (if you can) to one of the less busy sailings will mean you spend less time in the ferry line-up and leave more space on the busier ferries for people who need to travel at those times. It’s a good idea to check the Gabriola FerryCam before you set off on your journey, and bear in mind that the capacity of the new ferries is smaller, so the ‘one sailing wait’ point on Taylor Bay Road will move ahead of the main turning bay.

The charts have been produced by our data analyst and use four colours to indicate the likely level of demand for each ferry.  Each chart represents the typical pattern of demand by time of day and day of the week, but doesn’t take account of special events or public holidays. 

These predictions interpret historic traffic data and assume that existing travel patterns continue with the new ferry schedule (starts November 8, 2022).  The FAC cannot be held responsible if traffic on any particular sailing is heavier than predicted. Remember, once it’s full, it’s full – and you’ll have to wait for the next sailing.