The busy summer season is officially here, and with it Gabriolans can expect a repeat of last year’s ferry traffic patterns. Without adding extra sailings (which the FAC continues to advocate for), it is simply not possible to fix the situation and provide an acceptable travel experience for everyone. In an attempt to ease some of the existing pressure points, the FAC has worked with BC Ferries to identify specific sailings which could be shifted to spread capacity in a way that will reduce not only the total number of overloads but also the total wait time for vehicle passengers.

Schedule shifts are not undertaken lightly. We realize that no change will please everyone, and that some customers will be inconvenienced. As such the schedule shift is a *trial* only, affecting Fridays in July and August as well as the second full week in August. On each of these days, the Gwawis will be shifted one sailing later, eliminating the 705 am from Gabriola and adding a 540 pm from Nanaimo. During the trial period passenger feedback on the changes will be solicited for consideration.

As soon as BCF issues an official Service Notice and schedule update they will be added to the FAC website and social media.

A reminder that the Gabriola FAC Facebook account is not monitored. If you wish to contact us directly, please email

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  1. As a 9 year deckhand on the route I feel I can shed some light on the situation. When BCF announced the intention of constructing new boats a number of us got together and discussed what we’d need to properly service this route. I reached out to management on 3 separate occasions through both email and text messages and received no reply. They failed to factor several decades of first hand experience. We all felt the 2 smaller boat solution would barely address the issue of overloads today and would be completely inadequate in addressing the loads we’d see in the future as the island population expanded. Although adding a sailing to the Gwawis on Fridays will help the real solution is to make one of the new boats promised for 2027 a larger ferry such as the next model up in Damen Shipyards line. This could be run on the 12 hour schedule and the Island class could stay on the 20 hour rotation to catch the lighter loads in the mornings and evenings. Its the only viable long term solution.

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