Travellers heading to and from the Sunshine Coast could face long delays this Canada Day long weekend, now that one less ship is servicing a key route.
BC Ferries announced Wednesday it has to pull the Queen of Coquitlam from its regular route servicing Horseshoe Bay and Langdale, due to problem with the sealing mechanism around its propeller blades that needs to be repaired.
“It has to be out of service for about a week,” BC Ferries spokesperson Astrid Braunschmidt told Global News Wednesday, “so we have to cancel all those sailings.”
WATCH: (Aired March 26) Long service delays after B.C. ferry crashes into dock
As a result, reservations have been cancelled for the vessel’s planned three to four daily round trips.
“We’re anticipating some heavy traffic on this route for the Canada Day long weekend,” Braunschmidt said. “But because we’re losing those sailings, we’re going to see some traffic congestion starting tomorrow.”
BC Ferries said the Queen of Surrey will continue with its scheduled sailings with some additional trips planned for the early morning and late evening on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday.
Additionally, the Queen of Cowichan will be stepping up with some additional trips on Thursday and Friday.
Water taxi service will also be added, with three 40-person vessels following the Queen of Coquitlam’s schedule.
BC Ferries said they will try to accommodate customers who had reservations on the Queen of Coquitlam by moving them to the next available sailing where possible.
Braunschmidt said the Canada Day long weekend is one of the busiest for BC Ferries and said the company is doing everything it can to minimize the impacts from the cancellations.
“We understand this is disrupting a lot of people’s travel plans, and for that we apologize,” she said. “This is certainly not something we planned or anticipated for the long weekend.”
WATCH: (Aired April 28) BC Ferries cancels more sailings after vessel damaged in wind storm
The Queen of Coquitlam was built in 1976 and refitted in 2003.
The Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route was impacted just three months ago, after the Queen of Surrey crashed into the dock at the Langdale terminal.
That caused the Queen of Coquitlam to take over primary service while the Queen of Surrey underwent repairs.
The following sailings have been added to make up for the Queen of Coquitlam docking:
– 7:30 p.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale (Queen of Cowichan) • 8:30 p.m. sailing from Langdale to Horseshoe Bay (Queen of Cowichan)
June 28, 29, July 2
– 4:00 a.m. sailing from Langdale to Horseshoe Bay (Queen of Surrey)
– 5:10 a.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale (Queen of Surrey)
– 11:50 p.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale (Queen of Cowichan)
– 12:30 a.m. sailing from Langdale to Horseshoe Bay (Queen of Surrey)
Full details about the cancelled sailings can be found on BC Ferries’ website.