On a sunny day, the outer deck of the Spirit of British Columbia is packed with tourists, snapping selfies and taking photos of the pristine BC coastline. It’s an impressive view for both visitors and regular travellers. The view from the helm of BC Ferries is also busy. President and CEO Mark Collins is focused on what’s on the horizon: new hybrid-electric ferries, a dynamic website and more fare choices for travellers.
“We are excited about what we’re rolling out and our future plans for ferry service in coastal British Columbia,” says Collins.
New user-friendly online booking systems are being developed to offer peace-of-mind to out-of-town guests as they embark on a unique BC adventure. Regular travellers will also be able to take advantage of the new systems, which will feature fare choices on the major routes, especially at less busy sailing times. Safe passage on environmentally-leading ferries is an ongoing commitment the company has made to customers and communities.
— Mark Collins
“Our customers expect world-class service from BC Ferries, whether they’re commuting or vacationing, and we strive to deliver,” says Collins. “Taking the ferry is a unique part of any journey. As more and more people seek authentic travel experiences, the role the ferry plays in connecting people and communities is increasingly important.”
Time spent on board one of BC Ferries’ ships can set the tone for a person’s entire trip, which is why Collins says it needs to be seamless and memorable, from the time of booking through check-in, to sailing and arrival.
“For some people, boarding a ferry at Tsawwassen terminal is the beginning of a weekend getaway to Vancouver Island and a chance to leave big city life behind, relax and recharge,” he says. “Onboard, we help our customers begin to unwind. On the flip side, taking a ferry to the Lower Mainland can be an opportunity to become more energized by the buzz of a big city to explore.”
Amenities at terminals and on vessels cater to both visitors and locals and feature some of the best of the West Coast. There’s a focus on celebrating BC, its artists and producers, and making the voyage as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
“We love to introduce tourists to West Coast life. It’s just part of what we do,” Collins notes. “For locals, the ferry is a vital trade and transportation link between big cities and coastal towns. In all cases, providing connectivity is our role.”
BC Ferries is one of the largest ferry operators in the world, providing year-round vehicle and passenger service on 25 routes to 47 terminals spread over 1,600 kilometres of coastline. Last year, more than 22 million passengers included BC Ferries in their travel plans.
“When customers sail on our ferries, we have the opportunity to introduce coastal British Columbia to visitors from around the world. For our local customers, the ferry ride welcomes them home,” adds Collins. “It doesn’t get better than that.”