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Outdoor pet areas added to two more BC Ferries vessels – BC


BC Ferries has added outdoor pet areas to two more major vessels, and says there’s still more to come.

Dogs on leashes and cats in carriers will now have access to outdoor pet zones on the upper decks of an additional pair of vessels serving routes from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo and the Sunshine Coast.

BC Ferries first introduced outdoor upper deck pet areas on the Earls Cove-Saltrey Bay route in 2022, and on vessels serving Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay and Powell River – Comox in 2023.


Click to play video: 'BC Ferries starts vessel replacement process'


BC Ferries starts vessel replacement process


The expansion brings the number of vessels with the outdoor areas to six.

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“We’re just getting started, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback and we are of course looking at expanding it to some of our other major routes,” BC Ferries spokesperson Colin Zaks said.


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“The Tsawassen-Swartz Bay route is another one we are looking at expanding to. It all depends on the vessel itself.”

Zak said the company selected vessels based on whether they had space on upper outer decks to accommodate the new areas.

He said the expansion came after public consultation revealed more than 90 per cent of customers were in favour of adding more outdoor pet areas.

“Since 2018, the number of people travelling with a dog or cat on BC Ferries has nearly doubled,” he said.

“There was about 5.5 per cent in 2018, now we are closer to 10 per cent.”

Dogs using the new areas must be kept on a one-metre leash, while cats must be kept inside a travel carrier. Pets and guardians must use designated stairwells marked with paw prints to access the areas.

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