British Columbia Ferry Services Inc., or BC Ferries, is known for safety, spectacular scenery and a proud maritime history. What began in 1960 as a two vessel, two terminal operation has grown into one of the largest, most sophisticated ferry transportation systems in the world, with 35 vessels and up to 47 ports of call.
The Hudson’s Bay Company was the early pioneer of regular passenger and freight service between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland in the mid 1800s. By 1901, Canadian Pacific Railway had taken over ferry service across the Strait of Georgia and continued transporting passengers and vehicles on a five-hour journey between downtown Vancouver and downtown Victoria until the 1960s.
Further north, the Black Ball Line had arrived on the scene in the early 1950s to offer service between Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver and Departure Bay in Nanaimo, as well as to the Sunshine Coast and Jervis Inlet south of Powell River.
Recognizing the need for continued reliable ferry service on the West Coast in the late 1950’s, Premier W.A.C. Bennett announced on July 18, 1958, that the British Columbia Ferry Authority would take over service under mandate from the provincial government.
BC Ferries started out with two ships, two terminals, and around 200 employees. Fifty years later, BCÂ Ferries is one of the largest, most sophisticated ferry systems in the world. Schedules include frequent, year-round sailings to some of the most fascinating and remote corners of the coast.
The staff now exceeds 4,700 in the summer months, and their commitment to customer safety and service has never been stronger.