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BC Ferries cancels sailings on major routes due to storm

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A winter storm that brought wind, rain and – in some places – snow to the South Coast led BC Ferries to cancel several sailings on major routes Saturday.

Two midday sailings in each direction between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay were cancelled, as were two sailings in each direction between Tsawwassen and Duke Point.

The only route between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island that operated as scheduled Saturday was Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay.

As of 2 p.m., BC Ferries was booking for the 5 p.m. departure from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. The 3 p.m. sailing was full after the 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. trips were cancelled.

In the opposite direction, travellers looking to reach the mainland from Swartz Bay were being booked on the 7 p.m. ship. Both the 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. sailings were full. The 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. sailings were cancelled.

Likewise, the 3:15 departure from Tsawwassen to Duke Point was already full before 2 p.m. Saturday, with passengers being booked onto the 5:45 departure after earlier sailings at 10:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. were cancelled.

It was the same story in the opposite direction. The 3:15 p.m. departure from Duke Point was full, with tickets being sold for the 5:45 p.m. sailing. The 10:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. sailings were cancelled.

BC Ferries also cancelled several sailings between Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, as well as between Metro Vancouver and the Gulf Islands.

All of the cancellations were described as the result of "adverse weather conditions in the Strait of Georgia," and the Crown corporation said its customer service team would be contacting travellers with bookings on cancelled sailings to discuss their options.

Those whose reservations must be cancelled will receive full refunds, according to BC Ferries.

"The safety of our passengers and crew is of primary importance to us," the company said. "We will continue to monitor this weather system and share further information as it becomes available."

Saturday's storm brought a wind warning for Greater Victoria and snowfall warnings for parts of Metro Vancouver, along with a host of special weather statements for other parts of the Island and the Lower Mainland. 

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