BC Ferries launching beer and wine pilot project this week
BC Ferries vessel Spirit of Vancouver Island passes between Galiano Island and Mayne Island while traveling from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen, B.C., on Friday Aug. 26, 2011. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Andrew Weichel, CTV News Vancouver
Published Wednesday, October 23, 2019 1:59PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 23, 2019 2:06PM PDT
VANCOUVER – Passengers will be able to enjoy a glass of beer or wine on select BC Ferries vessels beginning this week.
The pilot project is launching Thursday on three ferries travelling between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay: the Spirit of British Columbia, the Spirit of Vancouver Island and the Coastal Celebration.
The selection will feature beers and wines from B.C. breweries and wineries, with prices ranging from $6.99 for a 12-ounce glass of beer to $9.99 for a five-ounce glass of wine.
BC Ferries said it decided to test out alcohol sales on some of its South Coast sailings due to demand from riders – but beer and wine will only be available under strict conditions.
Passengers will only be able to purchase beer and wine along with a meal at the Pacific Buffet, and they'll be limited to one glass per sailing.
They won't be able to drink outside of the dining area, or bring their own alcohol to consume.
"This trial does not change BC Ferries' zero tolerance policy for impaired driving," the company said on its website.
Beer and wine sales will begin at 11 a.m. and be cut off 30 minutes before docking. The Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route is generally just over 90 minutes long.
Children and people under the legal drinking age will still be welcome in the Pacific Buffet dining area during the pilot project, BC Ferries said.
BC Ferries already serves alcohol on its northern routes, including sailings to and from Port Hardy, Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii and the Central Coast, but this is the first time beer and wine are being offered to passengers going from the mainland to Vancouver Island.
The company said it plans to keep the pilot project running until fall 2020, and staff will be collecting customer and employee feedback throughout the year to see how it's doing.