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Old 12-22-2011, 07:06 PM   #1
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Taking BC Ferries without reservation

going victoria on christmas eve, reservation is closed.
I have to try my luck at lining up.
BUT!
I only want to ride on Coastal Celebration.
rest 40y old clunkers are noisy and engine vibration makes me sick!
is there way to line up specific sailing?
Coastal Celebration is leaving at 10am on 24th....
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:14 PM   #2
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I havn't tried but I would think that if you want to be on a specific sailing and the reservation system is closed, just be there an hour 15 before the previous sailing is scheduled to depart? Worst case scenario is that you would have to kill 15 mins before lining up for the one you want. The only curveball is if the previous sailing is full, then you might not even make it. I say check the status 2 hours ahead?
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:17 PM   #3
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:32 PM   #4
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| BC Ferries - British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.

This page shows how full a sailing is. My rule of thumb on the Vancouver side is that sailings typically fill up a bit more than 1% per minute with the last 5% being "possible wait". Budget your travel time accordingly. For a 30 min drive I would leave when the sailing was 60% full.

I've been going back and forth regularly for 2 years now and I've only had to wait once in about 25 trips by following the above rule.

FWIW, the 9am sailing will probably be easier to get on.
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:31 AM   #5
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The Spirits are only about 18 years old, and I find them more comfortable than the Coastals.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:19 AM   #6
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Fucking German heaps.

Fast ferries were a waste of money, but at least we wasted it here.

Buying a ship from Germany for use in BC waters is a slap in the face to your own province and its own shipbuilding industry.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:34 AM   #7
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Fucking German heaps.

Fast ferries were a waste of money, but at least we wasted it here.

Buying a ship from Germany for use in BC waters is a slap in the face to your own province and its own shipbuilding industry.
No doubt.

With the recent Duke point incident, you gotta love how we have to wait for replacement parts to be fabricated in germany and transported here.

That's the second hard landing by a Coastal THIS YEAR where the both the berth and ship were knocked out of commission for a period of time. Both by "control system issues". Fuck German engineering.
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:10 PM   #8
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No doubt.

With the recent Duke point incident, you gotta love how we have to wait for replacement parts to be fabricated in germany and transported here.

That's the second hard landing by a Coastal THIS YEAR where the both the berth and ship were knocked out of commission for a period of time. Both by "control system issues". Fuck German engineering.
The dock is going to take months to repair. The German ships were also built faster and cheaper than they would be here.
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:51 PM   #9
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The dock is going to take months to repair. The German ships were also built faster and cheaper than they would be here.
faster and cheaper doesn't necessarily mean better
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:37 PM   #10
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faster and cheaper doesn't necessarily mean better
These are a lot better than the last ones that were built in BC and the German company that made these mass produces ships like a car company produces cars.
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:43 PM   #11
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this is off the Wiki Page.

Quote:
The total purchase price of the three new ships was €206.4 million or approximately CAD $325 million at the time of the contract's announcement (September 2004). According to BC Ferries at this time, this was 40 percent lower than the lowest Canadian shipyard's bid.[3] Since that time, the Canadian dollar substantially increased vis--vis the euro. As of March 2006, due to exchange rate fluctuations, the total translated purchase price dropped to CAD $290 million, an unanticipated savings of approximately $35 million in BC Ferries' favour.

There were 14 bids for construction in total, three from within Canada, and the remainder from elsewhere. The decision to build the ships outside of Canada was unpopular, particularly in BC. There were parties who argued that the Federal government should have stepped in to ensure these new ferries would be built in Canada. Part of the argument was that for reasons of national sovereignty, Canada needed to retain a shipbuilding industry, so there are Canadian shipyards to service Canadian Naval vessels. BC Ferries intended to request the Federal Government waive the 25 percent import duties (there is no free trade agreement between Germany and Canada), but BC Ferries must show that West Coast shipyards are no longer capable of constructing a vessel the size of the ‘Coastal Class’ ferry. [4]

Another reason BC Ferries chose Flensburger's bid was that aside from taking the risk of construction cost overruns, Flensburger also provided guarantees on the ships' delivery dates and performance.

For example, if the ships are not timely delivered to Victoria, BC, then BC Ferries was permitted to levy penalties of CAD $40,000 (€25,000) per day up to a maximum of $6 million. After delays of 180 days, BC Ferries could rescind the contract for a full refund. However, construction proceeded ahead of schedule at one point and was completed under budget.[1][5]

Additional penalties were based on vessel performance. Had a vessel's service speed fallen short of her contract performance specifications, BC Ferries could levy a fine of CAD $160,000 (€100,000) per tenth of a knot below specifications. If the ferries had fallen one knot below specifications, BC Ferries could similarly cancel the contract for a full refund. However, as BC Ferries is in dire needs of new ships to replace its ageing, single hulled V-class ferries, a problem increasingly in the media cross-hairs since the March 22, 2006 foundering of the MV Queen of the North, it was unlikely the corporation would have cancelled any new ferry for being too late or too slow.

According to BC Ferries, none of the Canadian shipyards' bids provided similar guarantees. The cost certainty guarantee was a significant consideration for BC Ferries (especially since the recent steel price increases) after being liable for cost overruns on the Pacificat fast ferries, which were partially responsible for toppling the New Democratic Party of British Columbia government in the 2001 provincial election.

BC Ferries also acquires the new vessels' design plans as part of the contract; BC Ferries does not hold title to the design, plans or drawings of the Spirit Class ferries.
Coastal class ferry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:44 PM   #12
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Yeah... I'll take "german engineering" any day.

You know they ferry people from Germany to Sweden, Finland and Denmark, right? Those sailings are MUCH longer too.
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:08 PM   #13
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a family member that is a employee at BC Ferries and works aboard the ships mentioned that although 18years old, the "spirit" class ferries are both faster and can carry more vehicles and passengers than the new coastal boats. So is german engineering really any better? id tend to disagree now that one of the docks are locked up for months while parts come in.

And as Great 68 mentioned, this is the 2nd hard landing. this is ridiculous. I was on the coastal boat when it had its first hard landing, and that was a gong show.

BC ferries need to get their shit together.
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:27 PM   #14
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faster and cheaper doesn't necessarily mean better
It's a no-win for BCF and the gov't though, because if they HAD gone with the local bid, everyone would be up in arms that it was going to cost 40% more... and then if those ships underperformed or were delivered late, and it was revealed that the competing bid had included the guarantees, the fur woulda been flying over them going with a bid that DIDN'T have guarantees.

You can't have it both ways, and in the end, they took the bid that made the best fiscal and long-term sense.

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a family member that is a employee at BC Ferries and works aboard the ships mentioned that although 18years old, the "spirit" class ferries are both faster and can carry more vehicles and passengers than the new coastal boats. So is german engineering really any better?
It's got fuck-all to do with engineering and entirely to do with the design. They weren't designed with the same criteria as the Spirit ships... for one thing, AFAIK, the Spirit ships aren't "compatible" with berths on the other two runs, and they needed a design that WOULD be able to work on all three.

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And as Great 68 mentioned, this is the 2nd hard landing. this is ridiculous. I was on the coastal boat when it had its first hard landing, and that was a gong show.
ALL the ship designs have had issues. It was a regular C-class that plowed through the marina at Horseshoe Bay. The various Southern Gulf Islands have all seen hard landings from the various boats that service them.

Compared to the actual number of sailings and people moved, the incident rate for BC Ferries is very, VERY low.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:26 PM   #15
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I would recommend going at least 2 hours early.. The past few days apparently the wait time was pretty much 2 ships before the one you want from what iv heard.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:44 PM   #16
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I caught one of the extra holiday runs earlier as a walk on(the 6pm Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay) and it wasn't nearly as busy as I thought it would be. I'm guessing the holiday runs aren't as full because fewer people are aware of them.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:39 AM   #17
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The Coastals are crap to take; just as cramped as the old Queens. Spirits are still the best for room inside and amenities.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:30 AM   #18
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a family member that is a employee at BC Ferries and works aboard the ships mentioned that although 18years old, the "spirit" class ferries are both faster and can carry more vehicles and passengers than the new coastal boats.
During the week the boats are mostly empty and one of the passenger is usually closed. The crossing times have also stayed the same.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:32 AM   #19
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I would recommend going at least 2 hours early.. The past few days apparently the wait time was pretty much 2 ships before the one you want from what iv heard.
Why not instead to to the BC ferries website and see how busy it is first? No point wasting 2 hours for nothing.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
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a family member that is a employee at BC Ferries and works aboard the ships mentioned that although 18years old, the "spirit" class ferries are both faster and can carry more vehicles and passengers than the new coastal boats.
Yep, The spirits hold 40 more cars and 500 more passengers. In the summer months, that makes a huge difference.


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I would recommend going at least 2 hours early.. The past few days apparently the wait time was pretty much 2 ships before the one you want from what iv heard.
I came over on the 3:00 yesterday, I got to the Swartz Bay terminal at 2:50 and the ship was only 70% full.
It's probably going to be busier today though.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:37 AM   #21
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During the week the boats are mostly empty and one of the passenger is usually closed. The crossing times have also stayed the same.
maybe the nanamio/mainland ferries are empty, but the victoria/mainland boats are consistantly busy.
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