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Pet Areas on BC Ferries

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Pet Areas on BC Ferries

We are travelling this summer with our dog from Tsawwassen-Duke Point. The new rules for BC Ferries don't allow us to remain in the vehicle with her. I'm looking forr feedback on the Pet Areas. As well, does anyone know if you are able to stay in the vehicle if you are on the upper vehicle deck? Thanks.

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Tsawwassen
Tsawwassen
Delta, Canada
15 replies to this topic
Jasper, Canada
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1. Re: Pet Areas on BC Ferries

I can't help you with your question about pet areas, but the BC Ferries website does answer your first question, about upper decks: https:/…travel-with-pets.html

Edited: 12:31 pm, June 10, 2018
Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Pet Areas on BC Ferries

I've used the pet area once (although it was on a lower deck, so I assume they've been forced to put new spaces in higher up.) It was a small, noisy room. There was water I think, and someone had left a newspaper that I played tug with my dog. Not a great place to sit, but at least we could hang out together. There were a couple of chairs and a bench to sit on. It would not have been a good spot if there were more than a couple of dogs and if any of the dogs did not get along.

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3. Re: Pet Areas on BC Ferries

I don't have a pet but have travelled with others who do. It really isn't all that bad and just another compromise in life we adjust to if we must have certain things.

Anyway, straight from the horses front end;

https:/…travel-with-pets.html

Travelling with Pets

We understand that for many people, pets are part of the family and your pet's wellbeing is important to us.

Travelling by Vehicle

October 2017 - Transport Canada regulations restricting passenger access to vehicles on closed lower vehicle decks while vessels are in transit are now in effect.

If you would like to request to be on the upper (open) car deck so you may remain with your pet in your vehicle, please let the ticket agent know when you arrive at the terminal. Whenever possible, BC Ferries will accommodate your request. When this is not possible, passengers with pets can use the pet areas located on the upper (open) vehicle decks. Pets will be allowed to remain in vehicles on the lower vehicle deck, but their owners are requested to leave the lower car deck.

Click here for more information on the policy. We are here to help.

In most of our terminals, you will find a designated area where you can walk your pet prior to boarding the vessel. It's a great opportunity for your pet to have a stretch and use the washroom prior to boarding.

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Canada
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4. Re: Pet Areas on BC Ferries

We always left our dog in the car where she slept for the 1.5 hour journey.

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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5. Re: Pet Areas on BC Ferries

I've seen those 'pet areas'-and I've been in better looking jail cells.

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6. Re: Pet Areas on BC Ferries

Give it up, Mr. Salmon; what do you suggest they do with your tax dollars to make it better? Besides a bar fridge.

There is nothing wrong with those areas considering the 1.5 hours involved. Most users are walk-ons who have no choice, accept what it is and don't whine about it.

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7. Re: Pet Areas on BC Ferries

Found the dog hater.

Metchosin, Canada
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8. Re: Pet Areas on BC Ferries

When you get to the ticket booth, tell them you have a pet and they'll try to put you on the upper deck where you can stay with the animal(s). Can't remember if it was a Coastal or Spirit ship but the pet area is a small non-ar tight room, kennels of various size if you want to put in big or large dog. A bench or two, and radiant heaters you can turn on or off.

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9. Re: Pet Areas on BC Ferries

We travel with our dog on BC Ferries all of the time so I will add my 2c.

Yes, you can stay in your vehicle with your pet if you are on the upper car decks. The change last October was pertaining to the lower car decks, where staying with the vehicle is no longer allowed.

When the regulations were starting to be enforced, you could request upper decks and were given a card to indicate such a request (ours was handwritten as it was early days); your request was accommodated if possible. As per TforTim's cut and paste info in post 3 from the website (note the link to further info doesn't work): https:/…travel-with-pets.html

Our success with requesting an upper deck in order to remain with our vehicle/dog has not been great. One of our last trips, we arrived at Tsawwassen 1 hour and 10 minutes prior to sailing time, so not catching a ferry just prior to it's departure. The sailing was maybe 10% full at that point. We politely requested the upper deck, the ticket agent assured us that we were early and were put into a line that would board first....no problem.

Yeah, it was a problem as the lane she put us in boarded exactly last...to the lowest deck of the boat we went. So, there we were scrambling to take the dog with us and find the pet area. The new enclosed pet area was full. So we spent the sailing sitting on a bench, wandering around the deck, etc.

We also met up with a BC Ferries employee and were chatting about how we ended up as deck wanderers w/dog despite 1. arriving early and 2. requesting the upper car deck. The employee then had the Chief Steward talk with us regarding what had transpired. We all agreed that the system of request didn't work out at all despite our best efforts.

Fast forward to another recent ferry trip and we were told that the only way to guarantee the upper car decks is to make a reservation. (I don't know how this will work on Route 9 Southern Gulf Islands as mostly everyone makes a reservation due to capacity issues with the new boats)

There is confusion amongst the BCFerries employees regarding special requests. Requests sometimes aren't handled according to policy.

I would suggest that if you want to end up on an upper car deck and stay with your pet during the sailing that you contact BCFerries and ask if you must make a reservation to do so. See what the call centre says. There seems to be a disconnect between written policy and reality!!

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Tsawwassen
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10. Re: Pet Areas on BC Ferries

Thanks for the feedback and advice. A couple of questions ... when you referenced "wandering the deck" were you referring to the upper car deck? Do different ferries have different pet area facilities? We are planning on making a reservation and had already planned on being at the terminal early. Thanks again.

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