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Repairs to BC Ferries vessel means smaller ships will pick up the slack this Mother's Day weekend

Last Updated May 6, 2019 at 11:17 am PDT

FILE - Spirit of British Columbia. (Source: BCFerries.com)

The Spirit of British Columbia is out for repairs until May 15th after last week's windstorm

BC Ferries says smaller vessels will be running to replace the Spirit of BC while it's being repaired

Out-of-service vessel means some cancellations between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay, but also some additional sailings

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Last week’s windy conditions did a number on one of BC Ferries’ largest ships, and the damage is expected to sideline “The Spirit of BC” over the Mother’s Day weekend.

The repairs mean some sailings are being cancelled — so prepare yourself if you’re planning to travel between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay over the next several days.

“The Spirit of BC is one of our largest vessels in the fleet, so the replacement vessel is slightly smaller,” Deborah Marshall with BC Ferries says. “We have added additional sailings though, so we should be able to carry all the traffic.”

The ship is expected to be back in service in time for May-long. The Spirit of BC underwent a rebuild just last year, and the 2,100 passenger ship will now be the shop until Wednesday, May 15th.

Although it is often chaotic, Marshall says mid-May travel is under control. Re-allocating vessels from Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo is one fix that has helped the service operate according to schedule, she adds.

“We’ve brought the Coastal Renaissance over to our Tsawwassen terminal, so that vessel is currently replacing the spirit of British Columbia.”

Marshall admits extra trips from the Queen of New Westminister will also have to supplement the smaller size of the Renaissance, which holds 1,650 passengers.

Travellers are reminded to check their routes ahead of time for changes.

“Anybody travelling on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay run over the next week or so, I would suggest they look at our travel advisory on our website.”

The Crown Corporation has 23 additional sailings scheduled between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay from May 16th to May 20th.

You can find the full list of sailing times on the BC Ferries website. Listen live for traffic updates every 10 minutes on the ones. You can also follow us on Twitter @NEWS1130Traffic or subscribe to breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.