Booze cruise: BC Ferries is serving beer and wine

Nick Empey / October 24th, 2019

A beer will cost $6.99 while a glass of wine will be $9.99
(Source: Pixabay)

BC ferries announced in early September that beer and wine would be available on trips between Vancouver and Victoria. With the unveiling date here, it had our news room wondering what kind of policies they had around serving alcohol on board. In a press release BC ferries confirmed that customers would be limited to one drink that had to be purchased with a meal but with no suggestion as to how these policies would be enforced. 

Deborah Marshall, spokesperson for BC ferries says there are polices in place and staff are equipped to deal with any situations.

“Our service staff are trained to be responsible hosts, anyone who is selling or serving alcohol in the buffet does have their serving it right training. The buffet cashier will provide the initial greeting and assessment and check for ID’s. Staff will also monitor guests in the buffet to make sure they only claim the one drink maximum.” – Deborah Marshall, Executive Director of Public Affairs at BC Ferries.

Since alcohol will exclusively be available in the buffet, only The Spirit of Vancouver Island, The Spirit of British Columbia and The Coastal Celebration will have this new program. Minors will still be allowed within the buffet but will be unable to purchase alcohol.

BC ferries says the program will be on a trial run for one year, and will rely on customer feedback and revenue to determine whether it will remain onboard. 

Marshall also confirmed that police were notified and are aware of the onboard drinking. She says police set up roadblocks on either side from time to time and although controlled, can slow down traffic.

Interestingly, BC ferries already sells alcohol on their sailings up north to Port Hardy, Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii. These voyages are full day, or overnight trips.