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New Ferry Options and Pet-Friendly Programs for Dog Owners in BC

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Dog owners rejoice! Two exciting developments in BC's ferry industry are set to make traveling with your furry friends more convenient and enjoyable.

BC Ferries boat in water

The introduction of the Hullo ferry service and the expanded pet pilot program by BC Ferries offer enticing options for dog owners who wish to explore new destinations. In this article, we will delve into the details of these developments, highlighting the benefits they bring to dog owners and their beloved pets.


Introducing the Hullo Ferry

The Hullo ferry service aims to provide a comfortable and convenient travel experience between Nanaimo and Vancouver. Offering tiered pricing options, including "Comfort, Premium, and Business," Hullo caters to various passenger preferences and budgets. With affordable first-trip fares starting at $29.99, passengers can enjoy a range of amenities onboard. The service operates from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily, with additional late-night sailings scheduled after major concerts and sports events. While the Hullo ferry does not accommodate vehicles, it warmly welcomes pets and bicycles, making it an ideal choice for dog owners seeking pet-friendly transportation.


Pet-Friendly Rules on the Hullo Ferry

Hullo recognizes the importance of including pets in the travel experience and has taken measures to ensure their comfort and safety. Furry friends, including cats and dogs that can safely fit on their owners' laps within a carrier, are permitted onboard at no extra cost.


BC Ferries' Expanded Pet Pilot Program

BC Ferries is also making strides in accommodating pets on their vessels. Under their expanded pet pilot program, dogs and cats can now accompany their owners on the outside upper decks of select ferries along three popular routes: Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay, Comox-Powell River, and Earls Cove-Saltery Bay. Pet owners must ensure their dogs are on a one-metre leash, while cats must be kept in travel carriers while on the outer decks. BC Ferries has designated specific stairwells and entrances, marked by paw prints, for accessing the outer decks. Limited elevator access is available for individuals with accessibility needs.


Benefits and Feedback on BC Ferries' Pet Pilot Program

The new pet-friendly policy implemented by BC Ferries allows dog owners to enjoy the scenic views and fresh air on the upper outer decks while traveling. Each owner is permitted to bring up to two dogs, and designated pet areas feature waste bags and water bowls for their convenience. BC Ferries values passenger feedback and encourages travellers and workers to participate in a 60-day survey on the three routes with the expanded pet pilot program. Last year's pilot project on the Earls Cove-Saltery Bay route saw approximately 1,000 pets traveling, with an overwhelmingly positive response of 90 percent approval from survey respondents.


Conclusion

The introduction of the Hullo ferry service and the expanded pet pilot program by BC Ferries present exciting opportunities for dog owners looking to travel with their furry companions. The Hullo ferry offers tiered pricing options and welcomes pets and bicycles, while BC Ferries' pet-friendly program allows dogs and cats on designated upper outer decks. These developments provide dog owners with more choices and enhanced experiences, ensuring that their beloved pets can join them on their journeys. So, pack your bags, grab your pup's leash, and embark on new adventures together!



 

More about GoDoggo:

GoDoggo, dog-friendly map app screenshot

GoDoggo is your ultimate dog-friendly city guide, making planning days out with your pup easier than ever. With 18 different categories ranging from restaurants, coffee shops, breweries to shopping, attractions, gyms, hikes and trails, the app helps dog owners discover and explore places based on their location, read and leave reviews from the perspective of dog owners, and learn more about the dog-friendliness of each location. Soon, the app will also have dog-friendly events. Download the app here.

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