BC Ferries adds alcoholic beverages to Coastal Cafe menu

Anyone who wants to grab a quick beer, wine or cider at BC Ferries’ coastal cafes will soon be in luck.

The company said it would begin offering alcoholic beverages “in the coming months” at coastal cafes on ships sailing between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

This includes crossings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen and Duke Point and Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay.

BC Ferries says the move comes after introducing wine and beer to the Pacific Buffet more than two years ago “without any problems”. The company received approval in principle for liquor licenses in cafes subject to review by an inspector.

“BC Ferries is continually looking for ways to improve and add value to our customers’ experience and the offering of alcoholic beverages at select coastal cafes responds to customer feedback,” the company said.

Beverages may only be purchased with a meal by persons 19 and older and may only be offered by staff who have their Serving It Right certification. There will also be a two-drink limit per person, BC Ferries said.

“There will be places on the ship where customers will be allowed to take their alcoholic beverages,” said Astrid Chang of BC Ferries.

She added that the business will focus on local products from breweries, wineries, cider houses and distilleries.

Passengers who spoke to CHEK News said they were excited about the announcement but worried about alcohol and driving off the ferry.

Chang stressed that staff will be properly trained and monitor passenger consumption and behavior.

She added that BC Ferries is currently going through inspections and purchases, which means passengers may notice construction throughout the summer.

Alcohol will be available for purchase at coastal cafes by the end of the summer, BC Ferries said.

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Todd A. Mitchell