Vancouver to Vancouver Island Ferry
After a fabulous stay in the city of Vancouver, we packed up our things again and headed for the bus station. This was the start of our trip from Vancouver to Victoria by ferry. Now, firstly, a confession, for ages I called it Victoria Island but apparently that’s actually somewhere in the Arctic Ocean. In fact, it is Vancouver Island. The main city in the south of the island, which is where we were headed, is Victoria.
Firstly, we caught the Skytrain from Burrard station towards Main Street. But wouldn’t you know it, there were engineering works and the usual trains weren’t stopping there. Despite a ‘helpful’ local telling us, he thought the station was closed and we’d have to walk from Chinatown we found a shuttle service. So, that took us from the next station which was a bit of a relief with all our bags.
From there it was a short walk across to the Central bus station where we collected the tickets for our coach/ferry to Victoria. This is a great service and definitely an easy way to get from downtown Vancouver to Vancouver Island. There are 4 buses a day in winter. Then a few more in summer so there will be one to fit your plans. Check out the up to date schedules for BC Ferries Connector here.
Vancouver to Victoria Ferry Fares
The current fare for the bus part of the journey from central Vancouver to Victoria on Vancouver Island is CAD$50.50 for a one-way trip. Additionally, there are discounts for seniors, students and children. The BC Ferry fare is added when you buy your ticket so you don’t need to book separately. This is currently an extra $CAD 17.50 for adults with reductions for seniors and children.
We boarded the coach at 11.30 am and the bags we’re put under the bus so we didn’t have to worry about them again until Victoria.
Tsawwassen Ferry Port
It was about an hour to the ferry terminal at Tsawwassen and our coach drove straight onto the ferry. Almost as soon as we’d got off the bus and walked upstairs, the ferry was off. We had some time to walk around the deck and admire the scenery during the journey. Also, there is food and drink available on board and plenty of comfortable seating.
As can be seen in the photos, it is quite a scenic trip across the bay as you go past lots of Islands. The ferry takes about 1 1/2 hours and then we arrived at Swartz Bay ferry port. If you look at the map on the BC Ferries website you can see the route more clearly. The ferry actually goes into the USA at one point but you wouldn’t notice on board. As can be seen on the map, you travel between the smaller islands and this is what makes it so scenic as there is always something to see.
Finally, we boarded the coach again for the 45 minute trip into Victoria. Schwartz Bay is right at the top of Vancouver Island so we got a good look at the place as we drove through to the south.
Since the Vancouver to Victoria Ferry is a car ferry, you could also make this trip with your own, or a hire, car if you prefer driving. The ferry journey is definitely the highlight of the trip. The bus was fine but a little cramped and I wouldn’t have wanted to be on a longer trip on it. However, it is very convenient and decent value for money.