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Ferries - Sunshine Coast

Snoqualmie...
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Ferries - Sunshine Coast

We'll be heading up to Lund in August (from Vancouver), and I have a question about the ferries... Would you recommend getting reservations beforehand or should we go with the flow and just show up at the ferry terminals? We want to make it from Vancouver to Lund in one day, and we could be at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal as early as 9:00 am. We are planning on doing this on a Sunday. Any advice?

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Ferries - Sunshine Coast

On a Sunday the traffic rush will mostly be in the other direction - people heading back to the city after their weekend on the coast.

How much of your day are you willing to spend sitting in lines? I have, in the past, found it very easy to kill 2 - 3 hours in the charming village of Horseshoe Bay. You are allowed to park your car in the lot and then there is a pedestrian gate out into the village. You have time for a meal and a bit of shopping. Its a tiny village, but not an unpleasant place to wait it out.

I'm not as sure about the Earl's Cove ferry. My sense of it is that it tends to be the traffic from the Langdale ferry, so you all just drive up together (anywhere on the Sunshine Coast, you can tell when the ferry has come in by the wave of traffic driving through) and get in line for the next ferry.

However, if it is an issue for you to miss the first ferry and have to wait at the terminal for a second, then you might want to make a reservation and save on what could be several hours of wait time.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Ferries - Sunshine Coast

Hi NapoDyno ~

According to the BCFerries schedule for Sundays next August, you have 3 morning departure choices at Horseshoe Bay: 7h25 9h40 and 12h00. Traffic to the Sunshine Coast is busier than you might expect and the 2 hour wait time between ferries will create well loaded ferries.

A great proportion of those people will have a destination somewhere before Earl's Cove so the second ferry from EC to Saltery Bay is less busy. Also, the EC-SB ferry departures are timed to leave at just about the time it takes those Langdale off-loading cars to drive the rural, wandering road up to EC. Last summer, on a weekday, I arrived at HBay an hour and a quarter ahead of sailing time for Langdale and I did get on, but ended up in the last quarter of the ferry's car deck. That's fine, it worked fine. However, you are travelling on a weekend. I mention this to give you an idea of when to plan to get to HBay.

If you make a reservation, you must arrive at HB 30-60 minutes in advance. Not 29 minutes. You would have peace of mind, your day would likely unfold as you are planning. It's $15 when made in advance of 7 days. In any event, you would make it to Lund in one day, with or without a reservation. It all depends on where you want to spend your time: at the HB ferry terminal or perhaps with a bevvie on the deck of the Lund Hotel.

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/51555420

Here is the route map with driving times and distances from Langdale - Earl's Cove - Lund.

http://g.co/maps/h84tk

If you think you would be willing to get to Earl's Cove for a later ferry, rather than the lock step Ferry 1-Ferry 2 method, you might like to check out the Gibson's wharf (water views, harbour activities), Sechelt along the beach, drive through the Redrooffs neighbourhood, have a look at the Pender Harbour area: Madeira Park, Garden Bay.

Nanaimo, Canada
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3. Re: Ferries - Sunshine Coast

Hi V67! Just wanted to update you on the new walkway system BCF has a HSB terminal. No longer do you have to dodge unloading vehicles to get to the gate to go out of the terminal parking lot. There is now a fancy, overhead walkway that you use to take you over the vehicle traffic. It connects to the old walkway and you enter/exit through the Foot Passenger Terminal. Much safer!

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Ferries - Sunshine Coast

Thanks for that Dave. Now that you mention it, I think that was in place the last time we were there, but I was remembering the old system. My last two trips to the island were from Tswwassen and Bella Coola, so its been a while since I did the HB run.

Nanaimo, Canada
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5. Re: Ferries - Sunshine Coast

You're welcome!

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Ferries - Sunshine Coast

You should be okay without reservations, but if it's worth the peace of mind, it never hurts to make them.

I would recommend catching the earliest sailing from Horseshoe Bay. It usually has less traffic than later sailings, plus getting that head start will make for a more relaxed trip while providing more opportunity to stop along the way, should you wish to do so.

It's a long day of driving, but really worth the trip!

Snoqualmie...
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7. Re: Ferries - Sunshine Coast

Thanks to all posters for this wonderful advice. It is greatly appreciated. I've taken the Tsawwassen ferry to Vancouver Island a dozen times, and rarely used a reservation. But the boats on the Sunshine Coast run less frequently, so I was curious as to what you folks thought. I really appreciate the feedback!

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Ferries - Sunshine Coast

It's sounds as though you are now prepared. Enjoy your time here.

Sechelt, BC
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9. Re: Ferries - Sunshine Coast

I don’t think it is necessary to reserve the ferry to Langdale for your plans. If you are getting an early ferry over to Langdale you will not find it packed (the 7:25 and 9:40 departures) - unless you are traveling on a long weekend. Even travelling on a long weekend the early morning ferries are not overflowing to the Sunshine Coast. Just make sure you arrive at the terminal in plenty of time. If you make a reservation you have to arrive within 30-60 minutes before boarding anyway. Save your money and just arrive within an hour before departure.

The Earls Cove ferry is first come - first on. No reservation service available.

10. Re: Ferries - Sunshine Coast

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