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Ferry from Departure to Horseshoe bay in summer . .

London
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Ferry from Departure to Horseshoe bay in summer . .

Hi there -

Really hoping you can help with this one!

We travelling from Victoria to Whistler on Saturday August 20th via Departure bay -> Horseshoe bay.

Can you advise how essential a ferry reservation in advance is on a Saturday in summer?

If you make a reservation do you need the car license plate - I'm going to have a hire car so obviously this could be a problem if needed!

Also, how long should I leave for the drive from Victoria to the ferry at a reasonably unhurried family-drive kind of pace....

Many many thanks in advance! David

calgary
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1. Re: Ferry from Departure to Horseshoe bay in summer . .

On a Saturday in the summer, I would make a reservation. No you don't need your license plate, just a credit card to make the reservation against.. Departure Bay is about a 1.5 hour drive north from Victoria and tha's without stopping anywhere along the way. I would give myself a good 2 to 2.5 hours in case of traffic snarls, stopping to look at the views, etc.

Nanaimo, Canada
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2. Re: Ferry from Departure to Horseshoe bay in summer . .

Hi David,

And on a Saturday in August I wouldn't make a reservation unless you absolutely need to be somewhere at a specific time. Saturday is one of the least busy days of the week as most folks have already got to where they are going for the weekend. But at the end of the day it's only $15 so if you are looking for peace of mind then by all means make a reservation. Otherwise if you arrive an hour before you should be fine. If you have a smartphone you can check the traffic volumes on the ferry at bcferries.com, go to Current Conditions and check the sailing details you are interested in.

Enjoy your visit to Vancouver Island.

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Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island
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Canada
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3. Re: Ferry from Departure to Horseshoe bay in summer . .

I agree with BuccaneerDave - don't wast your money on a Saturday ferry. On your radio AM 1130 also gives ferry updates if you don't have a smartphone. If you have the time, enjoy the dive from Victoria to Nanaimo.... pass through Cowichan Bay and Chemainus for a little sightseeing.

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Cowichan Bay
Cowichan Bay
Vancouver Island, Canada
Chemainus
Chemainus
Vancouver Island, Canada
Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Ferry from Departure to Horseshoe bay in summer . .

Agree no ressie needed. Most people want to be on one side or the other for the whole weekend. The drive, without stops to Nanaimo/Departure Bay is about 2 hours, stops extra. For a visitor, perhaps a good 2 hours. Agree to arrive at the terminal a good hour ahead of sailing.

Here's the map, which you can zoom for greater detail. Plan on 6 hours to Whistler, stops extra, add an hour of waiting in the staging area in advance of the sailing.

http://tinyurl.com/435aoze

Once you are at Horseshoe Bay, you will drive eastbound towards Vancouver until you get to Exit 7 (which comes about the time you think you have gone too far), then exit the highway off to the right, cross the overpass and enter the highway again, westbound. And just about the time the kids start asking "Why are we going back to Horseshoe Bay?" follow the signage for Hwy 99 to Whistler.

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Vancouver
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London
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5. Re: Ferry from Departure to Horseshoe bay in summer . .

Wow - thanks for all the useful info guys! Really appreciate you taking time to answer my query! Nice one!

Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: Ferry from Departure to Horseshoe bay in summer . .

You're welcome David091. Enjoy your visit to Vancouver Island.

Whilst driving up Island maybe turn right down Commercial Street in Nanaimo and have a look at our award winning street (according to the Canadian Institue of Canada's Great Places in Canada awards) and have a short stroll at the Boat Basin! The Nanaimo Bar Trail awaits you!

http://tinyurl.com/5vopfdt

www.tourismnanaimo.com/content/nanaimo-bar

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Vancouver Island
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Nanaimo, Canada
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7. Re: Ferry from Departure to Horseshoe bay in summer . .

Oops! I meant the Canadian Institute of Planners Great Places in Canada awards. Sorry!

8. Re: Ferry from Departure to Horseshoe bay in summer . .

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