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advice on accommodation and transport

Surrey
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advice on accommodation and transport

We will be flying into Vancouver in July before taking the ferry to Vancouver Island. Can anyone recommend a decent budget hotel or a hostel (as long as it has private rooms and not just dorms) near the bus route for both the airport and to get to Horsehoe Bay for the ferry and that is also not too remote for us to access all the major sights? Any idea how frequent the buses are to Horseshoe Bay and how long the journey is? Also we will want to get the ferry fairly early on a Friday morning. As foot passengers (2 of us) is it advisable to book or can we just turn up? Would also welcome any advice on the 'must dos'. We will be in town for 2.5 days. Thanks in anticipation of your help

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: advice on accommodation and transport

Hi, Jasmine. It would help, I think, if you could provide a bit of clarification regarding your trip to Vancouver Island.

There are three ferry routes between the mainland and Vancouver Island -

1. Vancouver to Victoria (The ferry runs between Tsawwassen south of Vancouver and Swartz Bay north of Victoria.)

2. Vancouver to Nanaimo - northern route (The ferry runs between Horseshoe Bay north of Vancouver and Departure Bay in Nanaimo.)

3. Vancouver to Nanaimo - mid-island express (The ferry runs between Tsawwassen south of Vancouver and Duke Point, considerably south of Nanaimo.)

Victoria is about 1 - 1/2 hours by highway from Nanaimo.

If you are going over to Victoria for 2.5 days, you would take option #1. You would not return via Horseshoe Bay, unless you travelled up to Nanaimo.

You can get between Vancouver and Victoria on option #1 either via public transportation (bus plus walk-on ferry yourself) or Pacific Coach lines (which takes you from the bus station in Vancouver to the bus station in Victoria).

Here are the websites for

Vancouver area public transportation -

www.translink.ca

Victoria area public transportation -

http://www.busonline.ca/regions/vic/?p=1.txt

Pacific Coach lines -

http://www.pacificcoach.com/

Here are some other website that may help your planning -

http://www.vancouverisland.travel/

http://www.tourismvictoria.com/

www.hellobc.com

BTW, it's about 4 hours from Vancouver to Victoria, including getting the ferry at each end and the 90 minute ferry ride.

Edited: 19 January 2010, 23:23
Vancouver
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2. Re: advice on accommodation and transport

You can't beat the prices on priceline or hotwire for hotel rooms. It is often cheaper than staying at a 2 or 3 star hotel.

Surrey
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3. Re: advice on accommodation and transport

we are planning on taking the ferry between horshoe bay and nainamo itchyfeet90 if that helps. Just to clarify we will be in Vancouver itself for 2.5 days before moving on to Vancouver Island on the fourth day. Thanks for the info so far.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: advice on accommodation and transport

Thanks, Jasmine. That does clarify things.

The airport and Horseshoe Bay are at opposite ends (south/north) of the city. The airport is in Richmond, but you may be better off staying downtown. Here is the website for the YWCA (downtown), which is often recommended on this forum for budget stays.

http://ywcahotel.com/

You would take the Canada Line skytrain from the airport to the Vancouver City Centre station and walk to the YWCA - about 10 - 15 minutes.

To get to Horseshoe Bay, you would take the #257 (Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay Express) from the corner of Georgia and Granville (on Georgia in front of The Bay department store). You can look up the times on the Translink website I gave you.

In terms of walking on the ferry, there usually is not a problem for foot passengers. The only times I have heard of foot passengers having to wait have been on holiday weekends (just before Christmas and Easter) when great numbers of people travel. (The ferries are only able to carry a certain number of people at one time.) In July, you should be OK. Catch a bus that will put you at the terminal at least 1/2 hour ahead of the ferry departure. That will give you time to sort yourself out in terms of finding the ticket booth, waiting room, etc. (BC Ferries says that foot passengers need to be there at least 20 minutes ahead of sailing.)

Here is the BC Ferries website, if you haven't already seen it -

http://www.bcferries.com/

If the YWCA is not suitable and no one else comes along with more suggestions about inexpensive accommodation in Vancouver, I would suggest that you repost with a title such as "Inexpensive Accommodation in Vancouver" and explain what you are looking for.

I'm sorry. I don't know Nanaimo. Hopefully, someone will be along who can advise. If not, again, repost with just Nanaimo questions (and Nanaimo in the title to your post).

Surrey
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5. Re: advice on accommodation and transport

Itchyfeet 90 thank you for all this fantastic info. I really appreciate the time that people like you put into helping us 'strangers'. The recommendation for the YWCA is great. I've looked at the website and am going to make a booking. Thanks once again. Jasmine 191

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: advice on accommodation and transport

I would just like to jump in about the Two-fifty-seven.

It is a Blue Bus which means West Vancouver Bus System, but no worries as the schedule does appear on Translink. I do believe that Translink refers you to the Blue Bus folks if you have any enquiries though. I have entered a Friday date in March, as a July date will not show up this early.

The bus stops are:

Westbound Dunsmuir @ Cambie (very close to the Y -- 2 and a bit blocks)

Westbound Georgia @ Seymour

Westbound Georgia @ Burrard

and the rest won't help you.

If you caught the 7:05 bus you would get to HBay at 7:48. There is a ferry leaving at 8:30 to Nanaimo. You would each need $3.75 (2 zones), exact change. Unless you're travelling on July 1 or 2 or 4, you will be fine walking on.

The 257 departure times are not equally spaced in time, so I will give the first four from D @ C: 7:05, 7:30 8, 8:18 and 9.

There is a cafeteria and coffee shop on the ferry so you could wait for breakfast.

Here are some highlights of Vancouver:

Granville Island and False Creek

Stanley Park, including the Aquarium

Gastown - for a self guided walking tour: www.gastown.org --> history --> take a self guided walking tour. Otherwise this historic birthplace of Vancouver will just be brick and stone to you.

Chinatown

Museum of Anthropology at UBC

Robson Street

Bill Reid Gallery at 639 Hornby St.

Vancouver Art Gallery with its great Gallery Restaurant

Grouse Mountain

Lynn Canyon Susp Bridge (free) or Capilano Susp Bridge ($$$)

Maritime Museum - at Kitsilano Point

Van Dusen Gardens

Queen Elizabeth Park

Edited: 21 January 2010, 02:50
North Vancouver...
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7. Re: advice on accommodation and transport

You might also want to look into the Greyhound bus from Vancouver to Nanaimo - slightly more expensive than the West Van Blue Bus, but a bit more convenient as you wouldn't have to transfer or move your luggage. A quick look at the Greyhound website shows the first bus leaving Vancouver at 5:30 a.m.

Toronto
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8. Re: advice on accommodation and transport

you would most likely want to stay in or near downtown Victoria. For this, I recommend the Exectuvie House Hotel, The Sticky Wicket (although it is atached to a bar) or any of the Traveller's Inns. These would be your best bets for downtown. I'm sure you could find comparable pricing along Gorge Road, but there not too much to keep you entertained in that area.

Surrey
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9. Re: advice on accommodation and transport

Thanks for all the further advice. I've been out of town for a few days so hence I haven't responded sooner. There is plenty of info to keep me busy here and it will really make planning my trip so much easier.

10. Re: advice on accommodation and transport

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