It's certainly possible to do the trip via public transportation but makes for a ***very*** long day-bus us best.
Yes, just book yourselves right through on the Cross Water route with Pacific Coach, or book a tour. If you are only planning on going for a day, then you really should book a tour. Its too far to go for one day unless you have the efficiency of a tour.
I think a lot of people don't realize that its about 4 hours of travel each way. Have you looked a flying? The float planes leave from Coal Harbour, which is very close to Gastown.
Any suggestions on a good tour?
Pacific Coach LInes has a good tour - check out the website that Sam provided.
As a non-Vancouverite I'll say this. I once visited Vancouver for a week or two during which I crossed over to Victoria twice. One of the times I took Pacific Coach to Tsawwassen and then public transit from Shwartz Bay to Victoria, and the second time I took public transit the entire way (both ways in one long day -- I had a business meeting).
I felt that the time I took public transit I saved significant money and spent only a little bit more time. The main cost of taking public transit was of course that I had to figure out the route and make some transfers, it was a little complicated, but even as a visitor with very little knowledge of Vancouver's transit system, it wasn't too hard to figure out. I just calculated the route at http://tripplanning.translink.ca/ .
After all, unless you're staying right at a Pacific Coach pick-up spot, you'll need to make a "transfer" to get on it too.
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