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Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

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Seattle, Washington
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Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

I live in Seattle and am planning a trip to Victoria in July. I easily get seasick, so I think the Clipper is not an option for traveling between the two. I wanted to take a seaplane until I realized that I was looking at close to $300 roundtrip. I'm considering driving to Vancouver and taking the car ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. That way I would have a car in Victoria and also, I was hoping the car ferries might be large enough so I wouldn't feel much movement? (I don't get seasick on large cruise ships - just little boats, small ferries.) Does anyone have an opinion on the car ferry and seasickness? Thanks!

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1. Re: Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

I have found this route to be great. The ships are so huge that unless it is really stormy out there is basically no movement in the ship. Plus once you cross the main open section of water the ship moves through the islands and is quite close to land further dampening any possible effects. I do believe the car ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria would be similar and may be a closer option for you to consider.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

The ship will rumble but, if you were to not look out the window, you wouldn't even know you're moving.

Victoria, Canada
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3. Re: Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

the car ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria crosses open water and can be VERY rock and roll.

I felt queasy each time we have had to use this ferry.(not often)

on the other hand...

The op is right, the Vancouver- Victoria ferry is a nice calm ride, 99% of the time. It might get a little rocky in the winter months, but I think you would be just fine in the summer.

victoria bc canada
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4. Re: Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

I also suffer from motion sickness.In 40 years of taking the ferry 6x or so a year,I was only queasy once.

I do not take the Vic-Port Angeles ferry however without wearing a Transderm patch.

Victoria B.C.
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5. Re: Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

Hi Becca,

Living on the island I take the ferry quite a few times a year. Unfortunately, like you I too get seasick quite easily. I find the best way to deal with it and not feel the ferry's motion as much is to stay in the car (it's kind of boring, with no views of the beautiful scenery that you can see if you go upstairs, but if you have a book or something else to keep yourself busy for an hour and a half, you're good to go!!).

I would recommend going up stairs for a bit though, see if you can handle being up on one of the main decks as the views are beautiful!!!

Victoria BC
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6. Re: Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

... also if you are on a ship in rough seas stay near the middle of the ship, there is the least movement in that area and focus your concentration on a book can help. For God sakes don't look out the window.

This time of year the waters are pretty calm around Victoria I would recommend the Port Angeles Ferry because its the fastest.

Here is an article on getting to Victoria BC if you want to explore other options:


Victoria BC Canada
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7. Re: Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

In the winter time, the ferries can be a bit rough, but in the summer, it is usually quite calm on the sailing between tswassen and victoria.

If there is one spot that "could" be rough is the exit/entrance path to tswassen (about 15 mins) where it is crossing more exposed ocean water.

Apparently iodine tablets help combat sea sickness, so perhaps popping one a bit in advance of the sailing would help? Also, as mentioned earlier staying in the middle of the ship and staying on one of the lower passenger levels rather than going straight to the top deck may help as well.

The "Spirit" vessels and the newer ones they use from Germany are quite large ships and offer a really stable ride.

Victoria, Canada
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8. Re: Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

I have lived on the island all my life, and yes, I get seasick,, but only once or twice in my entire life have I noticed a problem on the Tsawwassen Swartz Bay run( Victoria to Vancouver). Unless seas are very rough the ships are very smooth.

I personally do not recommend sitting in car,, fresh air and a view of the horizon are a better idea for most people.

Manchester, United...
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9. Re: Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

Joan is absolutely right. Fresh air out on deck and watch the horizon - that stays still even if everything else is moving!

I get really bad motion sickness, but have never been seasick by sticking to the above rule.

When we went on a dhow in Kenya (very, very bouncy), they gave us ginger tea - as pregnant ladies know, ginger is a very good thing to stop you feeling queasy, if you want to avoid medication.

That said, the BC ferries on our recent trip were like sailing on a mill pond. And it is more like a cruise ship in size.

Sure it wlil be OK.

Edited: 05 July 2010, 17:47
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10. Re: Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria - Seasick?

There is also a WSF car ferry service from Anacortes to Sydney. I've done it twice in the summer and its very nice and pretty smooth sailing.