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Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

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Toronto/Ottawa
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Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

Hi there

So, this seems like a silly question, but.....

Originally I wanted to take the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria and bring our car, but based on the posts I've seen on this forum, we don't really need a car in Victoria for a day trip. We'd also love to save money by not bringing it over. We're happy to use public transit, taxis, etc. while we're touring Victoria.

Here's the weird thing....I can't seem to find online reservations for ferries for people who do NOT want to bring their car. Are ferries to Victoria only for people who are bringing their cars??

Aren't there passenger-only ferries? If so, is there a website where I could pre-book tickets? We're traveling with little ones and don't want to risk having to wait hours in the terminal....

calgary
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1. Re: Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

You can't reserve for the ferry if you are a "walk on" passenger. The easiest way to get from downtown VAncouver to downtown Victoria would be to take the Pacific Coach lines bus. It drives right onto the ferry and you get off in downtown Victoria. You could take public transportation from downtown Vancouver out to the ferry terminal in Tswassen and then public transportation from SIdney (where the ferry lands on the Island side) into Victoria. Pacific Coach is much easier.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

Walk on passengers do not need reservations. Very rarely to they have an overage of weight on the ferries that require some pax to be denied boarding. The ferries are for all, they are (arguably) part of our highways system. No passengers have to wait for the ferry.

Public transportation: Take Canada Line to Bridgeport Station, transfer to the #620 Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. This takes about an hour. The bus arrives at the ferry terminal about 20 min ahead of sailing, you buy your tix and walk the long overhead walkway to board the ferry. On the other side, you walk off the long overhead walkway to the bus stop and take the #70 bus for an hour into downtown Vancouver. Total journey form downtown to downtown = 4 hours.

Here's what's involved in map form: http://goo.gl/maps/Gcqz3

Pacific Coach Lines: Leaves every two hours from Pacific Central Station and takes you on the ferry right to downtown Victoria. Travel time = 4 hours.

www.pacificcoach.com

So you're looking at 8 hours travel time only, plus any visiting time.

You might look into Landsea Tours which does the journey in one day and has a great itinerary, with Victoria first, then a 2 hour stop at Butchart Gardens on the way back to Vancouver, same day, long day.

http://www.vancouvertours.com/

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

<<Take Canada Line to Bridgeport Station, transfer to the #620 Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. This takes about an hour. The bus arrives at the ferry terminal about 20 min ahead of sailing, you buy your tix and walk the long overhead walkway to board the ferry.>>

For clarity this should say:

Take Canada Line to Bridgeport Station, transfer to the #620 Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. The bus arrives at the ferry terminal about 20 min ahead of sailing, you buy your tix and walk the long overhead walkway to board the ferry. This takes about an hour.

Toronto/Ottawa
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4. Re: Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

Thanks for your responses, everyone!

The BC ferries website says that the ferry ride over (when you have your car) takes 90 minutes or so.

So, I was wondering why I keep reading that it takes 4 hours each way to make the trip....

From our hotel, it looks like a 30 minutes drive to Tsawwassen. From there it would be a 90 minute ferry ride to Victoria, right? So I'm trying to figure out how we get to 4 hours of travel in each direction.

Thank you so much for your help! I must seem like such a numbskull!!

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

Please open the blue print link in the middle of my post #2 to see the Google map showing why it takes 4 hours downtown to downtown. The ferry ride is in the middle of the distance between Van and Vic.

From downtown Vancouver to Tsawwassen terminal = 45 minutes. More if you are driving there in morning rush hour.

Arrive 1 hour in advance of the ferry to get in line to wait for it. Or between 60 and 30 min in advance if you have made a reservation for a space on the ferry.

Ferry ride = 1.5 hours

From Swartz Bay on the other side into downtown Victoria = 40 minutes.

All blue printing on TA is a link to a new page.

Edited: 24 June 2013, 19:53
Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

I know you're trying to save money by not bringing the car, but if you value your time more than money, you could consider taking a Harbour Air seaplane over one way. It's a 35 minute flight and goes directly from downtown Vancouver into downtown Victoria. Then, on your way back into Vancouver, you can take Pacific Coach Lines so you get to experience the ferry.

Otherwise, anticipate 4 hours of travel one way between the cities, as there is definitely waiting involved, and neither ferry terminal is in Vancouver or Victoria - they're both located outside of the cities. It's kind of like planning to take a flight out of Pearson Airport. Factor time it takes to travel to get there, the waiting time before you board - the actual flight is just one portion of the general travel time. Same for BC Ferries. :)

Edited: 24 June 2013, 20:40
Nanaimo, Canada
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7. Re: Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

And I would argue that if you are only going for a day trip you really should have your vehicle. The additional cost of taking your car will be $51 each way plus your gas (and a fee for reserving if you choose to do that). Both Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay ferry terminals are a sizable distance from Vancouver and Victoria. Taking your car will allow you to go early and come back late.

Or as BCRobyn suggested, take a seaplane and or bus combination.

Amsterdam, The...
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8. Re: Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

Take the car, If it's only for convenience.

You won't be saving that much, anyway.

BCFerries fare:

Car: $ 51,25

Adult: $ 15,50

Children6-11: $ 7,75

Children under6: free

Bus fares:

Adult: $ 38,00

Children: $ 19,00

Ferry:

Adult: $ 15,50

Children6-11: $ 7,75

Chlidren under6: free

These ar all one-way fares.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

It sounds like you are going to drive to the ferry terminal, park and then walk on. This is a little more efficient than taking the bus all the way from downtown Vancouver.

Yes, it will take you about 45 minutes to get out to the terminal, more with the morning rush counterflow in the tunnel. You will have to park, pay and walk in and get your tickets, so allow at least 30 minutes for that. Boarding is another 20 minutes. Sailing time is about 90 minutes (and its a lovely trip). Disembarking is another 20 minutes.

You have a couple of options for getting from Swartz Bay to Victoria. In the first 30 minutes of the sailing, the PCL driver will be at the desk and you can purchase a ticket for the ride into Victoria with them, which is probably only about 30 minutes or less. I don't know what the on board rate is for PCL, but its going to be less than the full fare listed on the site. Otherwise, you can take the public bus, which stops immediately outside the terminal (I was paying attention to these details when we went across week before last), but the ride is a full hour because it wanders through the residential neighbourhoods.

You could also get a taxi from the terminal for the 20 minute ride into Victoria from the terminal. I don't know what that would cost. Parking in the Tsawwassen terminal would be $16.

seattle
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10. Re: Van to Victoria by Ferry WITHOUT a car??

this is a new shuttle service for people arriving without a car

http://www.peninsulashuttle.ca/index.html