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should we hire a car

London
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should we hire a car

Hi

there are four of us spending two and a half days on the island in September. Flying in from Calgery mid afternoon and then catching the ferry to Vancouver mid morning. Should we hire a car or is it easier to get around walking, catching buses, taxis and would this be far more expensive? we also want a half day whale watching. If we hire a car at the airport can we drop it off at the port or do we have to return it to the airport?

all advice gratefully received.

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: should we hire a car

I'm sorry, how are you getting from Calgary to Vancouver? Do you want to rent a car in Calgary, or once you get to Vancouver Island??

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: should we hire a car

Victoria is easy to get around walking. When you arrive from YYC, there is a shuttle from YYJ to downtown and then there is Pacific Coach Lines for getting from downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver -Pacific Central Station. From there you would want to take 2 taxis to where your cruise ship is. You can take Skytrain in 5 min which would be cheaper than 2 taxis and then a 300 metre walk to Canada Place. Unless your ship is berthing at Ballantyne pier. You ARE using the word port, so assume you mean a cruise. The travel time from Vic to Van is 4 hours.

http://www.yyjairportshuttle.com

www.pacificcoach.com

As a Brit (I am assuming) you could rent a car/SUV from Victoria to Vancouver with no one way drop fee. The UK company to look into is Canadian Affair.

http://www.canadianaffair.com/en/car-hire/

Because there are four of you with luggage, you may find a rental car to get to Vancouver would be more economical than paying individual fares, especially on PCL. Depending on the day of the week and time of day on that date, a car reservation for the ferry might be a good idea. The ferry website is here:

www.bcferries.com

London
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3. Re: should we hire a car

Sorry I didnt make it very clear. We are flying from Calgary to Vancouver Island

Nanaimo, Canada
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4. Re: should we hire a car

From Calgary to Victoria presumably. So no ferry travel then. Correct?

If so then you most likely won't need a car if you want to do the main sites. Most of the attractions for Victoria, save for Butchart Gardens which is near the airport, are in the downtown area. All within reasonable walking distance or public transit.

You might consider hiring a car for one day and taking the 20 mile Scenic Drive out to Butchart Gardens, if you intend to go there, and then visit Sidney and drive back.

Penticton, Canada
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5. Re: should we hire a car

I am one of those people that likes the flexibility that a car provides to tour around areas that are not well served by transit and Victoria has some interesting neighbourhoods that are really interesting to drive around to see housing variations.

Parking is reasonably cheap; Best West Inner Harbour for example is only $8 a day and some motels 10-15 min from Inner Harbour has free parking and cheaper than Inner harbour hotels.

Driving around Victoria is not hectic, and one is always no more than 5 min to a major road when getting lost touring around. A good paper map has worked for me even though the GPS is convenient it is not required.

With a car such places as the Fort Hill Rodd park can now be on the list. http://goo.gl/maps/yuWbP

and this is the long way to or from Butchard Garden to Inner Harbour which needs a car http://goo.gl/maps/2Fnrv

London
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6. Re: should we hire a car

I probably didn't make myself clear. We are flying from Calgary to Victoria on an afternoon flight. Spending 2 nights in Victoria and then leaving on a ferry crossing to Vancouver for 2 nights prior to our long haul flight back to the UK. We will have hired a car to tour the rockies but not sure about this leg of our trip. So any advice would help with our planning.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: should we hire a car

Post 2. Except for "take 2 taxis from PCStation to the cruise ship" which should then be "from PCStation to your hotel", my advice stands.

London
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8. Re: should we hire a car

many thanks for the advice so fare. how difficult is it to drive around Vancouver or would we just be hiring a car for it to be parked up? I don't tend to drive in London now, prefer the public transport.

would that be the case for locals in Vancouver?

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: should we hire a car

Downtown Vancouver is very compact, 30-40 min to walk lengthwise, 20 min to walk across. Walking and transit are easy, transit convenient. Parking is expensive but you can find it. Your car will be parked up. General consensus here is to not use a car. Easy transit service to the North Shore attractions too.

Canada Line will whisk you to the airport in 26 min. Look to the right of the Vancouver Forum for the Top Question about "how close is my hotel from the Canada Line?" or something like that.

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: should we hire a car

For only two nights in each city, you can cover the highlights without a car. I don't think I'd bother with one for either city.

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