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Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
18 posts
10 reviews

We will be in Vancouver 3 days pre cruise to Alaska and also on the day we return. We then plan to head to Victoria (possibly by seaplane?) and stay 1 night. We are to then spend 2 nights in Whistler before returning to Vancouver for our flight.

Questions - I am not sure whether we should seaplane to Victoria and ferry back then hire a car in Vancouver (or Victoria) to drive to Whistler? Or seaplane to Whistler and hire a car in Whistler? Any better suggestions appreciated. We have 3 children 8, 6 and 10 months.

Also, our international flight leaves Vancouver at 1.50pm on Saturday 10 August. If we drive back from Whistler around 8am would that be ok?

Thanks so much.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
18,837 posts
54 reviews
1. Re: Vancouver-Victoria-Whistler

That is a lot of traveling in a short amount of time. Flying to Victoria makes sense, although the ferry trip is lovely and it would be a shame to miss it. However, it does take four hours to get there by road and you don't have a lot of time. If you see the journey as part of the experience, then its worth doing, IMO.

If you can fly directly from Victoria to Whistler, that makes sense. That's another long trip with another ferry crossing (Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay).

Note the sea planes have very strict luggage restrictions.

Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
15,776 posts
40 reviews
2. Re: Vancouver-Victoria-Whistler

Once you are in Whistler, you don't really need a car, unless you are going to drive back to Vancouver. And that "Sea to Sky" drive is beautiful. Or you want to do some of the hikes north of Whistler, or check out Pemberton. But the village itself is very walkable. Parking can be expensive in Whistler as well.

You need to check out the costs of one way drop off fees for the car. Otherwise you could get the car once in Victoria, drive north from there, over the Malahat, see the totem poles in Duncan, stop in Chemainus to see the murals, and then depart the island from Nanaimo (Departure Bay). When you get off the ferry on the mainland, you will be right in Horseshoe Bay, and it is easy to head to Whistler from there. You avoid the city of Vancouver using this route. After your time in Whistler, drive back to Vancouver and drop off the car there.

Having said that, it is a LOT of driving with three kids. You know best if they are up for it, or if YOU are!!!


Hope it works!

Edited: 11:24 am, May 24, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
43,312 posts
58 reviews
3. Re: Vancouver-Victoria-Whistler

For your 3 days in Vancouver you don't need a car. But to avoid the seaplane's luggage weight restrictions and the one way drop fee for the rental car and the hauling of children and luggage, you might consider renting a car for your circle route from Vancouver to Victoria (4 hours), Victoria to Whistler via BC Ferries from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay (6 hours, including the wait for the ferry, plus any stops on the way), then back to Vancouver airport. You will want to allow 5 hours to the airport - 2.5 hours to the airport plus 2.5 - 3 hours ahead of flight to check in, etc.

4. Re: Vancouver-Victoria-Whistler

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