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“Great customer service, nice ride, good price but needs some improvement” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Black Ball Ferry Line

Black Ball Ferry Line
430 Belleville Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8V 1W9, Canada (James Bay)
(250) 386-2202
Website
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Ranked #32 of 151 things to do in Victoria
Attraction details
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Great customer service, nice ride, good price but needs some improvement”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2011

The ride was pleasant enough and everyone very nice. When it's time to get on and off the ship everyone just piles to the front rather than lining up. Just because you get there first doesn't mean you will board or depart first, people just go right in front of you. Maybe there is little they can do to fix this but it made the ride a very unpleasant experience.

Visited June 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MVCohoVictoria, Manager at Black Ball Ferry Line, responded to this review, July 29, 2011
Dear Traveler,

Thanks for taking the time to review our ferry service. We appreciate your comments and will definitely take your thoughts on our embarkation/disembarkation process into consideration as we are always trying to improve our customer service and the overall experience a traveler has on board the MV Coho. Thanks again and we hope to have back on board again soon!
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English first
Tokyo, Japan
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
254 helpful votes 254 helpful votes
“Crossing time?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2010

We are taking the Black Ball Ferry in a couple of weeks and just realized that the crossing time on the website says 5.5 hours! According to Google Maps it would seem the distance is only 25 miles or so, which means The Coho is only chugging along at 5 knots? Is this accurate? Thank you for any insight you can provide.

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MVCohoVictoria, Manager at Black Ball Ferry Line, responded to this review, August 25, 2010
Hello Traveler,

The crossing time between Victoria and Port Angeles is just 90 minutes. Please note that you must be at the Victoria terminal 90 minutes in advance of your sailing time and at the Port Angeles terminal 60 minutes in advance of sailing time, this is a US customs regulation. Please visit the fares and schedules page of our website for departure times, here it is listed as a 90 minute crossing. Please feel free to call our sales office should you have any questions at 250.386.6035. I would be very interested in knowing where the 5.5 hour crossing time is listed to ensure it is corrected. We look forward to having you on board.


Sincerely,

Heather Lindsay
Sales & Marketing
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Leominster, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“Efficient Service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2010

We rode the Coho ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria. They were very efficient in terms of boarding as well as customs in Canada (much better than our 90 minutes in line to cross the board on I-5). The boat was very basic but the food in the cafe was good.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qualicum Beach, B.C.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Very convenient and friendly ferry service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2010

We recently returned from a trip to Seattle to Victoria via the Coho Ferry and found it to be a very convenient and friendly service. We took the Washington State Ferry from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island and enjoyed a leisurely drive through this lovely area, arriving at Port Angeles for a late afternoon ferry back to Vancouver Island. The staff were very friendly and helpful, getting our vehicle squeezed onto a full ferry and saving us a wait for the next sailing. Passing through Canadian customs and immigration was quick and easy once we disembarked and was so much more convenient than creeping along in a hot car over a border crossing. We look forward to taking the ferry again and exploring more of the Olympic Peninsula as well as the Seattle area.

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MVCohoVictoria, Manager at Black Ball Ferry Line, responded to this review, August 3, 2010
Dear Traveler,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review our ferry service. We are so glad that our friendly staff made an impression on you. We look forward to having you on board again!

Sincerely,

Black Ball Ferry Line
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WA
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Don't Lose A Ticket”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2010

When you purchase your ticket on Black Ball Ferry, they give you a physical ticket- like what you'd get at a carnival. You take this ticket to a worker at the entrance to the ship and he lets you on board. If you pre-pay for a round-trip they give you both sets of tickets- one for your trip now, and one set of tickets for your return trip.

My wife and I purchased round-trip tickets and later found that we lost the return-trip tickets (not hard to do given their small size and cheap feel). I thought this wouldn't be a big deal. I had purchased my tickets online so they knew exactly when I was coming and going and had all my information. I was wrong. After talking with workers on the Canadian side and the American side and calling the adminisration desk, no one could help.

I thought I had purchased a trip on a Ferry, but no, I had purchased tickets, and because I lost those tickets, no one could do anything for me. (My argument was that because I had purchased a seat on the Ferry, not paper tickets, losing the tickets is irrelevent). So, I purchased a second set of return-trip tickets with every worker understanding I had already paid once for this trip but telling me there was nothing they could do (how about let my wife and I on the ship?).

I admit, I shouldn't have lost my tickets, but the extremely rude, unpleasant feedback I received made me feel like they were talking to a sailor on a fishing boat rather than a customer on their Ferry line.

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MVCohoVictoria, President & C.O.O. at Black Ball Ferry Line, responded to this review, July 19, 2010
Dear Traveler,

Thank you for taking the time to review our ferry service, we do always appreciate the feedback whether it is positive, or when it points out areas where we can improve. I would like to begin by apologizing for the inconvenience and unnecessary distress you experienced when you traveled with Black Ball Ferry Line. Our current ticketing system allows people the flexibility of using their ferry tickets at any time, we treat them as currency. Having a system like this allows our customers to use their return tickets whenever they are ready, they are not tied down to any specific date or sailing time. If you have the misfortune of misplacing your tickets, it is the same as misplacing cash. If the tickets were left somewhere they could be found and used by someone else, or were you to find your tickets later you would be able to use them at anytime, they do not expire. While the idea behind this system is to give flexibility to our customers, we do acknowledge that this can lead to stress on the part of the customer if they lose their ticket. We will certainly consider this as we continue to move forward and change as a company.

I would also like to apologize for any rudeness that you experienced, as a company we strive to achieve high levels of customer service and this situation could have been handled in a much more professional manner. Our staff would have been following our policies in that the tickets sold are not connected to specific seats or sailings, however, we are addressing the way in which our staff communicate this to our customers. Based on your review we are enhancing our customer service training to ensure that our ticket sellers are able to effectively communicate how our tickets work. It is important that our customers know that while the tickets are good for any sailing, they must have the physical tickets with them in order to make use of them. By communicating this clearly to our customers when they purchase round trip tickets, we will be able to avoid further situations like your own. Please contact our Sales & Marketing office at 250-386-6035 as we would like to give you the opportunity to try our ferry service again as a thank you for your feedback, and because we do care greatly about our customer’s experience. Black Ball Ferry Line has been operating for just over 50 years and many of our staff members have been with us for 30 years or more. As such, our organization is like a family, and we try to treat each and every passenger as a part of our extended Black Ball Ferry Line family. Our success over the years has been reliant on our loyal return customers, and we truly appreciate the significance of this. Thank you again for you constructive feedback.

Sincerely,

Ryan Burles
President & C.O.O.
Black Ball Ferry Line
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