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Ferry day trip

Edmonton, Canada
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Ferry day trip

We are thinking of taking the bc ferry day trip from Swartz bay to the gulf islands. Heard this is a good way to see the islands and get on the water. It is about four hours round trip, any thoughts comments or tips for this would be great as well. A

Also plan on taking in the Butchant gardens that afternoon and a supper at the Blue buyo Restaurant in Brentwood bay. Is that all do-able in one day?

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Ferry day trip

With a car, yes it might be. Saltspring would be the easiest with the most frequent service back and forth to Swartz Bay. But to island hop you would need to study the schedules carefully to see if that would work, and how many islands would work. And yes, Butchart and dinner in the afternoon and evening would be fine.

If you wanted to sort out a bit of a plan with ferry times and destinations, post it here, someone could doublecheck it for you.

SE Ontario
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2. Re: Ferry day trip

Are these what you're talking about? To be on the water, yes ... but if you want to get off and see the islands, then perhaps not.

bcferries.com/schedules/…daytrip-current.php

Canada
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3. Re: Ferry day trip

Yes, the GI day trip is a nice sail as long as you want a sail only (walk on)!

You might want to check the schedule again in a few days as the BCF changes, to be implemented April 28, haven't yet been posted to the schedule pages (as I write this....). I am not quite sure if there will be any effects on the day trips; this might play into your plans for the rest of the day's events.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Ferry day trip

Good catch, phpr!

I just phoned BC Ferries to ask about this. The day trip works best for a walk on. You stay on the ferry, pop in to the individual island ferry docks and continue on around the circuit. Takes about 4.5 hours in all. I didn't ask if there is a coffee bar on board but I expect there is, with muffins etc. You can take the car and get off on an island, but would not be able to keep the same ferry schedule and would have to pay more for the vehicle.

Fares can be found in the PDF under Southern Gulf Islands, then the second in the list "Victoria - Southern Gulf Islands." The cost for a walk on is $12.60 + 3.4% fuel surcharge. And you'd have parking costs in the long term parking lot as well. What a great and scenic service, showing a bit of up close and personal of several islands!

As for the schedule, just choose the correct dates from the effective dates bar. Dates are in place until 2015.

Thanks, phpr, this is a great service to know about.

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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for British Columbia
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5. Re: Ferry day trip

A few of those ferry landings have small food shacks on site but it's been a while since I was on Mayne or Pender so you'd have to do some research to determine available food options.

Overall it's a lovely trip if you just want to take in the scenery.

Canada
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6. Re: Ferry day trip

Mayne has a coffee shop and I believe some food at the shack at the terminal. (I only had coffee but recall noting that some food is available.)

Pender has a burger place, which has coffee also. (I might call it a greasy spoon-type place.) It can be open some odd hours. It seems popular but maybe because of the captive audience. (I tried it years ago based on a published review, once was enough.)

.

Edited: 3:32 pm, March 31, 2014
Edmonton, Canada
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7. Re: Ferry day trip

Yes I am under the impression that we will just walk on. No vehicle and will have to stay on the ferry for whole time,we do not get off at all. Just wondering if anyone has done this and if it is worth the 4 hours for the scenery . How is the fog this time of year ( mid April) ?

Canada
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8. Re: Ferry day trip

Well, I have done the sail in reverse, as a means of transportation to one of the islands (sometimes with unplanned stops but anyways...). Also, out of Swartz but getting off the ferry.

The scenery is very nice, the islands are lovely places. Sailing around gives you a unique perspective to the Southern Gulf Islands, at a bargain price! It's different being out on the water, very relaxing.

Spring of last year was quite foggy, who knows for this year. It doesn't mean that it will be completely fogged in.

And there is some food on the ferry, not like the buffet or full menu on the big ships but it's okay. You can always pack a picnic if you want.

Edmonton, Canada
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9. Re: Ferry day trip

Thanks for all the info. Thinking we will go ahead with this on a weekend which stops at 4 stops.

Canada
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10. Re: Ferry day trip

The Pender/Mayne/Galiano/Pender trip will sail through Active Pass. It always amazes me, how two large ships can pass through at the same time; plus you can usually see eagles on Mayne! IMHO this is a better sail than the Pender/Saturna/Mayne/Pender--although you will often see large ships "holding" in the channel on the way to Saturna on this sail.

Pay attention to Galiano, as you pass just before (or after) Sturdies Bay; in the woods facing the channel you might see an old CP caboose set up as a vacation rental. http://www.cedarplace.com/caboose/ Of course, amongst all of the other fantastic scenery....