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Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

America, The...
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Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

We will be flying into Vancouver and picking up our rental car. Then we would like to take the ferry to Victoria (with the car onboard) that same day and will then be staying at the BW Inner Harbour.

We have never been to this part of Canada, so if someone could walk me through the steps of this first day of travel, I would be very grateful.

Our flight arrives at 11:15am into Vancouver. We pick up the ferry where and about what time, building in time for a possible late arrival?

Do we need an advanced reservation on the ferry? It will be a Saturday at the end of June. If so, can someone provide a link, please?

Approximately what time should we expect to arrive in Victoria, and how long will it take to get to the BW from the ferry terminal?

Thank you so much for helping with this!

Whitehorse
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1. Re: Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

Vancouver is the most traffic congested city in North-America and having a car is a pain. Why not go by bus / ferry from the airport directly to Victoria for your (2-3 day?) visit, then take the bus/ferry back to Vancouver, visit by transit for a few days, then use a rented car to see the outskirt of town. ;)

Vancouver BC
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2. Re: Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

No need for a ferry reservation. bcferries.com/schedules/…tssw-current.php

America, The...
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3. Re: Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

Thank you both for quick replies! We need the car to get to Comox after Victoria for several days on Vancouver Island.

Alegre, I know you said no need for a reservation, but they offer the option of a reservation on the link you provided. Do spots for cars ever fill up on busy weekends?

Nanaimo, Canada
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4. Re: Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

From the airport to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal is pretty straight forward, and you don't go anywhere near the downtown. You are already south of the city of Vancouver, in Richmond.

http://goo.gl/maps/aXYK8

Nanaimo, Canada
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5. Re: Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

Yes, spots do fill up on busy weekends. But that route has a lot of sailings, and sometimes, every hour. It would be awkward to make a reservation, as you have no idea if your flight will be delayed, how long to clear customs, how long to wait for baggage, and then deal with the rental car.

If you are arrive at the ferry 29 minutes before your reserved time, you lose your spot.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

Hi ~

I would aim for the 3h00 ferry at Tsawwassen. Your flight may be late, you may need an hour to arrange your car and it will take about 45 minutes to drive from YVR to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal and you need to be at the terminal about an hour ahead of sailing. So the 3 would give you 4 hours to sailing, to get all that in. On a Saturday afternoon/evening, it is unlikely you will need a reservation. Although June 28th might be different as school as just got out for the summer and families may be travelling on that particular Saturday. Not as popular as Friday though as most will want to be AT their destination for the whole weekend. On all the Saturdays in June, the ferry runs every two hours on the odd hour. So 1, 3, 5, 7 will be your choices.

So get your car and drive the 45 minutes to Tsawwassen terminal. Pay your fare and listen to the lane # the attendant will give you. Drive to this lane # get in line. Ground crew will direct you on to the ferry. You go up to the lounges and the promenade deck to enjoy the 1.5 hour sailing. An announcement is made on board when you are approaching Swartz Bay to go back down to your car. The secret to doing this successfully is to remember the car deck # you parked the car on and the animal painted around the door frames to the staircases as you made your way up on deck. These are the breadcrumbs you use to get back to the car. Drive off the ferry and drive about 40 minutes down to Victoria. The Pat Bay Highway #17 will automatically funnel you down onto Blanchard St. Follow this all the way down until you are funneled into Belleville St. Follow Belleville right past the Legislative Building and find your way to the BW.

I wouldn't be bothered with a ressie. But you certainly could do that for peace of mind. It will either work or it won't and if you get their 29 minutes or less to sailing, you will lose your money. Then you wait 2 hours for the next ferry.

If you get the 3, you will very likely be into the hotel by about 5h15 pm. If you end up on the 5 ferry, then it will be about 7h15 pm.

The map given above takes you to Tsawwassen, the following is a map that shows you the way to the BW. You can zoom it in. You can change to "satellite" setting to be able to see the lay of the land. I find satellite and zoom particularly helpful over the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, pin B on the following map.

http://goo.gl/maps/aoqKV

Here is the BC Ferrries website if you decide to make a ressie. The "Reserve and Plan" tab in the blue menu bar is what you need. The reservation process is slow, I think "somebody" in there thinks hard and long before proceeding with the next step!!

www.bcferries.com

calgary
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7. Re: Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

The poster in the first reply has a point; you really don't need a car to get to Vancouver Island and could easily rent one in Victoria when you need it to get to Comox. There are rental places right behind the Empress Hotel. Pacific Coach Lines offers a bus from the airport to downtown Victoria and then you would only have a few block walk to the BW Inner Harbour. You do have to make a reservation for the bus; but I believe they have several throughout the day, see link below for information.

pacificcoach.com/Bus-Coach-Travel/YVR-Victor…

This would also take the worry out of trying to find your to Tswassen and then to the BW on the other side. Just an idea.

Edited: 1:41 pm, June 06, 2014
Nanaimo, Canada
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8. Re: Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

But from Comox, then they would have to go all the way to Victoria to return the car, or face a huge drop fee. At least from Comox, the OP can then use the Nanaimo crossing to return to Vancouver. Not as nice as a crossing, compared to the Gulf Islands, but it would save some driving, and give more time up the other end of the island. Another option though....

Port Moody, Canada
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9. Re: Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

If you are coming June 28 there will be a ferry every hour so you shouldn't have too long a wait. As noted it may be a busy day but by afternoon should have slowed down. Once you've landed and cleared customs you can check the bcferries website and see how full the ferries are. For example this is the advice currently up for the 11 am sailing

bcferries.com/current_conditions/…

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria with rental car

The ferry schedule for June 28, a Saturday, seems to show ferry departures every 2 hours on the odd hour.