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Renting a car in Port Hardy to drive to Victoria

Stratford, Ontario
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Renting a car in Port Hardy to drive to Victoria

Has anyone rented a car in Port Hardy and from where? How long does it take to drive to Victoria? or are you better off to take a bus? Any info would be appreciated. We are taking the ferry from Prince Rupert and would like to travel to Victoria in the summer.

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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for British Columbia
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1. Re: Renting a car in Port Hardy to drive to Victoria

IMO it's better to take the bus in the AM-there was at one time a night bus that left as soon as the ferry unloaded but I have no info.

Reserve accommodation for your night in town-there is a shuttle-then cab it to the bus station.

http://www.greyhound.ca/

It's over 9 hours driving time with 2 breaks one in Campbell River and another in Nanaimo

There are car rentals @ the airport but it's a $20+ cab ride from town and charges are relatively high.

Ontario, Canada
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2. Re: Renting a car in Port Hardy to drive to Victoria

Thanks Samsalmon...we are also planning to make the ferry trip from Prince Rupert...your advice is very helpful. It will be the bus for us. I understand Via Rail runs a route from a location mid island down to Victoria. do you know anything about this train? (we will be in possession of a train pass..so will use the train whenever it is advantageous.)

Victoria, Canada
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3. Re: Renting a car in Port Hardy to drive to Victoria

The train is part of the ViaRail system. Check out their website at http://www.viarail.ca/ From their website, the one way fare from Courtenay to Victoria is $27 and takes 4 1/2 hours.

I have taken the train from Victoria to Qualicum Beach (north of Nanaimo) and return. A basic coach car with no food service, so be sure you either eat before you travel or take snacks with you. The scenery is wonderful, though, and I loved not having to drive.

Stratford, Ontario
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4. Re: Renting a car in Port Hardy to drive to Victoria

Thanks for your responses all. Someone mentioned about renting a car in Prince Rupert prior to taking the ferrie. Has anyone ever done that? We may want to stay on the island a couple of days so we may need a car.

Calgary
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5. Re: Renting a car in Port Hardy to drive to Victoria

We were at the Quarterdeck Inn in Port Hardy in February and noticed that they have Budget rental cars there. You might check with the Budget car rental in Port Hardy to see what the drop-off charges would be in Victoria.

Victoria, Canada
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6. Re: Renting a car in Port Hardy to drive to Victoria

Well, Blueliner, your plans may have to change. Today (and this is NOT a joke!), the ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy SANK! 101 passengers and crew on board and everyone was okay, but it means there is no ferry from PR to Port Hardy now and I'm not sure what BC Ferries will do to replace it.

My stepbrother, who lives in Juneau, was planning to drive to Prince Rupert and take the ferry down next week, so I imagine his (and a lot of other peoples') plans will be drastically altered.

Calgary, Canada
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7. Re: Renting a car in Port Hardy to drive to Victoria

I'm sure they'll come up with something by the summer. There's also a ferry from Bella Coola, which I've taken and thouroughly enjoyed, of course you'd have to drive to Bella Coola to catch it. It seems that the PR route is a little more popular, so BC Ferries could take that boat and move it to PR. Or maybe they'll change the schedule around so they can continue servicing all the towns with fewer sailings per week to each place.

I wouldn't rent a car in PR to drop off in Victoria. Not only do you have the added cost of bringing it on the ferry, but the rental agency has further to get it back, so the drop off fees will be much higher. And I would expect the daily rental rates to be higher as PR is a little further from "civilization" than Port Hardy is.

Port McNeill, BC...
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8. Re: Renting a car in Port Hardy to drive to Victoria

Hello Blueliner,

One of the ships BC Ferries uses on that route sank about a week and a half ago. Plans are underway to bring it's smaller sister ship out of dry dock. I don't know how this will affect summer tourists. You can contact a person at BC Ferries (1-888-223-3779) or check out their service updates at http://www.bcferries.com/ for further information. The route you would be taking is the Inside Passage Summer Day Cruise Service.

If you are going through with this trip, I would suggest renting a car in Port Hardy. (The bus will take you about 8-10 hrs, depending on stops, and it only leaves once a day at 9:00am from Port Hardy.) If you rent a car in Prince Rupert, it will cost you an addtional $260 to bring the car onto the ferry. Driving distance to Victoria is approx 508km, or about 5.5 hours. Traffic increases as you head south down island. The car rental company we have here is Budget. If you call them at our local office (250-949-6442) they may be able to make arrangements to accomodate you from the ferry terminal. Otherwise, one of the cabs that hang around the terminal upon ship arrival should be able to take you to the Budget location, I would guess about a $20-30 cab ride. The car will allow you much flexibility to stop and take in the sights as well.

Kamloops, BC...
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9. Re: Renting a car in Port Hardy to drive to Victoria

Blueliner -

Your first question to the car rental company in Port Hardy (call from PR) should be, "Do you have any Victoria or Vancouver cars?". If you can get a car that needs to be returned to another rental office, you will not be charged a drop-off fee. If you call a couple of days ahead of time, they'll think of you if/when such a car comes in, and they may hold it for you.

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