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“Not exactly family friendly”

Black Ball Ferry Line
Ranked #26 of 201 things to do in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Black Ball Ferry Line operates the M.V. Coho passenger and vehicle ferry linking Victoria, B.C. on Vancouver Island with Port Angeles, WA on the scenic Olympic Peninsula. During the 90 minute crossing, enjoy the ship's many amenities including the cafeteria, gift shop, duty free store, comfortable interior lounges, solarium and pet-friendly areas. Year round daily service is provided. Save big by booking a ferry and hotel stay with our exclusive package deals! In addition to our great prices at the region's favorite hotels, we'll pay your reservation fee for a guaranteed space on your desired sailing time when you book a package. Our Captain and Crew look forward to welcoming you on board the ship!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase
Reviewed June 29, 2011

Normally I don't like to complain as a company shouldn't be judged by one employee, but I was so completely appalled by what happened to my family that I feel it necessary to warn others.

My husband and I took our 12 month old to Victoria for our first family vacation. When we crossed on the Coho it was really easy and nice, but on our way home our daughter started to interact with another baby, about 11 months old. They weren't crying or upset, they were laughing and squealing (but not too loud) at each other. There were people laughing and enjoying two happy babies, and others were sleeping or just reading and enjoying the ride. Than a man came to the front of the boat, where we had been sitting since the beginning. He sat down, and within 5 minutes screamed at the top of his lungs, "SHUT UP!!!". He woke people up and scared the babies who both started crying. Another passenger got a crew member and complained about the man, not saying anything about the babies, just this man who screamed and was being out of line. The man then said he reacted like that because of the babies being loud and screaming. The crew member than came to me and the other mother and told us we had to quiet our children or move to another area of the boat.

Other passengers told the crew member that the babies weren't the problem, but the man was. The crew member said that he spoke to the man and he would be quiet so therefore we must keep the babies quiet. When other passengers spoke up to point out that the man had just come to the area and that if he didn't like it he needed to leave, the crew member proceeded to say that he was interested in only making it comfortable for everyone, and since the babies were the problems that they needed to be kept quiet.

There was no regard for our two families, or our babies. We tried our hardest to keep them quiet, but after that they only cried and were upset. I can't tell you how many passengers came up to me to say how sorry they were, and to reassure the other mom and me that our babies were fine and were not disturbing them. The other mom and I had to walk our babies around the boat during unsafe conditionas as it was very rough seas, because of this one person and because of the lack of support from the crew member.

After being a long time customer of the Coho, I am not sure I will ever feel comfortable on the boat again, and I recommend others with small children think twice before traveling on the Coho again.

7  Thank shellytravel08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 347 reviews
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in 67 reviews
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in 26 reviews
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in 18 reviews
"border crossing"
in 16 reviews
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in 15 reviews
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in 9 reviews
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in 51 reviews
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in 10 reviews
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in 17 reviews
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831 - 835 of 875 reviews

Reviewed June 19, 2011

Since the COHO Management appears to monitor this page, let me start out by saying that I LOVE the COHO.

We have taken the COHO from Port Angeles to Victoria many times. At times we have just walked on board in the morning for a day trip to Victoria. At other times we have brought the car along for longer vacations on Vancouver Island.

The COHO is the ONLY car ferry that docks in the Inner Harbor of Victoria. It is very convenient.

In the "old days" you better get in line with your car at 5:00 o'clock in the morning if you wanted to get on the first sailing of the day. Thankfully, you can make reservations online nowadays, and...sleep a little longer.

Now to the part that can get me in trouble with the COHO Management. COHO is an Old Lady...built in the fifties, and....she rolls. I have seen people turn "pale" on a nice day when the water is like glass.

If that should happen to you, just go outside and grab a breath of fresh air. You might get lucky and see a whale or a couple of dolphins.

In all fairness, this rolling is not a safety issue. COHO....is just being the COHO....!!! I highly recommend a crossing on the COHO.

1  Thank ebrynnie
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 reviewResponded July 29, 2011

Dear Traveler,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on our ferry service. We agree that the option to reserve your space on board the ferry in advance is definitely an improvement. Great advice also about getting some fresh air on the outer deck should one start to feel a little sea sick ;)

Thanks again!

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Reviewed August 23, 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.

4  Thank Pathcontrolmonk
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 reviewResponded 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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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.

1  Thank sdavi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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.

1  Thank comfortseeker1
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 reviewResponded 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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