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“a ferry is a ferry”

Black Ball Ferry Line
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: Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator, Wheelchair access
Reviewed April 26, 2013

There is not much difference between Black Ball and Washington state ferries. They are old and creaky with minimal on board ammenities. Awful packaged cafeteria food, no news stand, tiny, poorly stocked duty free. On the plus side, it left on time, didn't sink and got us to our desination on time and safely. I suppose asking for more is asking too much.

Thank ZLI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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820 - 824 of 949 reviews

Reviewed April 21, 2013

We have traveled on this ferry for 49 years! It is reliable and well maintained and one of the best routes to Vancouver Island.
What has changed for the better after many years is that you can reserve ahead by phone or Internet, the staff has become friendly and helpful. This after many years of grouchy, unfriendly staff and no reservations . Formerly it was first come, first served and getting your car in line hours ahead .
It is an International crossing and both customs and immigration are required gauntlets to pass through. On the return from Victoria you must get in the car line 2 hours early to clear U.S. border security, which happens before boarding.
This 50 year old ferry takes an amazing amount of cars, trucks and RVs. The ship was built for ferrying trucks across a very exposed open ocean crossing on some of the most stormy passages in North America. It can be a rocking and rolling passage, like many open ocean voyages.
In good weather the crossing is spectacular and there is plenty of open deck space for experiencing fresh air open ocean sailing. Olympic Mountains dominate the view on the US side, really spectacular. Approaching Victoria another spectacular shoreline view is followed by passage through a narrow harbor to the dock.
During crossing there is always interesting ship traffic sailboats and occasional wildlife viewing.
BC ferries are bigger, newer and more frequent but Black Ball's Coho is an efficient crossing between Victoria and Mainland US. What is inefficient is the antiquated customs and immigration requirement between two friendly and allied great Nations. Government rigidity takes more time than the crossing itself. With passport, license plates and drivers licenses it is possible to screen travelers much faster than at present.
Lack of elevators is a real negative on this ship the only way to and from the car deck is a steep stair climb, passengers are not allowed to stay on the car deck during crossing. Handicapped folks must board and go ashore via the passenger ramp, and separately from family in ar.

Thank Malice6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

For a little over $20 you can take the ferry to Victoria, Canada and back for a wonderful one-day excursion. Victoria has great bus service and is a delight to walk. Finish up with a coffee or something stronger at one of the cafe's that overlook the harbor. Don't forget your passport!

Thank chertogo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Ferry to Victoria was a lovely. The view leaving Port Angeles is incredible with the Olympic Mountains as a background. The ferry ride to Victoria is not very long. Be prepared to be interrogated by an unfriendly guard when you land in Victoria.

Thank Lynne0503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

Drove to Arizona this winter and took the Coho both ways from Victoria to Port Angeles and back. Excellent service and very comfortable. Boat is well maintained and the staff are very friendly both on shore and on the vessel. Looking forward to the day they improve the Port Angeles dockside and the Victoria side.

Thank Buddi2365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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