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The Ferry From Vancouver to Victoria: A Complete Guide

Are you wondering how to get to Victoria from Vancouver, British Columbia?

(And you must visit the beautiful city where we live! We know of dozens of awesome things to do in Victoria.)

Many visitors take the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria.

The ferry ride is generally cheaper, easier and quicker than flying to Victoria, especially if you count the time checking in for the plane, extra bag fees, etc.

(The exception is if you’re already on a plane, flying to or within Canada, and are just connecting through Vancouver.)

Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, BC
A BC Ferry on the way to Victoria

Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, BC

Below is a complete guide on the ferry to Victoria from Vancouver (and the reverse ferry from Vancouver to Victoria).

Note: Prices shown are in CAD.

1) BC Ferries from Vancouver to Victoria

Victoria is BC’s capital city.

It’s located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, which is separated from the mainland of BC by the Strait of Georgia.

(It’s a bit confusing because Vancouver isn’t on Vancouver Island. It’s located on the mainland.)

Victoria's Inner Harbour
Victoria’s Inner Harbour

The trip by vehicle and ferry on BC Ferries from downtown Vancouver to Victoria takes from 4 to 5 hours, depending on your departure terminal.

There are 2 Vancouver ferry terminals that you can depart from:

  • Tsawwassen
  • Horseshoe Bay

BC Ferries from Tsawwassen

The Tsawwassen ferry terminal is the main terminal (south of Vancouver), and the one you want to depart from if you’re leaving from downtown Vancouver (or if you’re driving into Greater Vancouver on the TransCanada #1 Highway).

The scenic sail on BC Ferries is 1 hour and 35 minutes to Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal (which is actually located in Sidney, BC).

The Victoria ferry from Vancouver goes at least every 2 hours (more in the peak summer season). The first sailing is typically at 7:00 am.

The total travel time from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria is about 4 hours.

This includes driving to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, waiting for the ferry, the actual ferry trip and driving from the Swartz Bay terminal to downtown Victoria.

Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, BC
Find a seat outside on the ferry to watch the passing scenery!

BC Ferries from Horseshoe Bay

If you’re coming from North or West Vancouver or Whistler, we suggest you take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to the Departure Bay terminal in Nanaimo.

From Nanaimo, you then drive down the TransCanada Highway (#1 Highway) to Victoria.

The ferry crossing time is 1 hour and 40 minutes.

The total trip time on this ferry route is about 5 hours.

How to get from Vancouver to Victoria? Take BC Ferries!
A BC Ferry on its way from Vancouver to Victoria

We used to live in West Vancouver, and whenever we visited Victoria, this is the route we took.

Now, you could alternatively drive through downtown Vancouver and on to Tsawwassen and take the ferry from there. Your total trip time from North or West Vancouver would be about the same (5 hours).

But you’d be fighting traffic congestion in downtown Vancouver – something to avoid, especially at rush hour – and occasionally a clogged tunnel delay (at the George Massey Tunnel).

If you’re coming from Vancouver’s North Shore or Whistler

We think it’s simply more pleasant – and can be quicker – to sail to Nanaimo instead and drive down the scenic highway on Vancouver Island to get to Victoria.

BC Ferries' foot passenger building at Victoria's Swartz Bay terminal (located in Sidney)
BC Ferries’ foot passenger building at Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal (located in Sidney)

2) BC Ferries schedule

Ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver Island

Here’s the ferry schedule from Vancouver to Victoria and Nanaimo:

Victoria ferry schedule from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (Victoria): See here

Ferry schedule from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo: See here

Ferry from Vancouver Island to Vancouver

Here’s the schedule from Victoria and Nanaimo back to Vancouver:

Ferry schedule from Victoria to Tsawwassen: See here

Nanaimo ferry schedule to Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay): See here

3) Services: What to do on BC Ferries

It's very comfortable taking the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver (and the return).
Seating is comfortable on the ferry

On BC Ferries between Vancouver and Victoria, you’ll find many amenities.

It’s really like a mini-cruise.

The ferry between Vancouver and Victoria is very scenic!
A BC Ferry makes its way through Active Pass between Mayne Island and Galiano Island

You’ll find an excellent gift shop (stocked with many books by BC authors), a kids’ playroom and many comfortable seating areas.

Of course, you can walk around on the outside decks.

When the weather is good, we like plopping ourselves down for a while on a bench in the sunshine and soaking in the views, especially when the ferry squeezes through the very scenic Active Pass.

Coastal Café

White Spot’s cherry pie with whipped cream!

There’s also a cafeteria (the Coastal Café) with hot and cold food items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It features a White Spot menu (e.g., burgers, Caesar salad, cherry pie).

As well, you’ll find a smaller café for coffee, cappuccino, baked goodies and the like.

Pacific Buffet

In addition to the regular cafeteria, there’s a separate dining room – the Pacific Buffet – on select ferries, offering a complete buffet meal.

Dining in the Pacific Buffet on BC Ferries
Dining in the Pacific Buffet on BC Ferries

The following ferries have the Pacific Buffet:

  • Coastal Celebration
  • Spirit of British Columbia
  • Spirit of Vancouver Island

On one ferry crossing for lunch, for example, we helped ourselves to barbecued Korean riblets, Chinese chicken dumplings (Dim Sum style), fish in a cream sauce and other hot items, along with lettuce and spinach salad.

That was followed by a selection of desserts ranging from cheese cake to chocolate brownies.

The cost for an adult is:

  • $21.50 (about $16 USD) for breakfast
  • $22.75 (about $17 USD) for a hot lunch
  • $26.95 (about $20 USD) for dinner

Taxes are extra.

You can buy beer and wine in the Pacific Buffet for an additional cost.

Complete Pacific Buffet menus: See here

Coastal naturalist

In the summer months, a coastal naturalist travels onboard and gives a 20-minute talk outside on deck.

What’s the difference between a Stellar sea lion and a California sea lion? That’s one tidbit of information you might learn.

Answer?

The Stellar sea lions you commonly see here in our British Columbia coastal waters are twice as big as Californian sea lions. The males can weigh up to 2,200 lbs (females up to 800 lbs).

The Stellar sea lions you commonly see in British Columbia coastal waters are twice as big as Californian sea lions.
Stellar sea lions in BC

Another distinction – California sea lions bark like dogs, while Stellar sea lions make a low throaty sound, like a long deep burp.

4) BC Ferries reservations

We recommend you make ferry reservations in advance (otherwise, it’s first come, first served).

The standard BC Ferries reservation fee is $17 (about $12.75 USD).

And a reservation guarantees you’ll get on the ferry at the reserved time.

If you don’t make a reservation in peak season, you could wait for hours in a ferry line-up. And you don’t want to waste precious vacation time waiting for the ferry to get to Victoria!

We personally always make reservations now, even middle of the day, mid-week, in winter. This gives us certainty – and peace of mind…

What if you can’t make a reservation because all reservations are sold out?

BC Ferries always keeps some space available on each ferry for customers who show up without an advance reservation. Mind you, on average, up to 80% of the space is bookable on the Tsawwassen-to-Swartz Bay ferries.

Your best bet in this situation is to plan to be at the ferry terminal a few hours before the ferry you want to take – and wait it out.

BC Ferries reservation cut-off times

You must be at the ferry booth to redeem your reservation between 1 hour and 30 minutes before the ferry sailing.

If you’re booked on a 5:00 pm ferry, this means you have to be at the ferry booth sometime between 4:00 and 4:30 pm.

If you arrive later, say 4:35 pm, you’ll lose your reservation and go to the end of the line (where you may or may not get on the 5:00 pm sailing, depending on how busy the ferries are).

To reserve with BC Ferries: See here

Red and white Canadian flag at the back of a BC Ferry
The ferries are the “water highways” between the BC mainland and coastal islands

5) How much is a BC Ferry ticket from Vancouver to Victoria?

Standard ferry cost Vancouver to Victoria

The cost to take the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, BC, ranges as follows:

  • Pay at the terminal: $80 (about $60 USD) for a car and driver (no reservation)
  • Reservation: $97 (about $72 USD) for a car and driver (where you pay a $17 CAD reservation fee in advance, but pay the rest at the terminal)
  • Pre-pay reservation and ferry cost: $87.50 (about $65 USD) for a car and driver (when you book and pay in full in advance)

These ticket costs apply to a standard vehicle, up to 20 feet long.

Change fees – to change the travel date – are $5.

Each additional passenger, aged 12 or older, costs $18 (about $13.50 USD).

Children aged 5 to 11 cost $9 each (about $6.70 USD). Children under 5 are free.

Note: Fuel surcharges are extra. For example, the total “Pay at the terminal” cost is $83.15, and the total cost for an additional adult passenger is $18.70.

BC Ferries Saver fares

As well, there are new “Saver” tickets. These are the cheapest BC Ferries tickets for a one-way ride (car and driver) between Vancouver and Victoria.

You have to pay in full when you book. And the fare includes a free reservation.

The Saver fares vary. They’re less expensive for less busy times, for example, the first early morning sailing or the very latest sailing of the day.

For a car and driver, you could pay as little as $49 (plus fuel surcharge) for a total of $50.90 (about $38 USD).

These Saver fares will pop up on the BC Ferries website when you enter the day you want to travel in the booking screen.

All costs

For full details of the ferry cost to Victoria (including reservation fees and Saver tickets), see BC Ferries’ Fare Information for travel between Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

Bottom line? Vancouver to Victoria ferry price

You’re looking at a rough cost of approximately $108 (about $80 USD) for a car and 2 adults to travel one way from Vancouver to Victoria on the ferry (on a prepaid ticket with a reservation).

For 2 people, it’s less expensive to take your car on the ferry than ditching the car and using the BC Ferries Connector bus and ferry (see below in #6).

For current BC Ferries prices for all routes: See here

6) Vancouver to Victoria bus and ferry (Connector bus)

The BC Ferries Connector bus operates year-round and takes you from the downtown Vancouver bus terminal (Pacific Central Station) to the downtown Victoria terminal (Capital City Station).
Riding on a BC Ferry Connector bus

Is there a bus from Vancouver to Victoria?

Yes.

The BC Ferries Connector bus operates year-round and takes you from the downtown Vancouver bus terminal (Pacific Central Station) to the downtown Victoria terminal (Capital City Station).

Hotel pick-up and drop-off is available.

It also offers bus/ferry connections from the Vancouver cruise ship terminal and Vancouver’s international airport to and from Victoria.

Connector bus from Vancouver to Victoria
The Connector bus is a convenient way to get from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria (and vice-versa)

BC Ferries Connector Schedule: See here

Cost of the bus from Vancouver to Victoria

The cost of the BC Ferries Connector for an adult from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria is $52.53 (about $39 USD) for the bus.

Then you have to add on the ferry passenger fare, which is $18.72 for an adult (about $14.00 USD).

The total is thus just over $71 CAD (about $53 USD) for a one-way fare between Vancouver and Victoria, for one person, on the Connector bus.

Rates are less for children aged 5 to 11 and for British Columbia seniors (65+) and students.

See complete pricing here.

BC Ferries Connector bus and ferry tickets: You can book your all-inclusive tickets (bus + ferry ) on Viator here

7) Public transit from Vancouver to Victoria

To save money, you can use public transit to and from the ferry terminals in Vancouver and Victoria.

From Vancouver, start by catching the Sky Train’s Canada Line to the Bridgeport Station. Then take TransLink Bus 620 from the Bridgeport Station to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.

At the ferry terminal, buy your passenger ticket to Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal.

Once at Swartz Bay, take the BC Transit Bus 70 (express bus) or BC Transit Bus 72 (not express) to downtown Victoria.

For more details on taking the public bus between Vancouver and Victoria, see this TransLink blog post.

Big and small ferries at the Swartz Bay terminal
Big and small ferries at the Swartz Bay terminal

8) Travel from Vancouver airport to Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Vancouver Airport to Victoria bus (BC Ferries Connector)

The same BC Ferries Connector bus that operates between the Vancouver and Victoria ferry terminals (see #6 above) also runs from the Vancouver Airport to the Vancouver ferry terminal in Tsawwassen.

From there, the bus continues on the ferry and to Victoria.

It also does the reverse route from Victoria to the Vancouver International Airport.

Vancouver Airport (YVR) schedule on the BC Ferries Connector bus (to March 31, 2024): See here

Leave YVR Airport (to Victoria)

The Connector bus leaves twice a day year-round from the Vancouver International Airport at:

  • 9:40 am – Arrive in Victoria at 12:35 pm (Swartz Bay ferry terminal) and 1:20 pm (Victoria bus terminal)
  • 3:40 pm – Arrive in Victoria at 6:35 pm (Swartz Bay ferry terminal) and 7:20 pm (Victoria bus terminal)

Come spring, there’s a third bus from the Vancouver airport to Victoria, leaving at 1:40 pm.

And in the summer, there are four buses operating, with departures at 9:40 am, 11:40 am, 1:40 pm and 3:40 pm.

Vancouver International Airport to Victoria: You can book your all-inclusive tickets (ferry + bus) on Viator here

Leave Victoria (for YVR Airport)

The Connector bus for the Victoria to Vancouver ferry leaves twice a day year-round from the Victoria bus terminal at:

  • 9:45 am – Arrive at the Vancouver Airport at 1:25 pm
  • 3:45 pm – Arrive at the Vancouver Airport at 7:25 pm

In the spring, there’s a third departure from Victoria at 7:45 am.

And in the summer, there are four bus departures for the Vancouver airport at 7:45 am, 9:45 am, 3:45 pm and 5:45 pm.

Victoria to Vancouver International Airport: You can book your all-inclusive tickets (ferry + bus) on Viator here

Cost of BC Ferries Connector bus from YVR

The cost to or from the Vancouver Airport varies depending on the time of year, the departure time and whether you’re traveling on a weekend or holiday.

You’ll find adult bus prices ranging from $52.53 (about $39 USD) to $95.94 (a little over $70 USD).

As well, you have to add on the BC Ferries passenger fare of $18.72 per adult for the Connector routes. So your total cost to travel between Victoria and the Vancouver airport will range from a low of some $71 (about $53 USD) to around $114 ($85 USD) per adult.

See complete pricing for seniors, children, etc. here.

Taxi from Vancouver Airport to ferry terminal

Alternatively, you can take a taxi from YVR to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.

Time-wise, allow at least 30 minutes (45 minutes at peak times). The taxi cost will run about $60 to $75 ($45 to $56 USD), depending on traffic.

For two people, you might find it more convenient (and just a little more expensive) to take a taxi from YVR to the ferry terminal, travel as a foot passenger on BC Ferries, then take a taxi from the Victoria ferry terminal to downtown Victoria.

The taxi cost from the ferry terminal in Swartz Bay to downtown Victoria is about $70 to $80 ($52 to $60 USD), depending on traffic.

Getting from Vancouver airport to ferry terminal by public transit

You can also take public transit and the ferry to get to and from the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Victoria.

Passengers at Vancouver's Tsawwassen ferry terminal board the public bus to get to Vancouver's airport
Passengers at Vancouver’s Tsawwassen ferry terminal board the public bus (TransLink 620) to get to Vancouver’s airport

We did this recently when we were flying out of Vancouver (to Istanbul). We took a taxi from our home in Victoria to the ferry terminal at Swartz Bay, then sailed on the ferry to Tsawwassen.

After getting off in Tsawwassen, we boarded a public bus (TransLink 620) to the Canada Line’s Bridgeport Station. The bus was waiting right outside the passenger ferry terminal in Tsawwassen, presumably timed for the arrival of the ferry.

It was easy to roll our carry-on luggage onto the bus too.

Once we got off at the Bridgeport Station, we took the fast Canada Line train direct to the Vancouver airport.

It was all easy-peasy (a seamless transfer) and cost us barely a few dollars each.

Time-wise, the bus and Canada Line together took about 45 minutes.

To go from the Vancouver Airport, you’d do the above in reverse – Canada Line to Bridgeport Station, then TransLink 620 Bus to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.

9) Ferry tours and day trips from Vancouver to Victoria

If you’re short on time, it’s possible to visit Victoria on a day trip from Vancouver.

Perhaps you’ve got your heart set on visiting the Butchart Gardens?

There are many beautiful gardens in Victoria, but the Butchart Gardens are world-famous.

Butchart Gardens in spring time
Butchart Gardens in spring time

You could rent a car, or take taxis and Uber, and combine that with the ferry ride for a DIY day trip.

Or you could make your life easy with an all-day tour.

We’ve written a complete guide on the best Butchart Gardens tours – so check it out if you’re specifically interested in a day tour to Butchart Gardens.

For example, see this full-day, small-group Butchart Gardens and Victoria tour (about 13 hours long).

You’ll be picked up from your Vancouver hotel in a spacious mini-coach for your ride on the ferry. Once in Victoria, you can walk the oh-so-picturesque Inner Harbour, see the major Victoria attractions (like the Royal BC Museum and Parliament Buildings) and have lunch.

The Butchart Gardens are saved for last. Then at the end of the day, you’ll return to Vancouver on the ferry and be dropped off at your hotel.

Another excellent day tour is this Vancouver to Victoria seaplane and ferry trip (about 12 hours long).

You’ll fly from downtown Vancouver with Harbour Air Seaplanes over the Gulf Islands to Victoria (a 35-minute scenic flight).

After splashing down, you’ll have lots of free time to explore Victoria on your own before taking a coach ride to the ferry for the return trip to Vancouver.

Victoria's Chinatown
You might like to stroll around Victoria’s Chinatown on your day tour

If you take the seaplane and ferry, you could also plan a tour to Butchart Gardens during your free time in Victoria.

Take an Uber, taxi or the Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle to get there and back. Or book a private tour like this one.

10) Last words on BC Ferries: Vancouver to Victoria

The ferry ride from Vancouver to Victoria by car is the best way for two or more people to get to the capital of British Columbia (apart from taking the seaplane).

It’s also a delightfully scenic trip!

The cheapest way for one person is to go as a foot passenger – and to take public transit at both ends.

But the more convenient way for one person is to take the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver (or vice-versa) via the Connector bus. The ferry/bus combination makes the land and sea travel seamless.

Have you taken the ferry to Victoria? Let us know in the Comments below!

Experience more of Vancouver Island and BC’s Gulf Islands!

Parksville area: From swimming at warm shallow beaches to caving to spying the goats on the roof, you’ll love these crazy fun things to do in Parksville and Qualicum Beach.

Victoria: Wondering where to stay? We love these delightful luxury B&Bs and hotels in Victoria. Be sure to lace up your sneakers and check out these easy scenic walks in Victoria too!

Salt Spring Island: Discover all the magical things to do on Salt Spring Island (only a 35-minute ferry ride from Victoria or a 90-minute ferry ride from Vancouver).

Tofino: When the weather is wild and bad, head to Tofino for storm watching!

Our top travel tips and resources

Hotels: Booking.com is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)

Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours, plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out Viator (a TripAdvisor company) and GetYourGuide.

Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more. We also have and recommend Medjet for global air medical transportation and travel security.

Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)

Need more help planning your trip? Check out our travel tips and resources guide for airline booking tips, ways to save money, how to find great hotels and other crazy useful trip planning info.

Pssst! If you make a booking or purchase through our site, we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you). Thanks!


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Taking the Ferry From Vancouver to Victoria, BC

Photo credits: 3 to 5, 11, 15 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | 1, 6 to 10, BC Ferries | 12, 13 BC Ferries Connector


About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!

Stephanie

Tuesday 2nd of April 2024

One more question, this time about seasickness.

We are planning to take the ferry from Nanaimo (Duke Point) to Tsawwassen, since that will minimize our driving time on both ends.

However, I am wondering if the crossing from Nanaimo, which looks like more open water, tends to be rougher/more seasickness-inducing than the crossing from Swartz Bay.

Both my mom and I are prone to seasickness, which is why I ask. I've been fine on other, shorter (20-30 minutes) ferries I've taken, but those have been on smooth water.

Any insights would be appreciated!

Thanks!

Stephanie

Friday 5th of April 2024

@Janice and George,

Wonderful, thank you! That is very reassuring. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with me!

Janice and George

Thursday 4th of April 2024

Hi again Stephanie,

We've taken the Nanaimo-Tsawwassen ferries (as well as the Swartz Bay-to-Tsawwassen ferries). We didn't really notice much difference in motion between the two crossings - and that's because they're both very smooth, so nothing to notice!

Keep in mind that you'll be sailing on big ferries (they're almost the size of cruise ships). Also, the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and Vancouver on the mainland is quite calm - and especially so in the summer months. Vancouver Island protects this sheltered inland sea from the big swells of the Pacific Ocean.

We doubt you'll get seasick :-). You can also walk on the outside decks and take in the fresh air if, for some reason, you don't feel well. (There are also outside seating areas, protected from the wind.)

Stephanie N.

Sunday 31st of March 2024

Hello,

Thank you for this helpful information! I'm wondering how long it takes to get off a ferry if you bring a car on board.

We are planning to take the ferry from Nanaimo to Tsawwassen and then to drive to YVR airport. We're wondering how long we should budget for ferry unloading upon arrival at Tsawwassen so that we're not late in getting to the airport.

Our choices are to arrive at Tsawwassen at 12:15 pm or 2:45 pm for a 5:20 flight to Seattle. It's tempting to go with the 2:45 arrival, but I wonder if that would leave us short on time, especially since we need to return our rental car at the airport, and it's technically an international flight.

On the other hand, we'll be driving from Tofino to Nanaimo that morning, so it would be nice not to have to leave at (or before!) the crack of dawn to get to the ferry, especially since we need to arrive more than 30 minutes before departure.

Thank you for any insights or thoughts you might have!

Stephanie

Stephanie Norton

Monday 1st of April 2024

@Janice and George,

Thank you so much for this detailed, thoughtful reply! That's not the answer I wanted, but I'm sure you are right.

Thank you for sharing your valuable experience!

Janice and George

Monday 1st of April 2024

Hi Stephanie,

Ugh, you'd be wiser to get up at the crack of dawn, unfortunately...

Quick answer: Allow for about 15 minutes to offload cars from the ferry. You don't know if you'll be the first car off or the last. And it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to offload all vehicles.

Here's the longer answer...

The ferries are often on time. But then the occasional one has maintenance problems or not enough staff - and it's canceled or delayed. And there are short delays too (just like with airplanes).

So let's say you take the ferry that's scheduled to arrive in Tsawwassen at 2:45 pm. If you allow for a 30-minute delay and 15 minutes to offload from the ferry, it's 3:30 pm before you set off. It takes about 30 minutes to drive to the airport. Then you have to allow for time to return the rental car - maybe 30 minutes? (Whenever we rent a car anywhere, it always seems to take an age) So now it's about 4:30 pm - which doesn't give you enough time to catch your 5:20 pm flight.

Even if the ferry is on time and you leave Tsawwassen at 3:00 pm, you'd still be cutting it a bit short for a 5:20 pm flight - and that's assuming you have a NEXUS card (for priority access through the security line, as you go through US customs on the Vancouver side of the airport) and are flying with carry-on bags only.

If we had to make this decision, we'd take the earlier ferry that arrives in Tsawwassen at 12:15 pm.

Lauren

Tuesday 5th of December 2023

Thanks for such great information and pictures!

How is the ferry in winter? I'm just wondering if the route is somewhat protected, or if it would be rough sailing. I have vertigo and am worried about getting sick. But I'm hoping to go to Victoria for Christmas!

I took the Clipper from Seattle once long ago, and that was awful! That was before I had vertigo, so I know I wouldn't try it again :-)

Lauren

Wednesday 6th of December 2023

@Janice and George, thanks so much!!

Janice and George

Wednesday 6th of December 2023

Hi Lauren,

Between Victoria and Tsawwassen, it's usually smooth sailing. We've taken the ferry on countless occasions over the years, and we've never experienced any motion issues. The ferries are very large and the waters are quite sheltered.

Occasionally, storms and high winds do occur. If it's unsafe, BC Ferries might cancel a sailing or two until weather conditions get better. (And it's not rough seas that cause the cancellations - it's high winds, which can make docking and undocking challenging.)

Mimi

Saturday 22nd of July 2023

I read the advice on your website for BC Ferries going to/from Vancouver to Victoria.

I just started booking to travel with a car next week. Unfortunately, the ferry website says everything is sold out for this route.

What are the chances of getting on the ferries, both ways, without a reservation?

Janice and George

Saturday 22nd of July 2023

BC Ferries always leaves spaces open on each sailing for no-reservation cars. So you can certainly just show up.

But you should be prepared for a ferry wait (or even two waits) - meaning, be at the ferry 4 hours or so before your planned ferry departure time.

It's a drag, we know. We once waited 6 hours at the terminal in summer, until we could get on. Take books, snacks and wait it out - you should get on at some point during the day.

Alternatively, leave the car behind and go as a foot passenger (though you should still reserve). Rent a car once you get to Victoria, or use taxis and do tours if you're staying just in Victoria.

Good luck! Victoria is worth visiting :-).

(And we'll edit our article to add something on this.)

Jane M.

Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Hello,

This is probably a silly question… We will be in Vancouver for a few days for the Laver Cup in September.

If we get the BC Connector to and from Victoria, do we sit on the same bus the whole time? I’m assuming we get off to roam around on the ferry and then reboard the same bus when we land in Swartz Bay.

We are 2 old farts and will not have a rental car. On the return, we will head to the airport for our flight back to Chicago.

Thank you for such a great resource.

Jane M.

Saturday 1st of July 2023

@Janice and George, Thank you!!

Janice and George

Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Not a silly question!

Yes, you get off the bus on the ferry and can go up on deck outside or to the cafeteria, etc. When the ferry approaches Swartz Bay, there'll be an announcement for passengers to return to their cars (or to the BC Connector Bus).

Enjoy the tennis match in Vancouver and your Victoria visit :-)