By Boat and Ferry
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By Boat and Ferry
From the B.C. Mainland
BC Ferries has daily service between Tsawwassen, about an hour south of Vancouver, and Swartz Bay, at the end of Highway 17 (the Patricia Bay Highway), about 30 minutes north of Victoria. Sailing time is about 1½ hours. Fares are C$13.50 per adult passenger and C$45 per vehicle each way. Vehicle reservations on Vancouver-Victoria and Nanaimo routes are optional and cost an additional C$15 to C$17.50. Foot passengers and cyclists don't need reservations.
BC Transit buses meet the ferries at both ends but if you're traveling without a car, it's easier to just take a Pacific Coach Lines bus. BC Ferries also sail from Horseshoe Bay, north of Vancouver, to Nanaimo, about two hours north of Victoria—convenient if you're traveling by car from Whistler or Vancouver's north shore to Vancouver Island.
An excellent option is combining four hours of whale-watching with travel between Vancouver and Victoria, offered by the Prince of Whales. The 74-passenger boat leaves Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver daily at 9 am and returns from the Butchart Gardens at 5:30 pm. One-way fares start at C$160.
Victoria Harbour Ferries serve the Inner Harbour; stops include the Fairmont Empress, Chinatown, Point Ellice House, the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, and Fisherman's Wharf. Fares start at C$4; multiple-trip and two-day passes are available. Boats make the rounds every 15 to 20 minutes, daily, March-October. The 45-minute harbor tours cost $20, and gorge cruises cost $25. At 10:45 am on summer Sundays, the little ferries perform a water ballet set to classical music in the Inner Harbour.
Boat and Ferry Info
BC Ferries (250/386-3431 or 888/223-3779. www.bcferries.com.)
Queen of de Nile (250/537-5810 Salt Spring Marina.)
Prince of Whales (250/383-4884 or 888/383-4884. www.princeofwhales.com.)
Victoria Harbour Ferry (250/708-0201. www.victoriaharbourferry.com.)
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