Getting to Victoria BC

One of the highlights of being in Victoria BC is getting to Victoria BC. Because this city is on an island, you are going to have to take some other means besides just a car to get here. The two most common means are either by plane of ferry. If you are wondering how to get to Victoria from Vancouver or Seattle then please read on, all your options are discussed here.

By Ferry

The Best Way to get to Victoria BC is to walk on or drive your car on the ferry. Traveling on the ferry is like taking a mini cruise. The ships are very clean and have conveniences such as restaurants, gift shops and some have state rooms. You get to see the gulf islands up close, bathed in their rugged coastal beauty. Seals, eagles, dolphins, and whales are common sights. There a four main sea transportation options available:

BC Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria (actually Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay), takes just under 2 hours, approximately $45.00 for a car and $13.00 per person, see web site www.bcferries.bc.ca for more accurate fare and schedule information.

Washington State Ferry from Seattle to Victoria (actually Anacortes to Sidney), takes about 2 hours, cost approximately $55.00 for car and $16.00 per person, see web site www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries for all details.

Coho Ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, takes about 45 minutes and will cost $47.00 for car and $13.00 per person, see details at their web site www.cohoferry.com .

Victoria Clipper (passenger only) Ferry from downtown Seattle to downtown Victoria will cost over $110.00 round trip and take just under 3 hours. They are also the local industry leader for vacation packages, please visit their site to get detailed information.

By Air

Air plane is quick, only 25 minutes from Vancouver, 45 minutes from Seattle. The view is spectacular flying over the southern Gulf Islands, over small communities, vast forests and low mountains. This flight will be a feast for the eyes, comfortable and quick. Round trip from Vancouver to Victoria international airports will cost you around $200.00. Round trip from Seattle to Victoria international airports will also cost about $200.00.

This You Tube video is a flight on float/seaplane from Vancouver BC to Victoria BC. The film features the whole experience from take off to landing, stunning views of Vancouver and Victoria landmarks as well as glimpses of the Southern Gulf Islands.

Now all these mentioned air ports are not actually in the departing cities, Vancouver airport is actually in Richmond, Victoria airport is in Sidney and Seattle airport is almost half way between Seattle and Tacoma. If you still want to travel by air and leave by downtown locations there is an even more convenient option. The helicopter, Float Plane or Sea Plane to Victoria BC is the fastest and most direct route to downtown Victoria. The round trip flight will cost just over $200.00. Please visit our Victoria BC Airline directory for more complete listings and links.

There is an economy Airport Shuttle Bus from Victoria BC Airport that will drop you off at major establishments in Victoria or the closest bus stop from the airport terminal. These services can be procured just outside the arrivals terminal and are clearly visible. You can visit their web site for more details: www.yyjairportshuttle.com.

Car Rental Victoria BC Airport (YYJ). If you are looking to skip the airport shuttle or the taxi service and are in need of a car rental, the Victoria BC airport has several car rental agencies on site: Budget, Avis, National and Hertz.

Unfortunately public transportation from Victoria airport to downtown Victoria via number #75 bus has only limited service, please see www.transitbc.com/regions/vic/ to see if your schedules will coincide.

By Boat

Victoria BC is a port city and can accommodate everything from sailing boats, industrial vessels and luxury yachts. The main Victoria BC point of entry, especially for travelers arriving intentionally, is to come into Victoria's inner harbour past the Ogden Point Breakwater; Lat: 48°24.811N Long: 123°23.630W. International travelers must immediately proceed to the Canada Customs wharf in front of the older pink brick building, between the float plane terminal and the GVHA (Greater Victoria Harbour Authority) facility prior to berthing. For vessels longer than 66' call 48 hours ahead of time so they can make proper arrangements. 1-888-226-7277

There are 4 wharfs you can berth your vessel in Victoria's inner harbour; Fisherman's Wharf, Causeway / Ship Point, Wharf Street to Johnson Street and Ogden Point (for cruise ships and large vessels). These are operated by GVHA and you can find out more information and pricing through their web site. There is also a great detailed map and instructions from Transport Canada here.

ACanada Customs

BFisherman's Wharf

CCauseway

DWharf / Johnson St.

EOgden Point

Recommendation

If you need to get to Victoria BC quickly, the plane is the best way to go. When coming from downtown Seattle or Vancouver, take the sea plane and skip the laborious commute to the international airport.

If you want to take your time and enjoy the scenery, the ferry is highly recommended. The ferry is more than mass transit. It is an adventure, an attraction and transportation all rolled into one. The ferry is also inexpensive and well worth the little money you do pay for that service.

If you have more luggage than you can easily handle, when you arrive at the Vancouver airport, then you will want to catch the coach or bus to Victoria BC and it will drop you off in downtown Victoria for just over $40.00. Please their web site www.pacificcoach.com .

If you are coming from Seattle, the most cost effective way would to take the Anacortes ferry across via Greyhound. The bus will take you all the way to downtown Victoria for about $60.00 round trip. For detailed information go to www.greyhound.com

Super saver recommendation

If your not getting a direct flight right into Victoria, especially from locations afar. Take the public transportation from the Vancouver airport to the ferry terminal, walk on the ferry, take the public transit into Victoria BC. This will cost you about $20.00 per person and is the cheapest way to go if you are traveling light.

Detailed directions from Vancouver airport to ferry and Victoria

This route has just got a lot easier and faster thanks to the new Canada Line Sky Train. Catch the "SKYTRAIN - platform sign CANADA LINE TO WATERFRONT" from the Vancouver airport, you will then transfer at BRIDGEPORT STATION to bus number "620 TSAWW. FERRY" that will take you directly to the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen. Please see the web site www.translink.bc.ca for schedule and fare information. They also have a great little interactive trip planner that is great for getting directions from wherever you are in Vancouver to your destination.

Once you get to Swartz Bay, the bus stop will be 20 meters outside the door. Catch the number 70 and that will take you to downtown Victoria. See www.bctransit.com/default.cfm for more information.

Map

Map of Lower Vancouver Island, Puget Sound and Vancouver BC.

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