BC Ferries Vancouver to Victoria Day Trip
For a great West Coast experience ride the SkyTrain and bus to BC Ferries and enjoy a round trip between Vancouver BC and Victoria or Nanaimo on beautiful Vancouver Island
Using Vancouver public transit you can connect with BC Ferries in Vancouver at either the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal or the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. From Horseshoe Bay you can sail to Nanaimo or from Tsawwassen you can sail to Victoria, BC's Capital City. The Ferries between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo schedule 7 or more sailings each day from 6:30 am until 9 pm. Between Tsawwassen and Victoria the ferries schedule 8 or more sailings daily from 7 am until 9 pm. The crossing time is approximately 1½ hours. For up to date schedules see BC Ferries / Schedules.
You will take in some spectacular scenery as you sail close to the rugged shores of the Gulf Islands with their rocky shorelines, lighthouses and beautiful waterfront homes. The Tsawwassen to Victoria route offers the best scenery as it meanders through the narrow Active Pass route between the Gulf Islands. Seagulls follow the boats across the water, hoping for handouts. Onboard you will find a cafeteria serving a good variety of hot and cold meals and snacks, giftshops and plenty of comfortable seating. You will certainly want to spend at least some time strolling the outside decks and taking in the spectacular sights, smells and sounds of the beautiful West Coast scenery. Magnificent Orca Whales can sometimes be spotted jumping and swimming in close proximity to the Ferry routes. Dress warm; the Ferries appear to be moving slowly, but are actually travelling about 35 kph creating a pretty stiff breeze on the deck. If you can only spare half a day, you have enough time to enjoy a round trip on the ferry. If you can spend a full day and start early enough, you will have time take an express BC Transit bus into downtown Victoria and spend a few hours exploring the many sights and attractions of the beautiful provincial capital and enjoy a lunch. The Express BC Transit buses run every 30 minutes on weekdays and every hour on weekends. They will get you from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to downtown Victoria in just under 1 hour. For Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to downtown Victoria express bus schedules click: here. Remember, this is a different transit system than Vancouver's so you'll have to pay a separate fare which is currently just $2.50 each way.
It is always a good idea to plan your trip in advance checking schedules and routes using the links in our site. Following is a Sample Day Trip: Depart Bridgeport Station on the #620 bus at 8 am and catch a 9 am sailing to Swartz Bay where you can board a #70 Express bus at 11 am and be in downtown Victoria by lunchtime. Spend 3½ hours in Victoria before returning on the #70 Express bus at 3:40 pm and catch the 5 pm Ferry back to Tsawwassen. Catch a 7 pm #620 bus back to Bridgeport Station arriving at 7:40. That's a full day trip in just under 12 hours not counting your SkyTrain travel with a leisurely 3 hours sailing on the Ferry and 3½ hours to explore downtown Victoria. Total Adult travel cost is $9.75 - Translink Day Pass + $31.00 - BC Ferries round trip + $5.00-Victoria Bus Return = $45.75. Not bad for a full day of touring and well under ½ the price of doing the same trip on a Charter Bus which is only slightly faster.