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How to get to Vancouver by ferry

How to get to Vancouver by ferry

Getting to Vancouver by ferry.

A fun way to reach Vancouver is by water and this also gives you the opportunity to see some great scenery along the way! There are several options for getting to Vancouver by ferry…

From Seattle

Many people are aware of the super fast service from Seattle on the Clipper, though unfortunately this service only travels to Victoria and the San Juan Islands, not Vancouver!

However, if you’re still keen to get to Vancouver from Seattle by water, ride the Clipper to Victoria – which takes about 3 hours – then get on a BCFerries ferry to Vancouver. Please note, that the Clipper is a passenger ferry only and hence you cannot take vehicles on to it.

For more information on the Seattle to Victoria Clipper, visit www.clippervacations.com

From Victoria

Probably the most common sea route is from Victoria (on Vancouver Island) to Vancouver, but you should be aware that both ports are not within walking distance of the city centers.

In Victoria, the port is at Swartz Bay, which is 20 miles (32km) north of the city, whilst in Vancouver the port is at Tsawwassen which is 24 miles (38km) south of the city. There are however bus and coach services for passengers. Pacific Coach Lines, for example, will take you all the way from Victoria to Vancouver via the ferry crossing. The ferry crossing takes about 1.5 hours and frequency of crossings varies with the time of year.

These ferries are suitable for cars and other vehicles, so if you have your own transport you might find that this is the easiest option for you as you can then drive yourself in to Vancouver. See the Getting to Vancouver by Car and Motorbike page for more information on this.

From Nanaimo

Naniamo, on Vancouver Island, is also a popular route between the Island and Vancouver and you have two choices for routes, either sailing to Tsawwassen or to Horseshoe Bay.

The port at Nanaimo is called Departure Bay and is just 2 miles (3.2km) north of the city center. Make sure you don’t go to Nanaimo Harbour by mistake as this serves a different route!

Horseshoe Bay is about a 25 minute drive from downtown Vancouver, depending on traffic conditions, whilst Tsawwassen is about 24 miles (38km). Which one you choose to sail to will probably depend on where you’re heading afterwards. If you’re heading into downtown Vancouver then Horseshoe Bay is your best bet, but if you need to go somewhere in the suburbs, or travel east of Vancouver, Tsawwassen might be better.

Visit the BC Ferries website for all the information you’ll need on schedules (for both Victoria to Vancouver and Nanaimo to Vancouver), fares and FAQ’s.