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Tofino, Ucluelet, and the Pacific Rim Travel Guide

Boat and Ferry Travel

BC Ferries has frequent, year-round passenger and vehicle service to Vancouver Island: it's a 1½-hour crossing from Horseshoe Bay (a 30-minute drive north of Vancouver) to Departure Bay, 3 km (2 miles) north of Nanaimo. From here it's a two- to three-hour drive, via Port Alberni, to Ucluelet, and on to Tofino. There's also a two-hour crossing from Tsawwassen (about a 40-minute drive south of Vancouver) to Duke Point, 15 km (9 miles) south of Nanaimo; or a 1½-hour crossing from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (a 30-minute drive north of Victoria). Vehicle reservations can be made for any of these ferry routes.

Lady Rose Marine Services takes passengers on a packet freighter from Port Alberni to various points on Vancouver Island's west coast. The MV Francis Barkley sails from Port Alberni to the Broken Group Islands and Ucluelet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between early June and late September, and to Bamfield and waypoints on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Sunday stops are Bamfield and the Broken Group Islands, where the company operates Sechart Lodge, a floating base for kayakers. Round-trip fares are C$74 to Ucluelet, and C$70 to Bamfield or the Broken Group Islands.


BC Ferries (250/381–1401; 888/223–3779 in B.C.

Lady Rose Marine Services (250/723–8313 or 800/663–7192.

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