Ferry Vancouver to Victoria: Car?

Old May 8th, 2006, 09:48 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ferry Vancouver to Victoria: Car?

BACKGROUND:
Family will be in Vancouver (West End) for 7 nights this summer and are considering an overnight at the Victoria (Inner Harbour). Our day or day and a half in Victoria would include a short visit to the Butchart Gardens.

QUESTIONS:
Is there a passenger ferry that's an easy walk from both hotel locations or are we better off renting a car to get us from/to ferry areas to respective hotels? Is it better/necessary to even rent a car for this overnight trip? If it is optional, then what are the pros/cons of renting a car?
bardo1 is offline  
Old May 8th, 2006, 10:22 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,121
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cons of renting a car in Vancouver are having to drive it to the ferry and either wait in a line up or pay more for a ferry reservation. I think it's easier to take the bus across on the ferry. It takes you from downtown Vancouver to Victoria by the harbour. Car rental outfits are nearby so you could rent a car in Victoria, which would probably give you more time for touring. Take the scenic waterfront drive through the Uplands in Oak Bay and back road routes on the peninsula to/from Butchart Gardens.

If money isn't a concern you could take the float plane or helijet to or from Vancouver.
April is offline  
Old May 8th, 2006, 10:25 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When April mentioned a bus, I believe she was referring to Pacific Coach Lines:

http://www.pacificcoach.com/

Another thing to consider about the float plane or helijet is that the luggage allowance is small, somewhere in the order of 25 lbs per passenger. For that reason, I think the float plane and helijet are better suited to day trippers.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old May 8th, 2006, 10:36 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
April,

Thanks for the reply.

I'm in Wash. DC so I have no clue what a float plane or helijet might cost - any ballpark figures would be greatly appreciated. This would also be a first ferry ride for our family.

Do I understand you correctly that there is a bus we could catch from downtown Vancouver which then takes us to the ferry and, upon arrival in Victoria, then continues to downtown/inner harbour area of Victoria?? Any specific info on this or website referrrals would be great.
bardo1 is offline  
Old May 8th, 2006, 11:12 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 603
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Judy supplied the website for you for information on the bus. FYI - the ferry terminal on both sides is approximately 40 to 45 mintues from downtown Vancouver and downtown Victoria. I would take the bus and then rent a car for the day you are in Victoria. Butchart's is about a 20 minute drive from downtown Victoria.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Old May 8th, 2006, 11:12 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 333
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you do a search on Vancouver here you'll find my post asking the same question. Here's the helpful response I received:

The Pacific Coach Lines bus picks you up in downtown Vancouver, stops at Vancouver Airport to pick up more passengers, continues to the mainland ferry terminal at Tsawwassen, boards the ferry, crosses the Georgia Strait with the ferry, disembarks at the Vancouver Island ferry terminal at Swartz Bay, and drives you to downtown Victoria. The whole exercise from one downtown to the other takes about 4 hours.
During the 1.5 hour voyage across the Georgia Strait, you must climb out of the bus. On the ferry you can sit indoors, eat a meal, walk along an outdoor deck, etc., as you please.

The adult one-way fare, including GST, is a little under C$40.

http://www.pacificcoach.com/
eileenleft is offline  
Old May 8th, 2006, 12:16 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One-way float plane fare for an adult is C$114 + 7% GST.

Fare for child aged 2 - 11 is 50% off adult fare.

Child under 2 rides free.

This page of my website tells you every possible way of getting from the mainland to Victoria, except that I have not yet researched submarines.

http://groups.msn.com/CalgaryandCana...ortation1.msnw

Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old May 8th, 2006, 06:40 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 203
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd take a rental car on the ferry. I just can't see taking the coach (with taxi transfers to and from hotels at both ends plus transportation to Buchart Gardens) being any more convenient (or much cheaper if at all) than driving yourself.

Assuming you make a reservation for the ferry (which you absolutely should in summer if you don't want to wait for hours on stand-by) and have 4 people to transport, for ferry fares, at most, you'll pay $102.30 Canadian dollars each way. That breaks down as $39.60 for the car plus $45.20 for 4 fares plus $17.50 for the reservation. It will be slightly cheaper if you have children under 12 or travel mid-week.

Now, as to how much time you need, you're pushing it a bit if want to attempt just one night in Victoria. It can be done -- but you'd be well-advised to get a good early start on your departure date. If you took a 9 a.m. sailing, for example, you would have to leave downtown Vancouver at 7:30-7:45 a.m. to be at the ferry terminal by the required check-in time of 30 minutes before sailing. You'd be on the boat until 10:30-10:45 a.m. and then have another 45 minutes to drive into Victoria. That takes you to your hotel about 4 hours after you departed. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE INTO THE TEMPTATION TO STOP AT BUCHART GARDENS ON YOUR WAY TO OR FROM THE FERRY. Your bags will be at risk. Buchart Gardens isn't as prominent a target for thieves as some destinations (like Stanley Park in Vancouver) but break-ins do occur. It's awfully tempting to do it because it's about 25 miles from Victoria to the ferry terminal and Buchart Gardens is at the half-way point, more or less.
littlemountain is offline  
Old May 8th, 2006, 10:05 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,121
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How many people are travelling?

Flight
Float plane outfits usually charge the same rates, and I like one as much as the other, although Harbour Air might have a senior's rate (but don't quote me on that). The nice thing is that you're across the water fairly quickly and you land in Victoria's downtown harbour. Helijet lands out near the cruiseship docks, which is not that far away but not downtown.

http://www.harbour-air.com/home/
http://www.westcoastair.com/

Bus
For summer months, Pacific Coachlines is showing return fares of:
$70 for adults
$47 for seniors
$35.50 for children

Yes, you take the bus right across on the ferry to downtown Victoria. Your luggage is locked onboard so make sure to carry anything you need for the ferry ride - jacket, sweater, binoculars, camera, etc. The ferries have cafeterias and also a gift shop where you can purchase books, magazines and candy. I always make a point of writing down the bus number so I know which one to get back on at the end of the ferry trip. Yours might be the only bus at first but when you return to the vehicle deck you may find several buses that look the same.

Car rental
If you rent a car in Vancouver and take it on the ferry, just leave lots of time to get to the terminal. Reservations are nonrefundable.
April is offline  
Old May 9th, 2006, 04:59 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks to all for the replies thus far. I believe we now have enough data and opinions and now need to re-talk pros/cons among ourselves. We are 3 adults.

I actually WAS planning to stop at Butchart gardens on route to our hotel if we went the rental car route. We pack very light for just an overnight, possibly even backpacks. Maybe we will just carry them with us into gardens.
bardo1 is offline  
Old May 9th, 2006, 05:48 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 603
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Your belongings should be safe as long as they are out of sight in your vehicle. Just lock them in the trunk. Tourists leave their vehicles, motorhomes, motorcycles in the parking lot all the time. While I'm sure car break ins could hapapen, the chances at Butcharts are slim.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Old May 9th, 2006, 06:13 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,121
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Besides, you would look rather odd walking around Butchart's with backpacks.
April is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Travelpat
Canada
10
Feb 6th, 2008 01:35 PM
Mycuppajava
Canada
23
Jun 22nd, 2006 06:57 PM
byufilly
Canada
5
Aug 8th, 2005 05:50 AM
DianaT
Canada
5
Jul 25th, 2005 02:29 PM
bizeb
Canada
8
Jul 1st, 2004 06:31 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -