Vancouver drive times and BC Ferries

Old Jan 15th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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Vancouver drive times and BC Ferries

We are arriving on a late flight from Toronto and are planning to get a morning ferry to Nanimo after spending the night near the airport (YVR). Can anybody give me an educated guess on when we should leave (on a Friday morning) from the airport area to make the 8:30 and 10:30 sailings from Horseshoe Bay or the 10:15 from Tsawwassen to Duke Point. The ultimate destination is Comox. Alternatively if anybody knows of a Comfort Inn sort of place in West Van we might save the AM rush hour bother altogether and go straight there after the flight.

Next question: Are there any places for lunch that are handy to the Horseshoe Bay terminal? We will be arriving back at about noon and then boarding a 1:20 PM sailing for Langdale. I know we could eat on the ferries but from what I have observed previously I figure we should be able to eat better on shore.
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Old Jan 15th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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I recommend you head straight to a hotel on the North Shore. West Vancouver does not have any hotels/motels, but you could easily stay in North Vancouver on Capilano Road at the Holiday Inn. Capilano Road is a couple of minutes drive to the Upper Levels Highway and then a 12 minute drive to the ferry terminal in Horseshoe Bay. If your ferry leaves at 8:30 a.m., plan to check out of your hotel by 7:45 to arrive at the terminal by 8:00 a.m. If you are driving onto the ferry, be warned that there can be overloads (especially on long weekends) so if you must be on the 8:30 a.m. ferry, go on-line to the BC Ferries website and make a reservation which would add $15 to the cost of your ticket. Yes there are many nice restaurants in Horseshoe Bay, within walking distance to the terminal - try Bay Moorings for pizza, etc. the Boathouse for a beautiful seafood dinner (expensive) or Trolls for fish and chips, burgers. There's a Japanese Restaurant too, which we like. Have a great time!
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Old Jan 15th, 2006, 03:22 PM
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Gavin:

I would take the Tsawwassen to Duke Pt ferry, arrive 50-60 minutes before departure you will not need a reservation. If you are already in Comox, don't bother returning to Horseshoe Bay to catch the Langdale ferry, take the ferry from Comox to Powell River (sunshine coast).
As for the driving time from airport to Tsawwassen at least 1/2 hr, hopefully someone else who drives that route regularly can be more accurate & post for you.
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 03:54 AM
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It is an easy drive from Vancouver Airport towards Tsawwassen against the main traffic. We never had problems with traffic and we reached the ferry terminal within 20 Minutes from the airport terminal. My recommendation: Choose von of the vancouver airport hotels (Fairmont airport hotel is our favourite).

I do not recommend to take a ferry from Horseshoe Bay, as you will have to drive through Vancouver city center during the rush hour. The stop and go traffic there is no fun!

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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 05:24 AM
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If you are not to much in harry, I recommend to drive along the suneshine cost from vancouver towards Powell River and then take the ferry from Powell River towards Comox.

The road along the suneshine coast is very scenic (highway 101) and not as boring as the drive on the highway 19 on Vancozuver Island. But you have to take your time, as the inlet crossings will cost are time consuming on this route.
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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i drove the sunshine coast once and not so sure i'd do it again. there are two ferry crossings between vancouver and powell river. both ferries had problems and were running late - one was 1 1/2 hours overdue. we spent more time in the two ferry parking lots then on the boats. it was a very frustrating and long day.
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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OK I can take a hint. Nobody thinks tackling the AM rush into Vancouver is a good idea. I was trying to save a couple of dollars on the car rental by booking with Enterprise and staying at the adjacent Comfort Inn...a tried and true tactic. (Enterprise is cheaper than airport locations but they close earlier making the late pick up a dodgy proposition.) I have found a number of reasonably priced North Shore motels including one right at the ferry terminal called, imaginatively enough, Horseshoe Bay Motel. Has anyone here stayed there and have any thoughts on its suitability as a place to crash for a night?

We would love to do the Sunshine Coast-Vancouver Island loop but unfortunately the ferry timetable and our requirements do not coincide.

Thank you all for your thoughts.
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 08:12 PM
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The motel will do-it's a motel nothing more.
They'll also be able to instruct you as to how to access the Ferry lineup from the village.
It involves travelling back the way you came to a certain exit-the number of which I disremember-and then turning around so that you're back on the freeway heading to the Ferry Terminal.
Direct access from the village is unavailable.
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 08:53 PM
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Hi Gavin,
After a long flight and drive from Richmond, through Vancouver to the North Shore, you'll want to spend the night in a comfortable place, so skip the Horseshoe Bay Motel and stay in one of the "reasonably priced" hotels or motor inns on Capilano Road in North Vancouver (see my earlier recommendation). If you're a foot passenger, the Horseshoe Bay Motel is fine - but if you're driving, you have to back-track to the highway, find the Caulfield exit, loop around and drive back to the terminal - not a long drive, maybe 5-8 minutes, but annoying when you're trying to catch a ferry!)
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 09:58 PM
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Years ago I used to be in Vancovuer a lot, and got into the habit of driving from Vancouver along the shore road to Horseshoe Bay for fish and chips and lemon pie at Trolls.

The drive always made me jealous of thepeople who lived there, overlooking the water.

And while the fish and chips was great, the lemon pie was the best in the world. Always order it at the start of your meal, just in case they run out while you're eating the fish.

BAK
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Old Jan 17th, 2006, 06:29 PM
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Thanks again.
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