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Vancouver to Victoria to Seattle by car ferry

Vancouver to Victoria to Seattle by car ferry

Old Jul 24th, 2012, 12:25 PM
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Vancouver to Victoria to Seattle by car ferry

Here's our plans so far - any help would be appreciated =

Flying into Seattle and heading to Vancouver.

4 nts. Vancouver
2 nts. ??? (Victoria) Any hotel suggestions?
4 nts. Seattle

Flying out of Seattle

It was suggested by a friend to take the car ferry from Vancouver to Victoria and then returned by ferry to Seattle. Is this an option? If so, how do I go about organizing it?

Thanks in advance!
carmar is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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You can take a car ferry from Vancouver to Victoria (well actually, the terminal is about 30 minutes north of Victoria); you have 2 choices there - Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay. Here is the link for that: http://www.bcferries.com/

You won't be able to take a ferry directly back to Seattle, though. There is a ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles. I think this would work out well as long as you don't plan to catch a plane that same day, as you will have some travel. That link is http://www.cohoferry.com/main/
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Old Jul 24th, 2012, 02:39 PM
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Although Vancouver has two ferry terminals (Tsawwassen which is a 45 minute drive south of downtown, and Horseshoe Bay which is a 30 minute drive northwest), the ferries that go to Victoria (Swartz Bay) only depart out of Tsawwassen. The Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal has ferries that go to Nanaimo - a city that's located a 2 hour drive north of Victoria on Vancouver Island.

Another way to approach your trip; scrap the car. Take the train from Seattle to Vancouver (Amtrak), as you don't need a car in Vancouver.

Take Pacific Coach Lines from Vancouver to Victoria (it's a bus that goes from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria via the ferry; you disembark the bus while on the ferry so you get to enjoy the views, etc.)

Once in Victoria, take the Victoria Clipper catamaran (it doesn't allow cars; it's passengers-only) from downtown Victoria to downtown Seattle.

Otherwise, as sludick pointed out, there are no car ferries that go from Victoria to Seattle. You either have to ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, and then drive to Seattle; ferry from Sidney (30 minutes north of Victoria) to Anacortes in Washington state, then drive to Seattle... or you have to ferry back from Swartz Bay (35 minutes north of Victoria) to Tsawwassen, cross the border, and drive down to Seattle.

The easiest way is to simply junk the car.
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Old Jul 24th, 2012, 03:37 PM
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Oops, thanks for that catch, BC_Robyn! And as you say, a car is more of a burden than anything in Vancouver. It is a compact walkable downtown (where most of what you will want to see is located), and the public transportation is excellent.

Going across to Grouse Mountain and attractions on the North Shore is also very accessible with the boats and buses, and a lot of fun to use the boats. Parking can be quite expensive, as it is in most major cities.

We did the train south from Vancouver, and it is much more scenic than I-5. You'll go along the shore in places, where you can see eagles vying with seagulls for fish. Really cool. It leaves Seattle in the morning just once a day, so do plan for that if it interests you.
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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 07:32 PM
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ok, jumping in here..I'm new to this, so pardon my ignorance...i would love to take the train and ditch the car for our upcoming trip to vancouver too. i'd like to do the ferry, and have freedom. But...what do you do with your luggage?? I am sure i can get by with a small carry on, but, I don't want to be lugging a backpack...ant suggestions?
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 07:18 AM
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You check your luggage for the train. In Vancouver it is quite common to see people pulling rollerbags downtown, as they come/go from the cruise ship terminal. Or, from the train you could even catch a quick taxi to your hotel.

We usually travel with a carry-on size roller bag and a backpack (for computer, electronics, and other stuff).

I do not carry a purse when traveling, keep everything stowed in my backpack. But if you don't want a backpack, you could do the purse or whatever, as you wish.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Kim_Montero,

For the ferry, if you're going from Vancouver to Victoria via BC Ferries, I'd recommend taking the Pacific Coach Lines bus (which drives you from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria). That way you'll leave your luggage in the bus' cargo while you enjoy the ferry ride; you don't even need to deal with your luggage until the end of the journey.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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Hello again Sludick! re luggage on the ferry. If you walk on you can leave your luggage at a drop off spot they have. After you disembark they bring the luggage out to a spot where you can pick it up.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 05:07 PM
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Hello again to you, traveller69! How are things going for you - husband?
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 10:50 PM
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Hi Sludick - we are hanging in there. Still don't know what's going to happen for the winter. Looking forward to hearing from you in September.
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 01:02 PM
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Thanks to everyone for these great suggestions. I didn't know about the train but that sounds like the best mode of transportation.
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