Victoria to Port Angeles

Mar 27th, 2000, 04:54 PM
  #1  
mary
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Victoria to Port Angeles

We will be traveling by car from Vancouver thru Victoria mid-week 6/20 or 6/21 on the way to Port Angeles. Having read some posted messages, I am concerned about a long wait for the car ferry. Would like some advice re: length of wait and which departure time would be best;the 10:30am 3:30pm or 7:30pm. Thanks for any advice.
 
Mar 27th, 2000, 05:21 PM
  #2  
sheri
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The nice thing about taking the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles rather than the other way around is that you can put your car in line and go *do* things in downtown Victoria while you are waiting (some ideas: the Royal BC Museum, have tea, shop, walk along the water to Barbs Fish & Chips up at Fisherman's Terminal, or to Spinnakers on the other side of the harbor, do a three hour tour to Butchart Gardens from in front of the Empress Hotel).
Just be aware that you usually need to be back at your car an hour before sailing in order to clear customs, etc.

Generally, waits get longer as the day goes on, so if you are staying overnight in Victoria, you can go put your car in line early in the morning (7 AM or so), then go to your B&B or hotel and have breakfast before you leave. Also, the ferry company seems to change its mind from year to year about whether you can put your car in line the night before--call to check. For the 3:30 or 7:30, you'll probably want to have your car in line by the time the previous ferry loads, but to be on the safe side, call the Black Ball office in Victoria the day before or that morning and check to see what the loads look like.

Hope this helps!
Sheri

 
Mar 27th, 2000, 06:22 PM
  #3  
Bob Brown
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Well, hmm. The Black Ball is run like a business should not be run!! In the summer, the backlog of cars, particularly on the Washington side, can be measured in days not hours. People with big RV's would actually camp in line for more than 24 hours that summer.
I seemed to me that the ferry was losing business hand over fist because people would change their plans like we did and take some other route.. I guess the management did not care that people never entered the line because of the long wait. Profits were probably excellent, and expanding the business meant more capital equipment expenditures.
The line casn stay the same and still make a fantastic profit.

But, depending on when you want to go, the wait can be more than a day.
It was for us one August -- about Aug 21. We were told that on the Washington side it was 48 hours that day. The company could not have cared less.
 
Mar 27th, 2000, 08:46 PM
  #4  
April
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I would be inclined to take the first ferry and leave the car in the lot, as suggested above, very early in the morning or the night before. The office folks are happy to give their opinion of how busy it might be if you call the day before (in Victoria 386-2202).

One thing I'll say about the Coho, it goes like clockwork, day in and day out year after year with only a short break, I believe, in January. June might not be as bad as August.

By the way, the "new" Pacific Wilderness Railway is slated to begin its run three times daily from Victoria to the Malahat in June. Story has it that 3 steam engines are being built in China for it, but I don't know when these will show up. The cost will be $29-$34.
 
Apr 3rd, 2000, 11:10 AM
  #5  
mary
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To: Sheri, Bob and April
Thank you all very much for your very helpful responses to my message.
 
Apr 4th, 2000, 05:07 AM
  #6  
BCBob
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One poster stated, amd I quote, " Well, hmm. The Black Ball is run like a business should not be run!! In the summer, the backlog of cars, particularly on the Washington side, can be measured in days not hours. People with big RV's would actually camp in line for more than 24 hours that summer. ".

It would appear to me that Black Ball is doing just fine. Obviously they run full which is their intention. What would you want them to do? Put more ferries into service or what? The long lines simply mean that they are running at full capacity.
 

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