Victoria to Vancouver?

Jun 29th, 2004, 09:57 AM
  #1  
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Victoria to Vancouver?

I am trying to decide wheather to take the ferry, seaplane or helijet from Vancouver to Victoria. If money or time is not a deterent, is it a hassle or fun to take the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria? We will be going the 3rd week of July.
bizeb is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 10:20 AM
  #2  
 
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I haven't travelled by seaplane or helijet to Victoria, so can comment only on the ferry.

I've always enjoyed ferry trips to Victoria. Are you travelling with a car? If so, I strongly advise you to make a reservation. (I'm travelling to Victoria by car in mid-July. I made a reservation this morning and was surprised to find that two of the ferries on the day I want to travel are already booked solid). You can make a booking at the BC Ferries website.

http://www.bcferries.bc.ca/

It costs $15 per vehicle, one way. You pay that $15 at the time of booking. You pay the rest of the fare (about $50 one way for vehicle, driver and one passenger) when you arrive at the ferry terminal. The crossing usually takes about ninety minutes, as far as I recall.

If you're travelling on foot, so to speak, there is an excellent bus service from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria, via Pacific Coach Lines.

http://www.pacificcoach.com/

I think the fare is about $40 one way. I've travelled this way several times and always found it satisfactory. (The bus drives onto the ferry so you don't have to change buses when you arrive on Vancouver Island.)

Hope this helps. To answer your question: I've always found it fun rather than a hassle to take the ferry to Victoria. But do keep in mind the need to book if you're going via car.
Vorkuta is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 10:54 AM
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ditto on everything Vorkuta advised, especially on making reservations as early as possible if going by car on the ferry. Those without reservations will wait hours and hours for a space on the ferry.
Other considerations: What you are planning on doing on Vancouver island? Having a car may be important if you plan on visiting around. If you are in need of a car, considering whether it's better to rent after getting to Victoria or beforehand and driving onto the ferry are considerations. Time: If not a problem the ferry will work nicely, and the trip is pretty, but takes much longer than flying, which only takes a few minutes. ALso, driving to the fery, waitingt to board (on both ends) are also considerations which only you can assess.
waltd is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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The plane is a twin Otter seating about 25 people and between two competing airlines flies almost every half hour during the business day. the flight is from Vancouver harbour to Victoria harbour so it couldn't be more convenient and so long as the weather is clear the scenery is gorgeous. Most seats are window seats and the flight from getting on to getting off takes about 45 minutes. There are shuttle busses available at the Seaplane Dock for many of the major hotels or if you call some of them they'll pick you up.

The Helijet leaves Vancouver harbour from generally the same area as the seaplanes but arrives around as kilometer from the centre of Victoria's downtown. Also the windows are not nearly as easy to see out of, (and on the small ones you sit with your back to them), and I personally found the noise level much higher than on the planes. However the larger helijets have beveridge and snack service.
GaryA is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 04:05 PM
  #5  
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Thank you for all your good imformation. We are not taking a car. This is why we could even consider taking an airflight. Where would we board and the get off the ferry.Would we need a cab to get to either? We're actually staying at Spinnakers which is a few blocks from the downtown area in Victoria. Do we still need a reservation without having a car?
bizeb is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 07:57 PM
  #6  
 
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If you are staying near downtown Victoria and plan to take a cab to the airport consider the Helijet because the cab ride to the ferry will be steep. May be better to take the Helijet. It leaves from the downtown area and lands at Vancouver Airport OR in downtown Vancouver. May actually end up being cheaper, faster, and more fun.
allanc is offline  
Jul 1st, 2004, 11:03 AM
  #7  
 
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Take the ferry. The scenery is spectacular through Active Pass and the ride is very relaxing. I go to Victoria about every second summer for vacation, and the ferry ride is one of the highlights of the trip for me.
If you dont have a car, take the Pacific Coach Lines bus, as someone else suggested (dont know where you catch it in Vancouver, but in Victoria its just down the sreet from Spinnakers).
The bus gets preferetial treatment over cars on the ferry (first on, first off, so there is no delays if its busy), is hassle free, and someone else does the driving leaving you free to enjoy your trip.
jimmoi is offline  
Jul 1st, 2004, 12:13 PM
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Just thought I would add my 2 cents... I have taken both the helicopter and the sea plane for day trips to Victoria (very convenient - harbour to harbour).

While the chopper was louder (they give you headsets) I MUCH preferred it to the seaplane. In the chopper you didn't feel the motion at all. I am prone to motion sickness and felt sick in teh seaplane.

The view from the chopper was also great (except on the way back when it was rainy). it was still pretty neat!

it's a good option if you don't have a lot of time as you only need to show up 1/2 hour before departure (and we were staying at the pan pacific which was a 1 min drive to the helijet pad). we arrived in victoria and were at the empress hotel in 5 minutes...

i have also taken helijet from vancouver to whistler and was impresssed.
jacolis is offline  
Jul 1st, 2004, 05:31 PM
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I think of Spinnakers as being some distance by foot from downtown Victoria. The bus depot is near the Empress Hotel by the Inner Harbour. I don't know of any bus depot way out by Spinnakers.

You don't make a reservation to take the bus across on the ferry. I can't remember where the bus depot is in Vancouver (someone here will know) but you can catch it there and it will take you right to downtown Victoria. The float planes land in the Inner Harbour, Helijet a bit farther way at Ogden Point. Me, I don't trust helicopters and prefer the planes. By any of these three methods you will want to take a taxi to Spinnakers if you have luggage. The fare shouldn't be much.

Hassle or fun to take the ferry? It's no hassle by bus, but some of us who have done the trip too often find it tedious and would rather fly. If it was my first trip, I would take the ferry one way and the float plane the other.
April is offline  
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