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Which way to Victoria, via Seattle or via Vancouver?

Which way to Victoria, via Seattle or via Vancouver?

Old Jun 13th, 2002, 08:38 PM
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Which way to Victoria, via Seattle or via Vancouver?

Planning a week-long trip in August that includes Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria.

Is it better to drive from Seattle to Vancouver and then Canadian ferry over to Victoria - or hop on the US Seattle to Victoria ferry?

Seems like there's a lot of driving involved either way (e.g. the Seattle ferry actually leaves from Anacortes, WA and arrives in Sydney, BC).

Any suggestions?
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 09:07 PM
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Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Actually, the Canadian ferries are quite a bit nicer than the American ones (at least last time I took them).Also, you might find it quicker to pass through customs driving into Canada.
Its about a 2 hour drive from Seattle to Vancouver. The ferry actually leaves from Tsawwassen (sp?) which is about 25 miles south of Vancouver, so the drive to the ferry is actually less. The crossing takes about 95 minutes. The Canadian ferries leave every hour on the hour, which, I believe, is much more frequent than the American one.
All things considered, I think I would take the Tsawwassen-Victoria ferry.
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 10:50 PM
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We took a ferry directly from Seattle to Victoria, the Victoria Clipper, I believe. Search on the internet, as they have a web site. It is fairly fast and easy to do. I think a good route is ferry from Seattle to Victoria, Sydney to Twassassen (I think the ferry to Vancouver is out of Sydney. It's about 1/2 hour north of Victoria- an easy drive.) Then, drive down to Seattle. That would be your only driving leg. Or do the reverse.

I think the drive from Seattle to Vancouver is often three hours, and maybe longer now that the border crossing may take more time. Also, there are often accidents on I-5, leading to further delays. (There does happen to be a great designer outlet mall on I-5 between Vancouver and Seattle, and you might want to budget time for that!)

Run a search on this board too, re the ferry schedules, as I know I've seen it before and web sites for the ferries have been up there.
Old Jun 14th, 2002, 08:14 AM
g mitchell
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Before you get too far into your planning and get too much misinformation that will confuse you, see www.ferrytravel.com It will give you all the information for both Washington based and BC based ferries.

The Clipper out of Seattle is passenger only.
Old Jun 14th, 2002, 09:09 AM
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For variety, I would take the Washington State Anacortes-Sidney ferry one way, and the British Columbia Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay ferry the other way. The WA ferry only goes once per day each way, while the BC ferry goes pretty much every hour.

The Victoria Clipper mentioned above is a nice ride, but it is a walk-on ferry only, so not a good choice if you want to drive around.
Old Jun 14th, 2002, 09:56 AM
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Yes, there's a lot of driving.

My choice would be to drive from Seattle to Vancouver, then take the Tsawwassen boat to Victoria, then return to Seattle via the Coho ferry from the Victoria Inner Harbour to Port Angeles. From PA you drive across the Hood Canal bridge to the Bainbridge Island ferry, which lands in downtown Seattle, a lovely ride. This alternative allows you to avoid the horrendous southbound border delays on the mainland, plus you can leave your car in the lineup in Victoria and walk around until the ferry loads.

In Port Angeles take an hour's detour to drive up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park for some spectacular scenery.

The Tsawwassen ferry trip is as pretty as the Anacortes ferry, but faster and does not require advance booking. Both the BC and Washington State boats land some miles from downtown Victoria, BTW.
Old Jun 14th, 2002, 11:22 AM
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I too would go to Vancouver first, then to Victoria and take the Coho to Port Angeles. The Coho runs a few times a day in summer but I like to get my car in the line-up for the first sailing at 10:30 am, then go have breakfast (the dock at the inner harbour is just across the street from hotels with restaurants). Phone them the day before and ask how early you can leave your car there. Don't delay because ferries are extremely busy at that time of year. I think they don't allow cars to be parked there overnight any more.
Old Jun 14th, 2002, 12:15 PM
Jillian Bell
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April and John, I read, I think on this forum, about possible lengthy waits of up to 24 hours for the Victoria-Port Angeles {and reverse} ferries! Yes?
Old Jun 15th, 2002, 03:50 PM
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Old Jun 15th, 2002, 05:07 PM
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That's why people suggest going from the Victoria side because there's more to do while the car sits in the lineup. And that's why I would phone the day before and try to get the first ferry out. If the wait is that bad, and I imagine in August it could be, I would be prepared to change plans and take the BC ferry from Swartz Bay instead.
Old Jun 15th, 2002, 08:46 PM
Jillian Bell
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Thanks, April {and Bill} - that's what I needed to know!
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