Ferry or drive Seattle to Vancouver Island

Old May 26th, 1999, 10:17 PM
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Ferry or drive Seattle to Vancouver Island

We will be in Vancouver in early June and hope to spend a few days between Vancouver Island and Seattle. We have a car and thought about driving to Seattle and catching the ferry to Vancouver Island.

Would appreciate any thoughts on:
- the best way to spend three nights (1 in Seattle and 2 in Victoria?): and

- the best means of transport. It seems that the only car ferry to Victoria takes four + hours and leaves from Port Angeles? Is it worth it. What are the alternatives?

Many thanks
Old May 26th, 1999, 11:17 PM
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You actually have several choices. My choice would be to take the ferry from Anacortes, WA ( 60 miles north of Seattle ) to Sidney, BC ( 20 miles from Victoria ). This is the most scenic route. You also may consider a loop trip. Take one of the BC ferries to the island. I would take the Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo ferry and then drive south into Victoria. I would then cross back on the Sidney - Anacortes ferry. The Sidney Anacortes ferry route is by far the most scenic as you you go right through the San Juan Islands. You actually stop for a few minutes.

This route would give you maximim exposure to the more scenic areas without adding a great deal of time to your trip. You will skip the drive from Vancouver south to Anacortes but you would not miss much.
Old May 27th, 1999, 11:58 AM
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I would go from Vancouver directly to Victoria (the terminal is out by Sidney actually). The ferries run every hour in the summer whereas they're infrequent from the States. Also the trip from Seattle is long and not very scenic. The BC ferry takes about an hour and a half and passes through the gulf islands.
Old May 27th, 1999, 01:16 PM
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You will be in which Vancouver, WA. or B.C.? If you are already in B.C., then take the ferry from there over to the Island. Stay the night, and drive down to Seattle next evening. It is about a 4-5 hour drive from the Vancouver port down to Seattle (but it's a nice drive). If you are in WA., then do the reverse: Seattle first, then Vancouver.
Old May 27th, 1999, 05:17 PM
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I live in Vancouver, so have some familiarity.

If you insist on seeing both cities and insist on having a car, call the Victoria Chamber of Commerce (or the B.C Supernatural tourism 800 number) and find out if there is still summer car ferry between the two cities. It used to run northbound in the morning, southbound in the afternoon.

It is time consuming to go from Vancouver to Victoria to Seattle. The leg from Vancouver to Victoria is scenic and nice, allow about 3.5 hours. Without the car ferry, getting a car from Victoria to Seattle is time consuming, not all that great. Via Port Angeles is time consuming, not worth the time. Going through the San Juans is pretty, but covers the same scenery you saw on the way over.

The best bet is to take the car to Seattle or Victoria, and then take the "Victoria Clipper", without your car, between the two, for a day or so. You can see the key sites in either city without your car, and the most scenic route between them is on the water. You may also be able to detour through the San Juans, stopping off at Friday Harbor, if that service is still running. It used to be run by a different company.
Old May 29th, 1999, 09:25 PM
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Thank you all for your very helpful suggestions. We are much clearer on how to handle this leg of the trip.


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