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Most scenic ferry options, Victoria (or Port Angeles) to Seattle?

Most scenic ferry options, Victoria (or Port Angeles) to Seattle?

Old Aug 7th, 2010, 12:08 PM
  #1  
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Most scenic ferry options, Victoria (or Port Angeles) to Seattle?

We need to get from Victoria, BC to Seattle on a Sunday in September. We'd really like to do the trip by ferry. As it stands right now, we'll have a car with us.

I've searched the forums and I'm just not sure the information I'm looking at is up-to-date. Do we have to take the ferry over to Port Angeles, and then take another ferry to Seattle? Is there nothing that goes straight from Victoria to Seattle except passenger ferries? What's the best, most scenic way to do all this?

Thanks!
HarrietMWelsch is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2010, 12:52 PM
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I'm no expert, but I think you've got it correct. The Victoria Clipper is the boat that runs directly Victoria to Seattle, but it's passenger only.
suze is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2010, 01:27 PM
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You have three choices -

1. WA State ferry from Sidney to Anacortes via the San Juan Islands. Very scenic, you should get reservations. From Anacortes allow around 90 min. to Seattle via SR 20 and I-5.

2. BC ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen, which is around 10 min. north of the border. Very scenic also, but you'll then have to go through US border formalities, which can take anywhere from 15 min. to 2 hours depending on the day/time. Then it's around 2 hours drive down I-5 to Seattle.

3. Coho ferry (private) from Victoria (Inner Harbour) to Port Angeles, then drive to either Bainbridge Island or Kingston for WA State ferry to downtown Seattle or Edmonds respectively. If Kingston > Edmonds then another 20-30 min. on the freeway to Seattle.

In terms of elapsed time, as a rule the Victoria > PA > Bainbridge > Seattle route is usually the quickest; it's also the most convenient if you're starting in downtown Victoria since the ferry leaves from there. The Anacortes and Tsawwassen boats leave from points on the east side of Vancouver Island; both require a ~20-30 min. drive to get to the dock, then wait times.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/
http://www.bcferries.com/
http://cohoferry.com/main/
Gardyloo is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2010, 01:30 PM
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Oops, meant to add, the Victoria > PA ferry is scenic if the Olympic Mountains are visible, then the Bainbridge > Seattle boat is amazing, with the city on one end and the Olympics on the other. The drive from PA to Bainbridge is also scenic in parts.
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Old Aug 7th, 2010, 02:51 PM
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agree the coho to port angeles then drive to bainbridge for ferry to seattle is your best bet. there hasn't been a direct victoria to seattle car ferry since the 80s or early 90s when the princess marguerite stopped sailing.

are you still planning to drive out to the OR coast and up the peninsula before going to victoria? if so, park your car in port angeles and walk on the ferry--no real need to incur the expense and wait time of having a car.
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Old Aug 7th, 2010, 03:19 PM
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Thanks, all!

NWWanderer, yes, that's what we're planning, but we're going to go from Victoria over to Sooke (or thereabouts) for a couple of days, so we're going to need the car for that.
HarrietMWelsch is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2010, 04:09 PM
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ah, ok, got it.
NWWanderer is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2010, 06:23 PM
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Let me add that if the Olympics are not out in all their glory, the trip on the Coho from Victoria to Port Angeles is not all that scenic. Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 07:47 AM
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Bobmrg, I love it when people get that quote right. It makes me absurdly happy.

So Coho ferry --> PA, drive to Bainbridge, ferry --> Seattle is both the quickest *and* the most scenic? Is that the consensus? In this case, time is less of an issue than scenery, so if I'm reading this wrong, please let me know.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 07:57 AM
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The Coho trip is NOT the most scenic unless the sky is clear and the mountains are out in all their glory. If the visibility drops to ten miles or less all you will see is water. Follow the advice of other posters and take a boat that goes through the islands.

I might note that the last time my bride and I took the Coho there were big swells coming in from the ocean and hitting the boat broadside. That was OK when I was getting paid to go to sea, but.....
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 08:20 AM
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Right, I get this: "The Coho trip is NOT the most scenic unless the sky is clear and the mountains are out in all their glory." But the Bainbridge --> Seattle section *is* a good choice? Or is Sidney --> Anacortes the better choice?
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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I think the most scenic is the one from Tsawwassen and that is the one that I always use - also partly because they have more crossings than the others . This ferry goes closer to some of the islands and through some straits and it is a beautiful ride. I park myself on the deck with coffee and a Nanaimo bar and enjoy the views.

The problem with it, is that the border crossing wait can be long - I usually dont go peak season so have not had a problem but have heard the wait line can be long
sunbum1944 is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2010, 07:02 AM
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Thanks, sunbum. Anybody else?
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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No comparison between the Coho run and the Bainbridge ferry...the former is an hour and a half, and the latter is about 30 minutes and you are never out of sight of land (unless it is foggy, of course).

I'll defer to sunbum on Anacortes vs Tsawwassen.
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 10:20 AM
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If a ride - in close proximity to islands & views is in your books, then the Sidney to Anacortes is the ferry to take - especialy if it is the one that stops at Roche & Friday harbours. The drive to Seattle from Tswasson is enough to stop me.

We take the Coho to PA twice a year, but go to Olympia - not Seattle and I do not know the drive time from PA to Sea.

So I would vote - Sydney to Anacortes.

bbt
bigbluthundr is offline  
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