Victoria Clipper

Feb 11th, 2007, 10:39 PM
  #1  
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Victoria Clipper

I planned on taking the clipper from Seattle to Victoria the beginning of April. I have been reading about rough waters during certain times of the year with March being exceptionally rough. Does anyone know if that continues through the spring. I plan on taking pills for motion sickness but would like to know in advance, if possible. Should I wait for the summer? I have read it's calmer in the summer. ???
Any suggestionn and comments would be great!
jojo7 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 11:53 PM
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There's no guaranteeing the weather in April. Is taking a float plane an option?
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Feb 12th, 2007, 07:34 AM
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When you say no guaranteeing the weather, do you mean April is questionable or is any month pretty much a chance? I am considering a float plane but I would need to purchase three passports which is pricey in itself but I might just go ahead and do it. I heard nothing but great things going by float plane. I know it's expensive but I do not know the exact prices for 4 people. I will check it out.
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Feb 12th, 2007, 07:54 AM
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April is usually a nice month. The water between Seattle and Victoria is not known to be especially bad. This past winter there were a lot of high wind storms etc but I wouldn't worry about it. You can never predict but the chances of a bad day are slim. If you take any motion sickness pill be sure it is meclazine as it is very effective and non drowsy. There are several brands like Bonine which are meclazine. I certainly wouldn't change my plans for that reason. My home looks out over the water you would be coming across on and it is like glass right now.
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Feb 12th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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My wife and I took the Victoria Clipper roundtrip Seattle to Victoria last July, when the water was calm. Nice ride, but nothing really memorable. We agreed that next time we go to Victoria, it will be by float plane.
beachbum is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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Note that the floatplanes (www.kenmoreair.com) have pretty strict baggage limits owing to weight.
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Feb 12th, 2007, 08:29 AM
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You may have a tough time getting your passports in time unless you get right on it or want to pay for the expedited service. I've been waiting on my renewal for 5 weeks, and according to the gov. website my passport should arrive mid-week next week, which is just over six weeks.

Orcas is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 08:42 AM
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In August 2005, we flew to Seattle and took a Kenmore float plane to Victoria and it was fabulous. We had concerns about our baggage weight and I think my 22" may have been a pound or two over. We were prepared to pay for the overage, but the charming and pleasant woman who took our tickets and weighed our bags said it was fine.

We took a Victoria Clipper back to Seattle, and although it was a dreary, overcast day, the waters were smooth.
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Feb 12th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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jojo7, I would think April is more questionable than, say, July. However my sister took the Clipper during the summer and must have hit a bad day because she hated it and said she would never take it again. I might take my chances though. The float plane for four is awfully expensive, especially if you have to get passports first.
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Feb 12th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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The VC is a catamaran, making it less tippy than a single hull. We've made the trip several times, at different seasons, and never had a bad experience.

Having said that, the Victoria terminal can be a real madhouse when heading back. Your ticket might say "Group 1," "Group 2," etc, leading you to believe that there is some kind of sequence similar to that at airports, but when push comes to shove you will be pushing and shoving.
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Feb 12th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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Thanks everyone. I checked the rates for the float plane and it's very, very expensive especially for 4 people. Over $200 one way per person. I am traveling with my pregnant sister-in-law who cannot take any motion sicknss pills so I am trying to be sensitive to her needs. I was thinking of driving to Port Angeles to take the ferry. I know it's not the most convenient way but it's an option. Does anyone know if the ferry out of Port Angeles would be much different? I know it's a short time on the boat and it's a heavier boat and that might be the only difference?! I don't know.
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Feb 12th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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I took the ferry out of Port Angeles on a day when it was quite calm, only 2 to 3 foot seas. I found that the boat had a strange gait to it when it would begin pitching, increasing a bit, changing to a wallowing roll then flattening out for a bit only to start over again. It didn't bother me but I found it odd that it did it at all.

I've ridden on a larger catamaran and it had none of the funky moves and was quite pleasant to ride on. I've also ridden on a larger ferry (the Star of the North, now lying on the bottom off the end of an island between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert) that rode larger seas quite smoothly.
rm_mn is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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The ferry out of Port Angeles would be much cheaper than the Clipper. You could take your car if you wanted. As you note, it is a much shorter distance and a lot heavier. I'd go for the ferry from Port Angeles. (It also isn't that hard to get to from Seattle and is a nice drive.)
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Feb 12th, 2007, 06:30 PM
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Once a car is part of the picture, and given it's April (thus not a particularly heavy travel period in general) then I'd probably drive up to Tsawwassen and take the BC ferry over to Swartz Bay. Very scenic, and the BC boats are quite comfortable. In elapsed time terms, the various drive/ferry/drive options from Seattle to Victoria are almost a wash. In April the Port Angeles boat won't run very often, so your timing would need to be bang-bang in order to avoid waiting in scenic downtown PA for the next sailing.
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Feb 12th, 2007, 07:34 PM
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I forgot about driving up to Tsawwassen and taking the ferry. That is definitely another option. What would be more scenic from Seattle? Port Angeles route or the Tsawwassen route? If I took the PA ferry I was going to take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island make a stop at that cute town of Poulsbo for quick break and continue on through to Port Angeles (this plan is only if we leave real early; need to catch the 2:00 pm ferry) I am traveling with family visiting from the east coast and they have never been beyond the Seattle area where I live. I am sure they would enjoy a nice scenic drive so I appreciate any advise. You guys are great!
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Feb 12th, 2007, 09:00 PM
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The drive to PA is more scenic than the drive to Tsawwassen. The sailing from Tsawwassen to Vancouver Island is more scenic than the Coho across the strait. Pick 'em.
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Feb 12th, 2007, 10:55 PM
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Jojo,
How set are you on going in April? The only reason I ask is another one of my fav. trips to Victoria is catching the Victoria San Juan Cruises boat out of Bellingham. I asked my wife to marry me on that boat so I better like it but I don't think they start up until the 1st of May. That being said I really don't think you would see too rough of water in April. The truth is that you could get rough waters in July it all just depends. Regardless I hope you guys have fun!
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Feb 13th, 2007, 07:29 AM
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I wouldn't drive to Tsawwassen. The drive isn't very scenic and even though the crossing is pretty you would have to contend with driving through the border. That can be a nightmare. It is so easy in Victoria after getting off the Coho. I vote for Port Angeles.
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Feb 13th, 2007, 07:37 AM
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Shansar...I just discovered that ferry out of Bellingham when I did a search on my options. Your right, it doesn't start sailings to Victoria until May and we have out of town guests coming during spring break week so we are kind of stuck to go in April. I think we will do the Port Angeles ferry especially since it's a more scenic route and it takes us straight to Victoria. If the waters are rough at least I will only need to tolerate it for a shorter duration and I plan on taking motion pills anyway because I am super sensitive to an motion, especially boats. (and my husband is building a sailboat... go figure)Thanks again everyone to all your advise. I never plan a trip without consulting with you Northwest experts.
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Feb 13th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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I always use the Tsawwassen ferry- the ferry ride is much more scenic - and I like the fact that there are departures almost every hour- so if I miss one I know I can usually get on the next one.
The border crossing can be a pain but I dont think it will be too bad in April-
summer months are worse.

The ferry ride has been very smooth every time I have been on it. Last time I went, I just went as a walk on- worked out great. There is a bus at the ferry terminal that takes you downtown Victoria which I took. Its a beautiful city- enjoy.

PS- one of my favorite things to do is go for drinks at the Bengal Room at the Empress Hotel- never the high tea ( too expensive) but do like the Bengal Room

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