Which ferry between Victoria and Seattle

Old Mar 8th, 2004, 10:35 AM
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Which ferry between Victoria and Seattle

Which is the preferred ferry to get from Victoria and Vancouver?
Is the Washington State ferry ride from Sydney to Anacortes a lot more scenic?
Would the Coho ferry to Port Angeles make it easy to see the Olympic National Forest on the way between the two points?
Which is faster, combining the driving to the ferry, loading, sailing, unloading, and driving from the dock to downtown Seattle?
Are both services reliable?
What other factors should I be considering?
mscarls is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2004, 10:51 AM
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I already had another thought. Are there any advantages to taking the BC ferry back to Vancouver and then driving down to Seattle?
Is customs easier on any of the three choices? I will be coming back in the states on a Friday around mid-day.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 01:32 PM
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There are two car ferries running from Vancouver Island to the BC mainland, one that leaves from Nanaimo (some distance north from Victoria) which goes to Horsehoe Bay, north of Vancouver, and the other, more scenic, which leaves from Swartz Bay (east of Victoria) and arrives in Tsawwassen, around half an hour south of Vancouver and around ten minutes north of the US border.

The Anacortes (Washington State) ferry is very scenic, and, unlike the Tsawwassen, boat, stops on some of the islands as it crosses from Vancouver Island. Anacortes is around 90 min - 2 hours north of Seattle, depending on trsffic.

On a Friday (presumably in spring or summer) the Coho ferry is probably the slowest of the choices, the Tsawwassen fastest, EXCEPT that the southbound border delays entering the US can be horrendous. The issue with the Coho is that to get to Seattle you need to make a second ferry crossing, from Winslow on Bainbridge Island into downtown Seattle. When you add up all the waits for boats, crossings of water bodies, driving, loading and unloading times, it often works out that the Anacortes run is the quickest, although it's the longest in terms of time on the water.

The Victoria Clipper goes nonstop from Victoria to Seattle, but doesn't carry cars. The floatplanes go direct also, but obviously won't carry many Toyotas in the baggage hold.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 03:01 PM
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I just wanted to say thank you to Gardyloo for all his intelligent, well written posts and explanations about the PNW and in particular, the ferries of Seattle and Vancouver Island. I'm planning a trip for late August and you've certainly given me lots of help!
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 02:10 PM
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WE were thinking of going straight to Port Angeles from the airport and taking the ferry to Victoria (no car). I read the ferry only takes an hour there is this true? DId Gardyloo say the wait is horrendous there? Would it be a good idea to stay in Port Angeles for 2 nights while we do the Olmpic National Park? Do you have a recommendation? Going August 21.
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 06:15 PM
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Port Angeles ferry to Victoriia is the quickest AND even better if you are a "walk-on"
Annacortes ferry and Tsawwassan are the most beautiful routes HOWEVER geting across the border can be a VERY long wait...
We decided to get the "wait' over with and went from Seattle to Tsawwassen over to Victoria, stayed overnight and then went to Port Angeles and on to the Olympic Forest.
I think you can even make reservations on Canadian Ferrry system..August is a very busy time of year so try to get lodging reservations ..Good luck...
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Old Apr 27th, 2004, 02:32 AM
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The downside of the Coho is that they do not take advanced reservations. Obviously this is not a consideration if you are a walk on. When we made the crossing from Victoria to Port Angeles in late September of 2002, many of the people at the head of the line had put their cars in position the night previous and stayed in hotel accommodations nearby. We arrived two hours before boarding and barely made it on.... I assume that it would be even tighter during the summer months.
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