The ferry from Vancouver to Victoria is one of the easiest ways to get across to BC’s capital city.
Whether you’re taking your own car or boarding the ferry via a bus from downtown Vancouver it’s also the most common method.
That said, you’ve gotta know how to do the Vancouver to Victoria ferry properly or you could be waiting on the tarmac.
Let me show you how to get it done.
How to Get the Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria
If you’re crossing over to Vancouver Island with a car you’ll have to take BC Ferries – there is no way around it.
Don’t have your own car?
The only route available departs from Tsawwassen Terminal, about an hour south of downtown Vancouver.
Your Vancouver to Victoria ferry arrives at Swartz Bay which is about 40 minutes north of Victoria.
Vancouver to Victoria Ferry Sailing Duration
The ferry trip from Vancouver to Victoria takes one hour and 35 minutes.
Factor in about an hour to get to Tsawwassen Terminal – and 40 minutes to get to Victoria from Swartz Bay – and we’re looking at about three and a half hours total.
Looking for something a bit quicker? Consider the Vancouver to Victoria seaplane which is an attraction in itself.
Vancouver to Victoria Ferry Prices
Both ‘foot passengers’ and people with vehicles can board the ferries between the Vancouver and Victoria.
Vehicle passengers must pay a fare for each individual in addition to the cost of the vehicle.
- Adult (12+): $18.00
- Children (5-11): $8.00.
- Children (0-5): Free.
- Standard (up to 20 feet): $62.00.
- Extra length (per foot): $7.05.
- Motorcycles: $31.05.
As you can see, it’s $80.00 for a single rider with their vehicle.
A family of four plus a vehicle come to $135.85 (including taxes, fuel levies and the reservation fee).
Ferry Schedule Between Vancouver and Victoria
During peak season there are departures every hour on the hour from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.
That said, if you’re visiting Vancouver in summer or over holidays I strongly suggest booking in advance.
Some of the early and late sailings also offer the chance of snagging a Saver Fare (before 8:00 am and after 4:00 pm for just $49.00), so keep that in mind as well.
No matter the time of year, BC Ferries is first-come, first-served so be aware.
For peak times (between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm) reservations are available for an additional $17.00.
Related: The Best Things to Do in Victoria
How Do I Book My Vancouver to Victoria Ferry Tickets?
Under normal circumstances (off peak hours, weekdays, low season) you’ll simply have to:
- Drive from Vancouver to Tsawwassen Terminal
- Purchase a ticket for Swartz Bay
- Board the ferry for the 1 hour 35 min cruise across the Salish Sea
- Get off and drive the 40 min journey to Central Victoria
It is naturally recommended to arrive 45-60 minutes prior to your sailing.
On the other hand, if you’re travelling on weekends and holidays it’s recommended to book your tickets in advance using the button below:
Again, during holiday weekends it is not uncommon to encounter 2-3 sailing waits due to the crowds – so plan ahead and book early.
Related: Best Cheap Hotels in Victoria
Vancouver to Victoria Ferry Without a Car
There are two different ways to get from Vancouver to Victoria by ferry without a car.
One is a completely independent way using public transport (which I’ll get into later), but let’s focus on the most common way:
The BC Ferries Connector
For speed and convenience I suggest using the BC Ferries Connector.
This all-in-one bus and ferry combo ticket removes the need for anything – except sitting back with your tablet and letting them do the rest.
In all, the journey takes around 4 hours.
It takes you from Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station to Victoria’s Capital City Station, right next to the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel.
Here’s all you have to do:
- Purchase your Vancouver to Victoria bus tickets online in advance
- Head to bay 8 at Pacific Central Station and scan your smartphone ticket
- Board your bus bound for the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal (you can get off the bus and enjoy the ferry ride!)
- Re-board the bus on the other side as they take you to Capital City Station
Each passenger can take up to 3 pieces of baggage (2 checked bags, 1 carry-on).
Looking to book? Check the scheduling below:
Getting to the Ferry Using Public Transit
Finally, the cheapest way to get to Victoria from Vancouver by ferry involves using Vancouver public transit:
- Skytrain from downtown Vancouver to Richmond-Bridgeport Station
- #620 bus to Tsawwassen Terminal
- Enter Tsawwassen Terminal and purchase a ticket for Victoria
- #70 bus to Downtown Victoria
This journey takes about five to six hours in total and involves buying four separate tickets.
This should cost around $30.00 to $35.00.
Related: Best Hotels in Victoria
Vancouver Victoria Ferry Tips
- Get to the terminals at least 60 minutes in advance to avoid any snags
- Try to grab a Saver Fare booking at least a week in advance (sailings before 8:00 am/after 4:00 pm)
- Never just show up on a weekend or holiday without pre-booking
- On holiday and looking for a thrill? Book a seaplane and ferry combo package to up the ante
- Always check the current BC Ferries conditions the day of (and day before) your trip
- Plan your Vancouver to Victoria day trip properly
Related: Victoria Hop on Hop off Bus
Victoria from Vancouver Ferry FAQ
How long is the ferry ride from Vancouver to Victoria?
The ride between Tsawwassen Terminal (Vancouver) and Swartz Bay (Victoria) is one hour and 35 minutes.
How much is the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria?
Fares for one adult ($18.00) and a standard sized vehicle ($62.00) add up to $80.00 per trip. A family of four can cross for $135.85, though there are many factors at play including potential reservation fees, off peak Saver Fare offers, and more. It’s always best to check in advance.
Where do you catch the Vancouver to Victoria ferry?
Ferries from Vancouver to Victoria depart from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, which is located about 45 minutes south of Vancouver in the suburb of Tsawwassen.
Which Ferry to Take from Vancouver to Victoria?
There is only one ferry you can take from Vancouver to Victoria and that is the Swartz Bay sailing from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, which is located 45 minutes south west of Vancouver.
Ready to Board Your Vancouver to Victoria Ferry?
I’ve broken down how to get to Victoria from Vancouver by ferry – but damnit, I always miss something!
If there’s something else you need a hand on, or something isn’t quite clear don’t be afraid to drop me a line in the comments below.
We’re setting out to answer every Vancouver tourist question! Just try me 🙂