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’s break down the Vancouver ferry to Victoria.
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?
You’ll need to book the Vancouver to Victoria bus (aka the BC Ferries Connector) which takes you all the way there from downtown Vancouver (skip ahead to this section).
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 Ferries to Victoria 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 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 comes to $135.85 for the ferry to Victoria (including taxes, fuel levies and the reservation fee).
Ferry Schedule Vancouver to Victoria
During peak season there are ferries to Victoria 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 to Book a Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria
Under normal circumstances (off peak hours, weekdays, low season), to get the Vancouver to Victoria island ferry 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: ferries to Victoria with buses.
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 to book the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria by bus:
- 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 on the ferry to Victoria can take up to 3 pieces of baggage (2 checked bags, 1 carry-on).
Book My Bus-Ferry Combo Ticket Now
Can’t be bothered getting to Pacific Central? They’ve got a hotel pickup bus-ferry combo ticket as well:
Book My Hotel Pickup Bus-Ferry Combo
Getting to the Victoria 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.
Taking the Victoria ferry from Vancouver this way is 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)
- For ferries to Victoria BC never 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
Vancouver to Victoria 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 take the ferry from Vancouver BC to Victoria BC for $135.85, though there are many factors at play including potential reservation fees, off-peak Saver Fare offers, and more.
Where do you catch ferries to Victoria from Vancouver?
Ferries from Vancouver to Victoria BC 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.
Is there a direct ferry from Vancouver to Victoria?
Yes, the direct Victoria ferry from Vancouver departs from Tsawassen terminal. It is 45 minutes south of Vancouver and reachable by car or by taking a bus package from downtown.
🚀 Don’t wanna worry about the ferry? Check out the 5 best Victoria tours from 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.
Enjoy the Vancouver Victoria ferry 🙂
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