The crossings between Vancouver Island and BC's Lower Mainland can last from a little over 90 minutes to two hours, depending on which run you take. There are three to choose from -- including our Vancouver-Victoria service -- with frequent sailing's every day of the year.
Shorter hops include BC Ferries service to the picturesque Gulf Islands (sailing from both Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland), and to friendly communities along the Sunshine Coast, northwest of Vancouver. There's also Vancouver Island's most beautiful shortcut, between Brentwood and Mill Bay, across the Saanich Inlet (near Victoria).
If you're after more of a "cruise line" experience, consider a voyage through British Columbia's majestic Inside Passage. This one is particularly popular with international travelers, going from Port Hardy at the northern end of Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert, gateway to southeast Alaska. You'll enjoy the gracious hospitality of our flagship, Queen of the North, including all the amenities of our other large ferries, plus en route movies and a licensed dining room with live entertainment during the summer season. Day rooms are available, as well as overnight cabins for those taking the return trip. Of course, the main appeal of this memorable journey is the scenery: a constantly changing vista of mountains, fjords, wildlife, and passing ships.
BC Ferries traverses the Inside Passage all year long, including a summer schedule that turns the excursion into a 15-hour day cruise. Reservations are also a must on the eight-hour crossing from Prince Rupert to the beautiful Queen Charlotte Islands, where yet another remarkable facet of the British Columbia experience awaits. Sometimes referred to as the "Canadian Galapagos".
Optional Vehicle Reservations If you're travelling on our Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay, and Tsawwassen-Duke Point routes, consider using BC Ferries' Reserved Boarding Service. The only way to book passage for your private car, truck or RV on these routes is to phone 1-888-724-5223 (British Columbia only) or from out of province, (604) 444-2890. Express handy.
Mandatory Vehicle Reservations
Vehicle reservations are required for the Discovery Coast Passage, Inside Passage and Queen Charlotte Islands routes.
(250) 386-3431 in Victoria, or long distance from outside British Columbia. 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779) in British Columbia, outside the Victoria dialing area.
When You Should Be at the Terminal
On most BC Ferries routes, if you're driving onto the ferry, plan to be at the terminal at least 30 minutes before the scheduled sailing time, and even earlier during normally busy periods.
Busiest Travel Times
Our terminals and ships are always busiest on holiday weekends. Peak traffic volumes occur on Friday afternoon and evening, Saturday morning and Monday afternoon. On regular weekends, Friday and Sunday afternoons are busy. When travelling during these periods, please allow extra time to reach your destination. If you're visiting Vancouver Island over the summer months, consider taking one of the weekday mid-morning sailings's for a less crowded travel experience.
PacifiCat Explorer is light, agile and impressive. Sailing at up to 37 knots, this vessel is faster and making the crossing time between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay quicker than ever. PacifiCat is totally new inside and out. It is built for speed.
Travelling with Luggage If you are travelling without a vehicle, please note that items not easily carried by hand or backpack should be checked when you buy your ticket. Special care will be taken to ensure that your belongings will be waiting at the baggage claims area in our terminals when you disembark.
For People with Disabilities
If you use a wheelchair and need assistance getting from one part of the ship to another, we encourage you to travel with an escort. Discount fares are available for BC residents who have a permanent disability. Call BC Ferries' Information-Reservation Line for details We provide special vehicle loading for people who have difficulty with stairs.
It is Important tell us you have a disability when you arrive at the terminal, and we'll load your vehicle as close to an elevator as possible.
Important Phone Numbers
If you would like to talk to one of our Passenger Service Agents, or access recorded information with your touch-tone phone, give us a call!
Contact Information: -BCFERRY :1.250.386.3431 Jane Danielson is a Freelance Writer for the Disabled and Poet and has been published in extensively in Canada and United States. She became mobility disabled 13 years ago and uses a cane, wheelchair and electric scooter Jane believes that traveling is a prescription for a healthy optimistic outlook, especially for the disabled but really for everyone. Some of Jane’s articles include Camping in a National Park and, Whale Watching on Brier Island, Fun in Florida and Healing Powers of Hawaii. Her travel articles always look at the positive experience of traveling, with a realization of the obstacles that must be overcome to achieve this experience. Email: email@example.com
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