A day trip from Vancouver to Victoria on BC Ferries is a great way to spend a day during your Vancouver vacation. You can travel from Vancouver to Victoria without a car. In fact, BC Ferries walk on fares are far cheaper than taking a car.
Taking public transit to the ferry terminal will save you even more, making your entire trip about 60% less than going on a BC Ferries Connector tour bus. The sightseeing is breathtaking, especially when sailing between the rugged shores of the Gulf Islands where you'll enjoy spectacular scenery dotted with beautiful waterfront homes and lighthouses.
BC Ferries Schedule: Tsawwassen to Victoria
Between Tsawwassen and Victoria, BC Ferries schedules 8 or more sailings daily from 7 am to 9 pm. Crossing time is approximately 1½ hours. For up to date schedules, see BC Ferries / Schedules.
Using Vancouver public transit you can connect with BC Ferries in Vancouver at either Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal or Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. Departing from Horseshoe Bay, you can sail to Nanaimo. From Tsawwassen, you can sail to Victoria, BC’s beautiful capital.
For the best sightseeing, we recommend the Tsawwassen to Victoria route. It winds through breathtaking scenery lining Active Pass, a narrow dogleg channel, between Galiano and Mayne Island.
You’ll definitely want to spend some time strolling the outside decks, soaking up the spectacular sights, smells and sounds of the beautiful West Coast scenery. Seagulls follow the large boats across the water hoping for handouts. If you’re lucky, you may even see magnificent Orca whales breaching and swimming nearby. Dress warm. Due to their immense size, the ferries appear to move slowly but are travelling about 35 kph resulting in a pretty stiff breeze on the deck.
Onboard, you will find a cafeteria serving a good variety of hot or cold meals at reasonable prices, a giftshop and plenty of comfortable seats. If you prefer to stay inside and want seats by the window, claim them quickly, as they fill up fast.
Getting from Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to Downtown Victoria
If you can only spare half a day, you'll have enough time to enjoy a round trip on the ferry. If you have a full day and start early enough, you'll have time to take an express BC Transit bus into downtown Victoria and spend a few hours exploring the many alluring sights and attractions BC's capital offers. The Express BC Transit buses run every 30 minutes on weekdays and every hour on weekends. They will get you from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to downtown Victoria in just under 1 hour. Official Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to downtown Victoria express bus schedules. Remember, this is a different transit system than Vancouver's so you'll have to pay a separate fare — currently just $2.50 each way. Important: The bus fare is exact coin only, so be sure to bring along the correct change.
BC Ferries Day Trip Itinerary
It's a good idea to plan your trip ahead, checking schedules and routes using the links on our site. The following is a suggested itinerary for your day trip from Vancouver to Victoria: Depart from Bridgeport Station on the #620 bus at 8:04 am and catch a 9 am sailing to Swartz Bay where you can board a #70 Express bus at 11 am and be in downtown Victoria by lunchtime. Spend 3½ hours in Victoria before returning on the #70 Express bus at 3:40 pm. Catch the 5 pm ferry back to Tsawwassen. Catch the 6:55 or 7 pm #620 bus back to Bridgeport Station arriving at 7:40 pm. That's a full day trip in under 12 hours (not counting your travel time on the SkyTrain) complete with a leisurely 3 hours of scenic sailing on the ferry and 3½ hours exploring downtown Victoria.
Total Cost including Transit
Total Adult travel cost is $9.75 for a Translink Day Pass + $32.50* for a round trip on BC Ferries + $5.00 return for the bus to Victoria — Total Cost $47.25. Not bad for a full day of sightseeing and way under the price of doing a Vancouver to Victoria day trip on the BC Ferries Connector bus which will set you back about $124 during the summer months.
*Ferry fares are subject to a small fuel surcharge, which can vary, but is usually about $0.50 each way.
BC Ferries Walk on Fares - Vancouver to Victoria
|BC Ferries - 'Walk on Fares' One Way between BC Mainland and Vancouver Island|
|Adults 12 years and up||$16.25|
|Children 5-11 years||$8.15|
|Infant under 5 years||Free|
|Skytrain and Bus Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|Canada Line||Bridgeport Station (Ferry to Victoria)||0 Minutes|
|Expo Line||Granville Station (Ferry to Nanaimo)||3 Minutes|
|Canada Line||Vancouver City Centre (Ferry to Nanaimo)||1 Minute|
How to get to Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal by Skytrain and Bus
For Vancouver - Victoria: Exit the Canada line at Bridgeport Station and catch the #620 Tsawwassen Ferry bus from Bay 3. After about a 40 minute bus ride you will arrive at the terminus in front of the foot passenger entrance to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
For Vancouver - Nanaimo: From Granville Station on the Expo Line take the Seymour Street Exit. Go to your right along Seymour Street to Georgia Street and go right on Georgia to the #250 Horseshoe Bay / #257 Horseshoe Bay Express bus stop. From Vancouver City Centre on the Canada Line exit and cross over Georgia Street then walk left to the above stop. Take the #250 Horseshoe Bay or the #257 Horseshoe Bay Express bus to the terminus at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. Travel time on the bus portion is about 45 to 55 minutes depending on whether or not you catch an express bus.
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