Day Trip from Vancouver to Victoria by Ferry

Enjoy spectacular sightseeing on a day trip from Vancouver to Victoria by ferry for a fraction of the cost of a tour bus

Updated on June 27, 2019
BC Ferry with Mount Baker in the background
BC Ferry with Mount Baker in the background

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 your car. 

Taking public transit to the ferry terminal will save you even more, making your entire trip cost 70% less than going on a BC Ferries Connector 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. During summer months there are departures every hour on-the-hour. Crossing time is approximately 1½ hours. For up to date schedules, see BC Ferries / Schedules.

Recommended Route

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 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. 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 over 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 Route 70 Express buses are timed to work with the Ferry arrivals. They will get you from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to downtown Victoria in just under 1 hour. You can also take the Route 72 bus but it makes more stops along the way, so takes longer. 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 $5.00 for a day pass that will get you anywhere you want to go in Victoria. 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 a #620 bus departing by 8 am and catch a 9 am sailing to Swartz Bay. Board a #70 Express bus (should be outside waiting) and be in Downtown Victoria by lunchtime. Spend 3½ hours in Victoria before returning to the ferry terminal on the #70 Express bus. Catch a 5 pm sailing back to Tsawwassen. Catch the next available #620 bus back to Bridgeport Station arriving about 7:45 pm. Transit buses are all scheduled to give you time to disembark and get to the bus before they depart. Most of the time there will be one waiting for you when you get off the ferry.. 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. You can depart earlier and return later for even more time in Victoria.

Total Cost including Transit

Total Adult travel cost is $10.50 for a Translink Day Pass + $34.40* for a round trip on BC Ferries + $5.00 return for the bus to Victoria — Total Cost $47.90. 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 $160 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$17.20
Children 5-11 years$8.60
Infant under 5 years Free

Weekend Hotel Deals in Victoria. Prices are for a 2 Night Stay.

If you can work it into your schedule, consider spending a night or two in Victoria. You will be glad you did. Below are some special rates for the upcoming weekend, but you can easily change dates.

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Directions

Skytrain and Bus Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Canada LineBridgeport Station (Ferry to Victoria)0 Minutes
Expo LineGranville Station (Ferry to Nanaimo)3 Minutes
Canada LineVancouver City Centre (Ferry to Nanaimo)1 Minute

How to get to Day Trip from Vancouver to Victoria by Ferry 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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Photo Gallery

Video


Enjoy this video we took while passing through Active Pass and the Gulf Islands on one of our day trips from Vancouver to Victoria

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Here's why we use Booking.com for our hotel bookings.
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Price Matching
Pay at the Hotel
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