BC Ferries operates a fleet of 40 ferries on 26 different coastal routes.
These ferries are run by the Province of British Columbia as extension of the provincial highway network.
From Vancouver , there are two key ferry terminals: Tsawwassen (38 km south of Vancouver ) and Horseshoe Bay (west end of Highway 1 via West Vancouver ). From Tsawwassen, you can connect to Swartz Bay (for Victoria), Duke Point (for Nanaimo) and the Gulf Islands. Horseshoe Bay connects you to Duke Point/Nanaimo, Bowen Island and the Sunshine Coast. From there, you can connect to the northern Gulf Islands, the North Coast, and to north Vancouver Island. Ferry routes generally run a more frequent schedule during the busy summer months.
Services on ferries is on a first-come-first-served basis. For some routes, you can phone ahead and get Assured Loading Tickets to ensure boarding for a particular sailing (the $15 fee is non-refundable).
The crossing between Vancouver Island and the Mainland typically takes 90 to 120 minutes. Trips between Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast are shorter. We have more information about Ferries on FoundLocally's Victoria site.
Consider getting a CirclePac discount package that can save vacationers money on a 4-route trip (Mainland to Island to & from a Gulf Island and return).
Call BC Ferries for pricing and schedules 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-233-3779) and in Victoria (250) 386-3431.