Many Hats of Me: Taking the Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, BC

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Taking the Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, BC

BC Ferries runs a passenger ship from Vancouver to Vancouver Island from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. The ships run hourly starting from 7 AM. Please check the schedule before planning your trip. I suggest you arrive at least 45 minutes before the sailing time to ensure that you don't miss the boat (literally).




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BC Ferry Fares


The fares vary depending on how you will be traveling on the boat. You can take your motorcycle, car, bus, or bike onto the ferry. Of course, you can also walk onto the ferry when you are dropped off by local transit. There are also discounts for groups of 16 or more people, and seniors. Please check the following page, BC Ferry Tsawwassen schedule of fares (current from February 14, 2014). You can also visit the BC Ferry website.



BC Ferry top deck on a sunny day.
Outdoor top deck on a sunny day, BC Ferry






Video of the ferry ride to Victoria


Onboard the BC Ferry


Once we park our car on board the ferry, we try not to dawdle and make our way directly upstairs to stake out a nice seating area for our large group. There is WIFI throughout the ship, but it is weak at best. 



Computer work area, BC Ferries
Computer work area, BC Ferries

Shopping on Ferry


There is a small shop on board the ferry that sells locally inspired giftware, food, and personal items that you may have forgotten to bring on your trip. 



Gift store, BC Ferries
Gift store, BC Ferries

BC Ferries Serves Starbucks Coffee


I was relieved to learn that the ferry serves Starbucks coffee, lattes, and cappuccinos, especially since I was on the road since 6 AM.




Coffee Shop, BC Ferries
Coffee Shop, BC Ferries

Seawest Lounge, BC Ferries


Seawest Lounge is the VIP section on the Ferry. It costs an additional $12.00 per person and includes coffee, tea,  fruit and other light snacks. It decor is more upscale and roomier than the rest of the ship and it's very quiet. The best part of the lounge is the strong WIFI signal. 



Seawest VIP Loung, BC Ferries
Seawest VIP Loung, BC Ferries


Fruit and light snacks at the Seawest Lounge, BC Ferries
Fruit and light snacks at the Seawest Lounge, BC Ferries



Complimentary Cofee at Seawest Lounge, BC Ferry
Coffee and Tea are free in the Seawest Lounge, BC Ferries

Pacific Buffet, BC Ferries


Some of the ferries include an all-inclusive buffet restaurant called the Pacific Buffet. It serves a variety of food, including seafood, salads, Chinese, and desserts. Price for the buffet is $17.40/adult and $9.50/child.



Seafood and pasta is served in the Pacific Buffet, BC Ferries
Seafood and pasta is served in the Pacific Buffet, BC Ferries

Chicken fingers, veggies and rice, Pacific Buffent, BC Ferries
Chicken fingers, veggies and rice, Pacific Buffet, BC Ferries

Salad bar, Pacific Buffet, BC Ferries
Salad bar, Pacific Buffet, BC Ferries

Cheapest Eats on BC Ferries


The self-serve restaurant on board the ferry is the Coastal Cafe. It serves a variety of basic food, such as sandwiches, burgers, and salads, which will cost around $12-$15/person. My brother found the most economical meal onboard the Ferry: the Pirate Pak. It includes a small burger, drink, and a dessert for under $10. 


Pirate Pak meal, BC Ferries
Pirate Pak meal, BC Ferries

Before You Disembark…


Double check to see if you have everything you brought on board the ship, such as phone chargers, cameras, extra bags, hats, and sunglasses. Also, make a visit to the washroom if your destination is Victoria, which is a 1/2-hour drive from the Swartz Bay Terminal.

Have a great ferry trip to Vancouver Island! 


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