How to Get Here
To help you plan your trip, we have compiled some information on how to get to Vancouver Island and how to get around once you are here. Please also do your own research in case we not have captured all the possibilities or the latest information.
Ferry Vancouver to Victoria
BC Ferries shuttle between the Tsawwassen ferry terminal (45 minutes south of Vancouver and about a half-hour drive north of the U.S.-Canada border) and the Swartz Bay terminal, near Sidney, BC. Crossing time is 1 ½ hours. Reservations can be made for vehicles except on holidays.
Foot passengers can take public transit to the ferry terminals on both sides. However, most sailings have a bus aboard that carries passengers to downtown terminals, or into Sidney BC, the starting point of the Salish Shores Discovery Trek. Check www.bcferries.com for sailing times and rates.
Float Plane and Helicopter Flights from Vancouver
There are frequent floatplane flights between downtown Vancouver and Victoria, a supremely scenic way to travel. Harbour Air & Westcoast Air, as well as Whistler Air offer frequent trips: www.harbourair.com or 800-665-0212.
Helijet International flies helicopters from the downtown Vancouver waterfront to Victoria. See www.helijet.com or phone 800-665-4354.
Connections from other locations on Vancouver Island, including Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, Nanaimo: Island Link Bus offers express service up and down the island and to Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal, north of Vancouver. http://www.islandlinkbus.com/
From Vancouver, Pacific Coach*** offers a bus and ferry service on the Swartz Bay-Twawassen Route (south of Vancouver). Some buses stop in Sidney; be careful to check ahead of time, though. http://www.pacificcoach.com/Bus-Coach-Travel/Crosswater/Vancouver-to-Victoria
***Note that, in 2016, this service will be provided by Wilson Transportation.
Ferry Seattle to Victoria
Train travel between Seattle and Vancouver on the Amtrak Cascades route: http://www.amtrak.com/cascades-train
Victoria Clipper: This passenger-only high-speed ferry travels between downtown Seattle and downtown Victoria www.clippervacations.com or 800-888-2535.
Washington State Ferries has a twice-daily vehicle/passenger ferry from Anacortes (about a two-hour drive north of Seattle), to Sidney, B.C, start of the Saalish Shores Discovery Trail. Vehicle reservations can be made for the 2 ½- to three-hour sailing. www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries or phone 888-808-7977 or 206-464-6400.
Black Ball /Coho ferry: This car and passenger ferry sails between Port Angeles on Washington's Olympic Peninsula and Victoria's downtown Inner Harbour. It’s a 1 ½-hour sailing; there are two to four sailings daily. Port Angeles is about three hours from Seattle (either by driving all the way via the Tacoma Narrows Bridge or taking the Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry). www.cohoferry.com or 360-457-4491.
Flights to Victoria International Airport
Victoria International Airport has daily direct flights to and from Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, as well as San Francisco, Seattle, and Phoenix.
Kenmore Air offers frequent float plane flights from Lake Union in downtown Seattle and from Kenmore at the north end of Lake Washington to Victoria's Inner Harbour. www.kenmoreair.com or 866-435-9524.
There's also conventional air service between Sea-Tac Airport and Victoria, including non-stops on Horizon Air.
Find directions on how to get to and from the airport, which is located near Sidney, BC: http://www.victoriaairport.com/to-and-from-yyj.
Regional TransitFoot passengers on the ferries or arrivals by air can take advantage of regional transit for connections to Sidney, Victoria, Sooke and other locations. http://www.bctransit.com/regions/vic/schedules/explore/ferries.cfm
You can use the handy tool on Google Maps - Directions to map your bus transit route. Try this link to see the bus from Victoria to Sidney: http://goo.gl/maps/vKUZc
TaxisTaxi services and taxi rates for the region can be found at these links:
Bluebird Taxis: http://www.taxicab.com/rates.html
Yellow Cab: http://www.empresstaxi.com/rates.htm
Victoria Taxi: http://victoriataxi.com/useful-pages/rates/