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-- Ferry Information -- BC Ferries -- Blackball Ferry -- Washington State Ferries -- Other Ferries --
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FERRY INFORMATION

Although it is possible to fly to Vancouver Island, the most pleasant and scenic way (and the only way if you are driving) is to use a ferry. Most of the ferries serve food and have a variety of amenities, in addition to the opportunity to view great scenery and sometimes see pods of whales or other marine life as well.  There are three main ferry systems that connect to the Island. BC Ferries has a variety of routes between the Mainland of BC and Vancouver Island, and the Blackball Ferry and Washington State Ferries run a couple of select routes between Washington and Victoria, BC.

IF YOU ARE COMING FROM BC OR THE STATES...


 The most direct route to Nanaimo from Greater Vancouver is to take  the ferry either from Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) to Departure Bay (Nanaimo) OR from Tsawwassen (south of Vancouver) to Duke Point (south of Nanaimo). Crossing times varies between
1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours. Most of these ferries are quite large and usually include a cafeteria, lounges, gift shop, video arcade and children's play area. Some of the newest ferries include an area for dogs as well.

If you have a few extra hours or days, consider taking one of the other routes allowing you to explore more of the West Coast of Canada and Vancouver Island.

- taking the ferry from Tsawwassen to Victoria and exploring Victoria and southern Vancouver Island before heading up to Nanaimo

-taking the ferry from Tsawwassen to the Gulf Islands and then continuing up to Nanaimo (make sure you have route connections through the Gulf Islands)

-taking the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, driving up the Sunshine Coast, (one more ferry) taking the ferry from Westview (Powell River) to Comox and then either taking in the Comox Valley Kennel Club show, or using the Comox Valley as a basis to explore the central and northern Vancouver Island.

When coming from the mainland to Vancouver Island via car, it is recommended that you make reservations with BC Ferries at least 2 weeks ahead of your scheduled crossing.  The need for reservations on these routes varies...there are times when you can drive right on with minimal waits and other times that you may be facing a 4-6 hour wait. If you want to make sure you get the sailing you are planning...make a reservation. If you have time for an adventure...take your chances, save some money, and enjoy the experience!

In order to claim your reservation you MUST be at the ferry terminal 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time (NO EXCEPTIONS!)

IF YOU ARE COMING FROM THE STATES...

BLACKBALL TRANSPORT 

    For those coming from the States, this is an alternate route to consider. The time of the crossing is about 1 1/2 hours. However there are fewer crossings and it is a smaller ferry than the ones run by BC Ferries, so reservations are  almost always needed.  In order to clear customs, passengers must be at the ferry terminal at least 1 hour ahead to come into Canada, and 1 1/2 hours ahead going back to the States.

WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES

There is a once a day run between Anacortes and Syndey, BC (Victoria). This is approximatley a 2-3 hour cruise and operates during the spring, summer and fall. Reservations are recommended.

OTHER FERRY OPTIONS

Other ferry options available to those coming from the States and that are "passenger only ferries" include the:  Victoria Clipper, Victoria Express and Victoria/San Juan Cruises.


If you have any questions please contact
fcrsc2009@shaw.ca






Picture of BC Ferry












BORDER CROSSING INFO

To enter Canada from the States US Citizens must show proof of identity; however. as of June 1, 2009, to enter back into the United States, all US Citizens age 16 or older must have a valid Passport or Approved Secure Travel Document.

This is VERY IMPORTANT!

Please also note information in regards to bringing minor children across the border.

For more information go to:
Hello BC: US Passport Information

Please be aware that all dogs must have a valid rabies certificate to cross the border.

For more information go to:
Hello BC: Key Travel Information


























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