Ferry & Water Taxi
With all the water surrounding the Vancouver region it is no wonder that ferries and all manner of boats are an indispensable part of life on the West Coast of BC. Whether commuting back and forth to Vancouver Island or the Sunshine Coast, or connecting quickly to North Vancouver from downtown, or simply taking a fun alternative commute between the False Creek communities in Vancouver, or the Victoria Inner Harbour, the experience is pleasurable and scenic.
With a crossing time of about 12 minutes, the SeaBus in Vancouver is one of the quickest ways of getting back and forth between the Waterfront Station downtown to Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. This passenger-only ferry can accommodate up to 400 travellers and crosses the Burrard Inlet every 15 to 30 minutes depending whether it is rush hour for those commuting to or from work.
In Vancouver, fun trips with False Creek Ferries or Aquabus along False Creek shoreline allow you to travel to and see various points of interest from these small popular ferries. Shuttle destinations include Granville Island, Yaletown, Science World, and to about five other docks and several more routes of interest. The English Bay Launch offer water taxi services to Bowen Island.
In Victoria, the cute and fun small ferry sail onboard the Victoria Harbour Ferry provide a hop on hop off tour and ‘taxi’ service around the harbour.
With year-round scheduled vehicle services and hourly departures during peak seasons on major routes, British Columbia Ferry Services or ‘BC Ferries’ as more commonly referenced is an important mode of travel to the islands and other destinations along the West Coast where getting there by water or by air are the only options available. From Vancouver there are a number of routes primarily from either the Tsawwassen terminal in Delta (about a 45 minute drive from downtown Vancouver), or Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver (about a 25 minute drive from downtown Vancouver). The crossing time between Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (Victoria) is 1.5 hours, and between Horseshoe Bay to Langdale (Lower Sunshine Coast) 40 minutes.
While most of the main routes provide daily sailings, smaller community destinations may be subject to limited schedules. Generally, peak times and holiday seasons include services with additional sailings to facilitate increase in passengers and vehicles. Unless otherwise indicated by BC Ferries majority of their scheduled routes accommodate vehicles.
For up-to-date schedules and sailing information contact BC Ferry services toll free within North America at: 1-888-223-3779.
Main sailings and ferry terminals between the Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast include:
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and Victoria (Swartz Bay)
- Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and Nanaimo (Duke Point)
- West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) and Nanaimo (Departure Bay)
- Powell River (Westview) and Comox (Little River)
- West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) and Lower Sunshine Coast (Langdale)
- Sechelt Peninsula (Earls Cove) and Powell River (Saltery Bay)
- Bowen Island (Snug Cove) and West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay)
Additional sailing and ferry services include the Southern Gulf Islands, Northern Gulf Islands, Gambier Island and Keats Island, the Discovery Coast Passage the Inside Passage, Mid Coast, Bella Coola and Haida Gwaii.
Ferries and Water Taxis
|Aquabus Ferries||(604) 689 5858|
|BC Ferries||(250) 381 1401|
|English Bay Launch||(604) 484 8497|
|False Creek Ferries||(604) 684 7781|
|TransLink SeaBus||(604) 953 3333|
Photo credit: BC Ferries courtesy Tourism BC, Andrea Johnson
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