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Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria

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[OP]
Jr. Member
May 25, 2011
104 posts
27 upvotes

Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria

Hi, We are going to Vancouver and Victoria for a few days next month. We have 6 people in our party and will rent a car for our stay. The ferry ride back and forth for us is a big chunk, especially they charge both ways and cost for the car is more than $50 each way. Anybody had experience how to get a discount or better ways to get around? Any suggestions are appreciated.
19 replies
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
9280 posts
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strawberry00 wrote: Hi, We are going to Vancouver and Victoria for a few days next month. We have 6 people in our party and will rent a car for our stay. The ferry ride back and forth for us is a big chunk, especially they charge both ways and cost for the car is more than $50 each way. Anybody had experience how to get a discount or better ways to get around? Any suggestions are appreciated.
Unfortunately, there is no discount available for this route. The only thing is if any of the people are senior citizens they may qualify for a 50% discount. If you're 6 people in one car you would probably get your money's worth with the car. Otherwise, if you can find a way to do it without the car, you will pocket big change. You may want to board as foot passengers and then get a car rental on the Victoria side. That's what I would do.

Totally agree that B.C. Ferries are very expensive and the whole running and management of it has been a source of many debates over the years.
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 25, 2011
104 posts
27 upvotes
Thanks for the quick reply. We do have seniors, but on their website, to qualify the senior discount, that only applies to BC residents. Without the car to get to and out of the ferry to Vancouver still cost that much for 6 people. I will try to play around about renting a car in Victoria.
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2004
4976 posts
572 upvotes
Victoria
You can dump your rental at the Vancouver Airport and then take the bus to the ferry. Enterprise's rental car place is right across the street from where you take the bus to the ferry. The challenge will be on the other side. I guess you could take a cab to the airport from the swartz bay ferry terminal. Enterprise likely wouldn't pick you up from the ferry but maybe. With six people the cost savings might be minimal. BC stands for Bring Cash.
Jr. Member
Oct 19, 2010
171 posts
62 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
strawberry00 wrote: Hi, We are going to Vancouver and Victoria for a few days next month. We have 6 people in our party and will rent a car for our stay. The ferry ride back and forth for us is a big chunk, especially they charge both ways and cost for the car is more than $50 each way. Anybody had experience how to get a discount or better ways to get around? Any suggestions are appreciated.
Hi, the best thing I can suggest is to park at a place called "Park & Go" - a right on Tsawwassen Dr just before the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. It's $11 per day and they offer a free shuttle to the terminal and back.

Once you get to Victoria (Swartz Bay), I suggest taking the #70 bus route at the ferry terminal which is a express route to Downtown Victoria (I believe it leaves every hour) and it's only $2.25 a person.

Hope that helps!
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2004
4976 posts
572 upvotes
Victoria
sniper89 wrote: Hi, the best thing I can suggest is to park at a place called "Park & Go" - a right on Tsawwassen Dr just before the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. It's $11 per day and they offer a free shuttle to the terminal and back.

Once you get to Victoria (Swartz Bay), I suggest taking the #70 bus route at the ferry terminal which is a express route to Downtown Victoria (I believe it leaves every hour) and it's only $2.25 a person.

Hope that helps!
You won't see much of Victoria just using buses. I would drive personally but this is an option.
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2006
1888 posts
457 upvotes
IMHO, Victoria is a waste of money. Boring. The worst is the ferries sucking you dry. If going during long weekend, better have reservations.

Suggest to save the money and spend it in Vancouver, perhaps Whistler instead.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
36455 posts
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Ottawa
I guess the question is, what do you want to do and see in Victoria? If Buchart Gardens or tea at Empress Hotel and wandering inner harbour is a must see then you need to weigh the cost of car rental, ferry, parking versus a bus to Victoria for 4 (?). If driving around the perimeter of Victoria and seeing the sights is what you want to see, then a car and ferry is the only way.
A vacation and doing things at destination costs money...unfortunately.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
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doberman_baby wrote: IMHO, Victoria is a waste of money. Boring. The worst is the ferries sucking you dry. If going during long weekend, better have reservations.

Suggest to save the money and spend it in Vancouver, perhaps Whistler instead.
I disagree. I think Victoria is a beautiful city that is a bit unique compared to a lot of other Canadian cities. I do agree that the ferry prices are punitive but I think it is worth seeing and it is very touristy in the downtown area so one can enjoy what that feels like just by walking around the inner harbour and surrounding streets.
Deal Guru
Mar 14, 2005
13811 posts
2504 upvotes
Take the bus to and from the ferry terminal. That is the cheap way. Flying to Victoria via Harbour Air is like $100 per person, so boarding the ferry by car is actually cheap in comparison, though ferry is slow.
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 25, 2011
104 posts
27 upvotes
Thanks everyone for your input. We do have to go Victoria to visit a friend plus some sightseeing. So for now the most convenient way for us is still a car and ferry. At least we save the hotel for the few days we stay at the friend's house. And I do like Victoria the last time I went, that's why I'm bringing the family this time. I heard people in Victoria against building any other means of transportation for years to keep the way as is.
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Feb 19, 2010
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YYC
Victoria is pretty boring.. Went once, never again.. Ok maybe in 20yrs lol
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Oct 7, 2007
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Becks wrote: Take the bus to and from the ferry terminal. That is the cheap way. Flying to Victoria via Harbour Air is like $100 per person, so boarding the ferry by car is actually cheap in comparison, though ferry is slow.
A lot of people who don't ride the ferry very often enjoy the experience. It offers a bit of the getaway feeling, especially if you travel on one of the superferries which are a bit larger and more luxurious than the smaller ones. Personal preference, I suppose. For the OP, I believe you can check the schedule to find out in advance which ferries are used at the various times to find the boat you're most interested in riding.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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Ottawa
strawberry00 wrote: Thanks everyone for your input. We do have to go Victoria to visit a friend plus some sightseeing. So for now the most convenient way for us is still a car and ferry. At least we save the hotel for the few days we stay at the friend's house. And I do like Victoria the last time I went, that's why I'm bringing the family this time. I heard people in Victoria against building any other means of transportation for years to keep the way as is.
I think that there is always discussions of bridges but really, it is a loooong way an djust cannot be engineered.
Importz wrote: Victoria is pretty boring.. Went once, never again.. Ok maybe in 20yrs lol
Victoria has for decades been known as a place for newly weds and nearly deads but it has grown up. It is a very nice city with many things to do.
Having said that, there are people that don't like anything, not matter where they go.
Newbie
Jun 16, 2010
72 posts
17 upvotes
I live in Victoria.

One option is to park your car at the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen and walk on the ferry without a car. Parking will cost you $10 to $15 for the day. I do this all the time when I'm going in the other direction... Victoria to Vancouver.
Member
Jun 15, 2009
242 posts
75 upvotes
Victoria
Bottom line, if you want a car, the price is what it is, there is no discount. I have family that come from different parts of the country to Victoria and they all love the ferry ride. View it as part of the experience instead of a means of getting from point A to point B. The kids love it. Try to go on a sunny day, not at 9pm, and sit on the outside decks and enjoy the views. I've seen whales, seals, large ships, and once you go thru the gulf islands you see sailboats, beautiful houses on the islands, etc. I paid $100 for my family to take a one hour boat ride in vancouver and we saw container ships, a chemical plant and seagulls. The Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry is gorgeous and luxury in comparison!!

Enjoy the journey.
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2004
4976 posts
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Victoria
It's worthwhile doing the buffet too if you go during lunch or dinner. It's not a 5 star experience to say the least but it's not bad for the money and there's an awesome view! You can stay in the buffet for the whole trip too if you want.
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Apr 1, 2006
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Grew up on Vancouver Island. Rarely any discounts on BC Ferries and when there are, they are at inconvenient times or dates and you'll just be surprised by the discount. Ferries' costs are really controversial in BC.

Buffet is worth it if you're a visitor but most islanders avoid buying anything on the ferry because of the high costs of everything.
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Feb 9, 2003
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The ferries are full of cars. If there was a cheaper way with similar convenience, the locals would do that. There isn't. Some people just walk on and have family p/u on the other side, but most people don't get that option. My wife's sister lived on Saltspring/Comox until last year, so that was what we did most of the time. But overall, $50 isn't that much in the grand scheme, having a car is worth that. Victoria is a nice place to spend a couple days, visiting the Leg and the museum. But only you can decide if it's worth the $200 or so that it will take to get everyone there and back.
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Oct 7, 2007
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Truemana wrote: Grew up on Vancouver Island. Rarely any discounts on BC Ferries and when there are, they are at inconvenient times or dates and you'll just be surprised by the discount. Ferries' costs are really controversial in BC.

Buffet is worth it if you're a visitor but most islanders avoid buying anything on the ferry because of the high costs of everything.
There is something disproportionately wrong with the BC government and its crown corporations. Our government has a serious cash spending problem (not sure where the cash is really ending up...I think if you could follow the money, you might learn some interesting stuff along the way) and also a serious ethics problem. They are constantly railroading expensive illogical projects through at the expense of the taxpayer and the unions here also push the operating costs up for all of these entities. The result is that BC becomes an expensive place to live all the way around from turning your lights on to taking transit. The people here have tried to voice their concerns through two referendums on the HST and the more recent Translink tax but when I hear government officials speak they are so deluded and NPD as they think the public is stupid and that they didn't do enough marketing to say whatever they needed to say to win public support. I have some serious concerns about where all this is going as we can't afford what we are running right now and many of our lead government officials are spending so much money without real purpose or need that we're heading down a pathway to Greece. Then we'll have to cough up even more to keep alive.

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