• Menu
  • Menu
A girl enjoys the views on the Vancouver to Victoria ferry

Vancouver to Victoria Ferry Guide: Schedules & Prices (2024)

If you’re a first-time traveller to Vancouver Island or a tourist looking to explore the beauty of BC, then taking the Vancouver to Victoria ferry is an absolute must.

This journey will take you across the Salish Sea, and provide you with breathtaking views of the surrounding islands and mountains.

Planning your first ferry trip can be daunting though, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the process – so here’s a quick guide to taking the Vancouver to Victoria ferry.

The Vancouver to Victoria Ferry

As a local, I can tell you that one of the best ways (heck, it’s one of the few ways) to get here is by taking the ferry from Vancouver.

Not only is it a scenic and enjoyable journey, but it also provides a unique perspective of the beautiful British Columbia coastline.

The ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay is the preferred method of transportation from the Lower Mainland for most local residents.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty so you can start ticking off the best things to do in Victoria.


The Victoria Ferry from Vancouver

The ferry to Victoria is a scenic 90-minute journey that departs from Tsawwassen Terminal, about 45 minutes south of downtown Vancouver – depending on traffic.

Once you reach the island, you’ll pull into the dock at Swartz Bay, which is another 40 minutes from Victoria’s city centre.

As you can see, both of these terminals are located quite far from their respective cities.

This is one of our best ways to get to Victoria from Vancouver, though it can definitely be a bit daunting without a car.

If you’re visiting Vancouver without a car, there’s no need to worry – the Vancouver to Victoria bus (more on that later) has got you covered.

It’s a smooth ride from downtown to downtown, and they even include your ferry fare in the ticket price.

Vancouver to Victoria Ferry Prices (One Way)

Below, you’ll find the newly updated Vancouver to Victoria ferry fares as of April 2023:


  • Adult (12+) – $18.50
  • Children (5-11) – $9.25
  • Infants (0-4) – Free


  • Standard Vehicle (up to 6.1 meters ) – $63.85
  • Extra Length (per foot) – $7.25
  • Motorcycle – $31.95

BC Ferry Saver Fares

New saver fares are available on select savings. These fares are only available when pre-booking sailings that tend to be outside of peak hours.

  • You must pay in full when you book in advance. Saver fares are not available for purchase at the terminal.
  • These fares can range from $49-$79 for a car + 1 driver, so they can be a great way to save a bit of coin.

To learn more, visit the BC Ferries routes and fares page.

How to Get from Vancouver to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal

Option A: By Car

If you have a car, driving from downtown Vancouver to Tsawwassen Terminal is fairly straightforward.

But getting to the highway can be a tad tricky, so simply follow these steps:

  1. Head south on Granville St towards W 41st Avenue.
  2. Take a left onto W 41st. After 2 min, you’ll need to take a right onto Oak Street.
  3. Continue on towards the Oak Street Bridge.
  4. Follow Oak South and then keep left to continue onto BC-99 S after 70th Avenue.
  5. Take exit 28 towards BC-17 N/Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.
  6. Merge onto BC-17 N.
  7. Follow the signs to Tsawwassen Terminal.

I kept the directions brief since I know you’re smart enough to hit up Google Maps for custom directions from your hotel.

Option B: The Vancouver to Victoria Bus

Finding your way to Victoria from Vancouver without a car can be a little more difficult – especially if it’s your first time.

So, assuming you don’t want to waste half a day roughing it on public transit, the Vancouver to Victoria bus/ferry combo ticket is the only way to go for those on a budget.

  1. Visit Viator to book your Victoria ferry/bus ticket online in advance.
  2. Make your way to Pacific Central Station just outside downtown Vancouver on the Skytrain’s Expo Line.
  3. Ensure you’re there 20 mins prior to departure, and show the driver your smartphone ticket to board.
  4. That’s it! You’re fare for the crossing is included, and the bus will take you right to Capital City Station in downtown Victoria.


Looking for a place to stay once you’re off the boat? Check out our list of the best Victoria hotels and Victoria hostels for accommodation at every price point.

Vancouver to Victoria Ferry Procedures

if you’re planning on taking the BC Ferry from Tsawwassen Terminal to Victoria, I’m sure you’re wondering about the boarding process.

Don’t worry, my friend; I’ve got you covered!

It’s important to note that you can make a reservation and pre-book your sailing on the BC Ferries reservation page.

While not absolutely necessary, this will ensure you don’t wind up with a dreaded 1 or 2 sailings wait on holidays or long weekends.

  • First off, make sure you arrive at the terminal 30-60 minutes before your scheduled departure time.
  • Remember, if you’ve got a reservation, it will be forfeited if you arrive before or after this window.
  • If you don’t book the Vancouver to Victoria ferry ahead of time, travel is based on your order of arrival at the terminal.
  • After you pass through the ticket booth, you’ll be assigned to a lane to park your vehicle. If you’ve got time, there is an assortment of cafes, fast food restaurants and souvenir shops inside the terminal. Just be sure to pay attention to the announcements; you don’t want to miss the boat!
  • Once your ferry arrives, you’ll be called back to your vehicle. Follow the instructions over the loudspeaker, and ferry attendants will direct you when to start boarding.
  • That’s it; you’re free to shut off your vehicle, walk upstairs and enjoy the sailing.

Related: Best Things to Do in Victoria in Summer

How to Get from Swartz Bay Terminal to Victoria


Option A – By Car

  1. Exit Swartz Bay Terminal, follow the signs towards Victoria and merge onto Highway 17 South.
  2. Continue on Highway 17 South for approximately 25 kilometres.
  3. The highway will turn into Blanshard Street when you reach Victoria; continue south for another 5 kilometres.
  4. You have arrived in downtown Victoria!

The journey should take 35-40 minutes. Again, be sure to check out Google Maps for custom directions to your place of lodging.

Option B – By Bus

  1. Easy-peasy, after enjoying the ferry ride, you’ll hop back aboard your coach for the trip to Capital City Station.
  2. The station is located in the heart of downtown, within walking distance of many hotels. Unfortunately, Victoria still doesn’t have Uber or Lyft! But don’t worry; it shouldn’t be hard to swing a cab if need be.


✈️ Looking to get to Victoria straight from YVR? Check out our guide on the Victoria to Vancouver Airport Bus.

Vancouver to Victoria Ferry Tips

I know time is of the essence, so before we get going, I’ll leave you with a few quick tips before you board the Vancouver to Victoria ferry:

  • Make a reservation in advance to ensure you get a spot on the ferry. This is imperative if travelling on long weekends or holidays.
  • Arrive at the terminal 30-60 minutes before your scheduled departure time if you’ve booked ahead, no sooner, no later.
  • If possible, avoid travelling during peak hours, in particular on long weekends. Without a reservation, it is quite common to face 2-3 sailing waits, resulting in hours spent on the tarmac. Trust me, I’ve been there; it isn’t fun.
  • Book a ticket for the Vancouver to Victoria bus if you don’t have a car. It makes this otherwise complicated trip a virtual breeze, and your ferry ticket is even included!
  • Dress in layers and bring a jacket, as it can get chilly out on the deck for those looking to take full advantage of the views.
  • Grab a White Spot burger from the cafe once you’re aboard. This local institution is a throwback to the youth of almost every British Columbian.
  • Bring a book, some music or a deck of cards to pass the time. Unfortunately, there is no wifi onboard, so you’ve gotta kill time the old-fashioned way!
  • Take advantage of the stunning views from the ferry and keep an eye out for wildlife, such as orcas, porpoises and bald eagles.
  • If you’re prone to motion sickness, consider taking medication before boarding the ferry.
  • Follow the instructions of the crew members during the boarding and disembarking process.

Looking for a quicker alternative? The Vancouver to Victoria seaplane can get you from Coal Harbour to the Inner Harbour in less than 30 minutes!


Victoria Ferry from Vancouver FAQs

Where does the Vancouver to Victoria Ferry depart from?

The ferry to Victoria departs from Tsawwassen Terminal, in the suburb of Tsawwassen, about 45 minutes South of downtown Vancouver. Though typically reached by car, the terminal can also be reached via public transit or the BC Ferries Connector bus from Pacific Central Station.

Where is the Victoria Ferry Terminal located?

The Victoria Ferry from Vancouver lands at Swartz Bay Terminal in the suburb of Sidney. The terminal is about a 35-40 minute drive from Victoria’s city centre. It can also be reached by public transport, taxi, and the BC Ferries Connector bus.

How long does the ferry ride to Victoria take?

The ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay takes approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes. But keep in mind that you’ll need to arrive 30-60 minutes ahead of time. And the rides to Tsawwassen and into Victoria from Swartz Bay take roughly 40 minutes apiece. So give yourself plenty of time!

How much does the Vancouver to Victoria ferry cost?

The cost of the ferry varies slightly depending on the season and whether or not you’re bringing a vehicle. Generally, one-way fares for foot passengers in high season start at around $18.50 CAD for adults (12+) and $9.25 for children. A standard-sized vehicle costs $63.85, with motorcycles coming in at $31.95.

What amenities are available on the Vancouver to Victoria ferry?

The ferry offers a variety of amenities, including restaurants, coffee shops, seating areas, and even a gift shop.

Is there wifi available onboard?

Unfortunately, wifi is not available onboard BC Ferries at this time. After a brief pilot project a number of years ago, the service was determined to be too spotty. But we hope that someday this will change, so we’ll keep you updated!


Looking for Vancouver to Victoria Ferry Tickets?

Congratulations, you’ve successfully completed your first Vancouver to Victoria ferry journey from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay!

I hope that this conclusive guide has provided you with all the information you need to plan and enjoy your trip to Vancouver Island.

Remember to book your ferry ticket in advance, arrive early, and take plenty of photos along the way.

Wishing you all the best with your Victoria ferry ride from Vancouver ⛴️

Related: Best Victoria Sightseeing Tours

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights