Whether you live on Vancouver Island or the mainland, ferries are a very important component. If you want to get from Victoria to Vancouver or vice versa, the major option is the ferry. For those who live on the Island or along BC’s coast, the water is often their main highway. They rely on it to get from Point A to Point B on a daily basis. As a result, they know the ferry schedule inside out.
Reservations and BC Ferries
To get to the mainland from Victoria and to Vancouver Island from the mainland, people rely on BC Ferries. This ferry service takes walk-on passengers as well as vehicles and cargo to their destinations. Various terminals or ports-of-call exist on the Island and the mainland. Those leaving Victoria for the mainland, however, sail from Schwartz Bay Terminal. While it is possible to get on the ferry without advance reservations, regular travelers do not recommend it. According to the professionals, you should make a reservation for a ferry trip from Victoria to Vancouver if:
- You plan on taking one during the summer months
- If you are hauling a boat trailer
- If you are pulling a camper
- If you are towing or driving an RV
- If you have cargo, including livestock
Check the ferry schedule before making your reservation and be sure to show up at the stated time to pick it up.
When you are ready to leave Vancouver Island, look ahead. Always, and I do mean ALWAYS, check the BC Ferry Schedule to make sure you have the right information for the voyage from Victoria to Vancouver. This is particularly important during inclement weather. Seasonal variations are also a possibility. On long holiday weekends, the company has more ferries plying the routes, but they also fill quickly. Make sure you have your ticket and arrive well ahead of departure to ensure you do get on the first ferry heading off the Island.