Wednesday, March 08, 2006

How to get to Victoria, British Columbia

"Ahhhhhhhhhh, Victoria, Victoria, Victoria!" Love ya, baby!
Victoria is an amazing city. Romantic, beautiful, charming, and quaint. It's worth the trip. The big attraction is Butchart Gardens, but there is much more to experience. The City of Victoria's web site does a pretty good job of providing the information that you'll need for your trip. Let me break down your travel options.

1) The Victoria Clipper. This high speed hydrofoil will take you from downtown Seattle to Victoria in about 2 hour and 45 minutes. It costs just over $100/person for a round trip ticket. It will drop you off right downtown in the harbor. From there, it's easy to get a bus to Butchart Gardens or wherever you need to go. The downtown area is small and very walkable. Coffee shops, restaurants and shopping options abound. I'd really recommend staying overnight if you can. The round trip is nearly six hours out of your day.

2) Sea Plane. No way around it, this is the most fun way to get there.
Kenmore Air flies out of Lake Union (in Seattle). I haven't flown into Victoria with them, but I took a flight to Orcas Island once and it was awesome! It looks like the flight time is just under an hour. Their prices vary quite a bit depending on season and availability. I saw a one-way price of $80, but have no idea if that's realistic in the summer. However, I will guarentee amazing views of the San Juan Islands, The Olympic Mountains, Mt. Baker and possibly a pod of Orcas. This is a sweet way to make the trek!

3) Ferry Crossing at Port Angeles. This is a nice option as well. It's also quite a bit less expensive. The Victoria Express foot ferry makes the crossing in just under 3 hours for $12.50 one-way. If you want to take your car, The MV Coho is your ride. They charge $40 each way for a five hour crossing. In my opinion, it's not really worth it to bring your car unless you are planning on traveling outside of the Victoria area. I absolutely recommend this if you have time. Vancouver Island is absolutely amazing. To all ferry travelers... Show up/call early!!! These tickets sell out. It's absolutely worth is to make a reservation in advance.


mazter said...

Don't miss Burchart Garden when you vist Victoria. We had only 1.5 hour to visit the garden when our cruise ship stopped in Victoria. If you visit the Garden, make sure you have 2 or 3 hours

Pat said...

I was reviewing you comments on the Victoria Express ferry crossing to Victoria from Port Angeles, WA. It takes 45 minutes to cross not 3 hours.

It take 1.25 hours to cross on the Coho ferry. Could you correct this because it truly is wrong.

Pat from the Olympic Peninsula

Big Ed said...

As far as the time it takes to cross from Port Angeles to Victoria, my experience is that it takes quite a bit longer to cross than 45 minutes to cross. However, I hope that I'm wrong. If there's a way to cross in that amount of time, I'm all for it. What's the fery company? Is it passenger only or is it an auto ferry that makes the crossing that fast? It would be sweet to cross in so little time. Happy to post the ferry company that makes the crossing that quickly. Both times I crossed it took a little over 3 hours on the auto ferry.

Big Ed said...

Mazter is totally right in regards to the time it takes to fully enjoy Buschard Gardens. A lot of people try to visit Victoria in a single day. I think an overnight makes it much more enjoyable. Visit the gardens, downtown, and the many shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. It's a cool place to check out.

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