There are two ferries of interest to people in the Lower mainland: the ones to
the Island (ie Victoria), and the ones crossing the Fraser River.
Fraser River Ferry
There are bridges connecting New Westminster & Surrey, Mission & Chilliwack and at Hope. There is a small ferry that connects Fort Langley on the south shore with Albion (Pitt Meadows) on the north. Service is on two 150 passenger, 24-car capacity ferries, and provided free of charge for users. Albion Ferries operate daily, between 5:00 am and 1:30 am, at approximately fifteen minute intervals during the day and half hour intervals during the early mornings and evenings. The crossing time is 10 minutes.
BC Ferries operates a fleet of 40 ferries on 26 different coastal routes. These ferries are run by the Province of British Columbia as extension of the provincial highway network.
From Vancouver, there are two key ferry terminals: Tsawwassen (38 km south of Vancouver) and Horseshoe Bay (west end of Highway 1 via West Vancouver). From Tsawwassen, you can connect to Swartz Bay (for Victoria), Duke Point (for Nanaimo) and the Gulf Islands. Horseshoe Bay connects you to Duke Point/Nanaimo, Bowen Island and the Sunshine Coast. From there, you can connect to the northern Gulf Islands, the North Coast, and to north Vancouver Island. Ferry routes generally run a more frequent schedule during the busy summer months.
Services on ferries is on a first-come-first-served basis. For some routes, you can phone ahead and get Assured Loading Tickets to ensure boarding for a particular sailing (the $15 fee is non-refundable).
The crossing between Vancouver Island and the Mainland typically takes 90 to 120 minutes. Trips between Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast are shorter. The new faster PacifiCat ferries shorten the trip on some routes to under an hour. We have more information about Ferries on FoundLocally's Victoria site.
Consider getting a CirclPac discount package that can save vacationers money on a 4-route trip (Mainland to Island to & from a Gulf Island and return).
Call BC Ferries for pricing and schedules 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-233-3779) and in Victoria (250) 386-3431.