You can make your way to the Island by air or by boat – sorry no bridges. Fly in by floatplane to the Inner Harbour or to Victoria International Airport (YYJ). From Vancouver International Airport (YVR), either rent a vehicle or board a bus and come by boat with BC Ferries. Foot passengers can also make their way to the Island via the Victoria Clipper from Seattle, or by foot or vehicle aboard the Black Ball Ferry from Port Angeles.
Getting to Victoria from Vancouver by BC Ferries (Car, Foot or Bus)
Taking public transit from the airport to the ferries at Tsawassen is easy via Skytrain (Canada Line Station at YVR) and bus, involving only one transfer from Skytrain to the #620 bus at Bridgeport Station. Depending on when you travel, this trip is a bargain for $9 or less. From Swartz Bay, take the BC Transit #70X – Swartz Bay/Downtown Express bus to the hotel district in downtown Victoria and the turn-around point at Government and Superior Streets. The fare for this trip is a bargain at only $2.50 for adults.
Getting to Victoria is possible year-round on the Pacific Coach Lines (PCL) express bus from YVR (or the cruise ship terminal at Canada Place Pier and Ballantyne Pier) to Victoria.
Plan to get to the ferries early as wait times can be several hours during the busy summertime months. Alternatively you can make a reservation for an extra fee that requires you to be at the terminal a half hour before sailing.
Getting to Victoria from Seattle on the Victoria Clipper
Clipper Vacations operates a year-round high-speed passenger catamaran service between downtown Seattle and downtown Victoria. Transportation from SeaTac Airport can be done inexpensively using Sound Transit Light Rail and a five minute taxi ride. The trip to Victoria takes approximately three hours at speeds up to thirty knots.
Getting to Victoria from Port Angeles, Washington on the Black Ball Ferry Line
For almost fifty years, the M.V. Coho has been sailing between Port Angeles and Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Passenger capacity is 1000 but vehicle capacity is only 115, so make sure to either reserve or get there early if bringing a vehicle over. Winter sailings are two per day and up to four on peak summer days.
Getting to Victoria from the San Juan Islands aboard Washington State Ferries
Washington State Ferries operates a route from Anacortes through the San Juan Islands to Sidney on the Saanich Peninsula. From Sidney, it is a half hour drive into Victoria. This service is available to Sidney from roughly the end of March to the end of September. Check the online schedule for exact dates.
Sidney-Anacortes | Schedules | Reservations | 1-888-808-7977 or 1-206-464-6400
Recreational Boaters travelling to Victoria
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority operates four marinas providing moorage in Victoria Harbour. In addition, there are several nearby marinas including Oak Bay Marina and the Royal Victoria Yacht Club for those with reciprocal privileges.
Getting to Victoria by Air via Victoria International Airport
Victoria International Airport (YYJ) is the main hub for arriving by air. Direct flights from the U.S.A. are available on Alaska Airlines from Seattle and United Airlines from San Francisco. Seasonal direct flights are available from Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Honolulu. Numerous Canadian direct daily flights arrive from Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton aboard Air Canada, West Jet, Pacific Coastal, Horizon Air and others.
Public transit is available to take you to Victoria, as is the YYJ Airport Shuttle that leaves every hour.
Flying into Victoria’s Inner Harbour by Floatplane
Floatplane service is available to the Inner Harbour from Vancouver via Harbour Air ( the former Westcoast Air is now Harbour Air) with local air tours leaving from the Hyack Air Floatplane Terminal. Service from Seattle is available three times daily via Kenmore Air. Chopper in from Vancouver aboard Helijet Airways scheduled service from either YVR or Vancouver Harbour to Victoria’s Ogden Point just outside the downtown core.
Whichever way you decide to fly, especially with the floatplane and helicopter service, check the weight allowances carefully with the company or booking agent.
Getting to Victoria by Bus
Pacific Coach Lines operates a daily scheduled service between Victoria and Vancouver. You can board the bus at the downtown bus terminals in Vancouver and Victoria, at YVR or the downtown Vancouver cruise ship terminal. Taxis are available upon arrival at the bus terminal, and some downtown hotels offer free shuttle service.
Greyhound Canada provides transportation between various Vancouver Island communities but does not service Vancouver to Victoria.
Car Rental agencies in Victoria
Car rental is the best solution if you will be visiting Victoria and surrounding area for any length of time. Car rental agencies including National/Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise and others are located at the airports, (YYJ, YVR) and all have locations within or close to downtown Victoria.