Vancouver Island is a stunningly beautiful island just an hour and a half away from Vancouver by ferry. You can depart from Tsawwassen to get to Victoria, or from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to get to Nanaimo. I was going to Parksville which is just 30 minutes from Nanaimo so it was a Horseshoe Bay Departure for me!
5 Things About BC Ferries:
*It’s the largest passenger ferry line in North America and the second largest in the world. Wow!
*BC Ferries has been around since 1960. Prior to that there was ferry service between Tsawwassen and Sidney but it was privately (not government) run.
* There was a big controversy when 3 new “Fast Ferries” were built only to have major problems (not to mention went WAY over budget) and eventually were sold at a huge loss for 19.4 million. It’s STILL something people bitch about.
* You can sometimes see porpoise, dolphin and orca playing in the waves. If any are spotted the crew make a big announcement about the sighting as it’s not all that common.
* The food is pretty good on the ferry. A Vancouver restaurant legend called White Spot (you either love it or hate it) runs the food service. After many years of sub-par food you can now get a decent cheeseburger, salmon dinner or mac or Pirate Pack for the kids. TIP– I always get the Spicy Chicken Crunch Burger, it’s only available in the ferry and it’s really good!