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Getting To Vancouver Island BC

Determine Your Starting Point: First, you'll need to determine your starting location. Most travelers arrive from the city of Vancouver, which is located on the mainland. However, you may be traveling from other parts of British Columbia or Canada, or internationally.

Choose Your Mode of Transportation

BC Ferry 

The most common way to get to Vancouver Island from the mainland is by taking a ferry. There are several ferry routes to Vancouver Island. The primary ones are:

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (Victoria)

 This route connects Tsawwassen, which is south of Vancouver, to Swartz Bay, just north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. It's a popular choice for those heading to Victoria.

Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay (Nanaimo)

 This route connects Horseshoe Bay, which is north of Vancouver, to Departure Bay in Nanaimo. It's a good option if you're heading to Nanaimo or other parts of the central island.

Tsawwassen to Duke Point (Nanaimo)

 This route connects Tsawwassen to Duke Point in Nanaimo, which is south of Departure Bay.

Air Travel 

You can also fly to Vancouver Island. The largest airport on the island is Victoria International Airport (YYJ) Nanaimo (YCD) and Comox (YQQ) also have airports. You can book flights from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) or other major Canadian airports to these destinations.

Seaplane or Helicopter

 Several seaplane and helicopter services offer flights between downtown Vancouver and Vancouver Island, typically to Victoria and Nanaimo. This is a quick and scenic option.

BC Ferry Sailing
BC Ferry Sailing in the ocean
Harbour Sea Plane sitting at the dock

Bus and Car

You can take a bus to one of the ferry terminals and then drive your own vehicle onto the ferry. BC Ferries is the ferry service provider, and they have terminals in several locations. This option provides flexibility for exploring the island with your vehicle.


For the more adventurous, you can also bring your bicycle and ride onto the ferry.


Some cruise ships include Vancouver Island as a port of call, and you can explore parts of the island during a cruise visit.

Book Your Transportation: Once you've decided on your mode of transportation, you'll need to book your tickets or make reservations. This is especially important during peak travel times.

Check Schedules 

Make sure to check the ferry schedules or flight times to coordinate your travel plans. Consider factors like departure times, travel duration, and any connecting transportation you may need.

Travel Preparation Ensure you have all necessary travel documents, such as identification, passports, or visas if applicable. Be aware of COVID-19 restrictions or requirements that may be in place at the time of travel.

Vancouver Island is a beautiful destination with a lot to offer, from stunning natural landscapes to vibrant cities. Enjoy your journey to this part of British Columbia!

Accommodations....always book ahead

inner harbour Victoria bc
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