Where Do You Catch the Ferry in Vancouver?
You can catch the ferry in Vancouver’s two main ferry terminals located in Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay.
The Province of British Columbia operates these ferries as an extension of the provincial highway network, with a fleet of 40 ferries on 26 separate coastal routes serving 42 ports.
Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
|DISTANCE FROM VANCOUVER||38 km south of Vancouver|
|ADDRESS||1 Ferry Causeway, Delta, BC V4M 4G6, Canada|
|FERRY RATES||CAD 9 - 18|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: 1-888-223-3779|
|WHERE TO BOOK TICKETS||https://www.bcferries.com/book-sailings|
Tsawwassen Terminal, also called Swartz Bay, is at the southwest end of Highway 17 in Delta. It’s about 36 kilometers (about an hour’s drive) from downtown Vancouver.
This terminal is part of the BC Ferries system. It’s the largest ferry terminal on the continent and has routes to Victoria, Nanaimo, and the Southern Gulf Islands.
This terminal differs from its counterpart in that it’s larger and offers a greater selection of food vendors and retail options.
If you need to kill some time, you should visit the Tsawwassen Quay Market. This 15,000-square-foot facility houses over 20 vendors selling a wide range of products. There are clothing stores, bakeries, pizza restaurants, and even Japanese restaurants at the Tsawwassen Quay Market.
The Tsawwassen terminal serves as BC Ferries’ hub. It’s possible to sail to both Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island from this port.
There are further routes to Salt Spring, Pender, Mayne, Galiano, and Saturna in the southern Gulf Islands. In the table below, we’ve listed the rates for the ferry routes of the Tsawwassen terminal:
|Victoria and Nanaimo||Southern Gulf Islands|
|Adult (12+)||CAD 17.60||CAD 18.10|
|Children (5-11)||CAD 8.80||CAD 9.05|
|Standard Vehicles||CAD 60.85||CAD 68.55|
|Vehicles longer than 20 feet||CAD 60.85 (additional CAD 1.80 - 6.75 per additional foot)||CAD 68.55 (additional CAD 1.80 - 6.75 per additional foot)|
|Students||CAD 4.50 - 9||FREE|
|Seniors||CAD 4.50 - 9||CAD 2.95 - 6|
|Children ages 5 and younger||FREE||FREE|
Horseshoe Bay terminal
|DISTANCE FROM VANCOUVER||21.5 km west of Vancouver|
|ADDRESS||6750 Keith Rd, West Vancouver, BC V7W 2V1, Canada|
|FERRY RATES||CAD 7.15 - 14.30|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: +1 888-223-3779|
|WHERE TO BOOK TICKETS||https://www.bcferries.com/book-sailings|
The Horseshoe Bay terminal is near the western endpoint of the Trans-Canada Highway. It provides sailings to Nanaimo, Bowen Island, and the Sunshine Coast and is a 25-minute drive from downtown Vancouver.
Horseshoe Bay is the start of the scenic Sea to Sky highway, which connects Metro Vancouver to Whistler.
Horseshoe Bay is a charming seaside area. The pier is lined by a variety of local and chain eateries and shops. You may also stroll around Horseshoe Bay park while you wait for the ferry.
Horseshoe Bay park is next to the ferry terminal and offers unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains and ferries. There are also numerous benches and paved walks throughout the park.
You may also visit the village of Horseshoe Bay, which features a variety of restaurants and coffee shops or watch the boats going in and out of the harbor.
The Horseshoe Bay terminal has ferry routes to Nanaimo, Sunshine Coast, and Bowen Island. Check out the table below for ferry rates and how much it will cost to board your vehicles:
|Nanaimo||Sunshine Coast (Langdale)||Bowen Island|
|Adult (12+)||CAD 18||CAD 14.30||CAD 10.95|
|Children (5-11)||CAD 9||CAD 7.15||CAD 5.45|
|Standard Vehicles||CAD 62||CAD 49||CAD 31|
|Vehicles longer than 20 feet||CAD 62 (additional CAD 7.05 per additional foot)||CAD 49 (additional CAD 6.35 per additional foot)||CAD 31 (additional CAD 3.20 per additional foot)|
|Students||CAD 4.50 - 9||CAD 3.60 - 7.15||FREE|
|Seniors||CAD 4.50 - 9||CAD 3.60 - 7.15||CAD 2.65 - 5.45|
|Children ages 5 and younger||FREE||FREE||FREE|
Are There Ferries in Vancouver That Are Free?
All of British Columbia’s inland ferries are free of charge. These ferries operate under private contracts with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
The provincial ministry of transportation and highways runs a small fleet of inland ferries to connect highways that don’t have bridges.
In total, there are over 14 ferry terminals where you can travel for free. This includes Adam’s Lake, Arrow Park, Barnston, Big Bar, and many more.
For more information on schedule, crossing time, passenger and vehicle capacity, and many more, check out British Columbia’s website.
Can You Pay BC Ferries with Cash?
BC ferries accept cash payments at their terminal ticket booths. They also accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and BC Ferries Experience™ Card.
For more detailed information on ferry fares for Tsawwassen and Horseshoe bay terminal, check out BC Ferries’ fare index.
The BC Ferries Experience™ Card
The BC Ferries Experience™ Card is an electronic swipe card that customers can use to pay for ferries on a number of coastal routes.
This card helps you get the best possible savings as it gives you access to cheaper prepaid fares. On average you can save around CAD 2 – 4 for passengers and CAD 11 on automobiles.
You can load funds onto your BC Ferries Experience™ Card online, by phone through the BC Ferries Customer Service Centre, or in person at select BC Ferries Terminal Administration Offices and Ticket Booths.
How to Get a BC Ferries Experience™ Card
You can get a BC Ferries Experience™ Card from any BC Ferries ticket booths, calling 1-888-223-3779), or at Nanaimo, Duke Point, and Sunshine Coast terminals.
How Do I Get from Vancouver to Downtown by Ferry?
To get from Vancouver to Downtown by ferry, take the Skytrain’s Canada Line from Downtown Vancouver. Drop off at Bridgeport Station in Richmond, then board the #620 Tsawwassen Ferry via Ladner Exchange bus.
This bus leaves every hour from Bay 3 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The trip takes about an hour and 20 minutes.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with everything you need to know about catching a ferry from Vancouver, whether you’re living there or moving to the city.
The ferry is part of what makes the city great, and it’s one of the best ways to take in Vancouver’s magnificent views without worrying about road traffic.
Now, in case you also want to try riding a cruise while you’re in the city, we highly recommend you check out our article on the Vancouver Cruise Terminal.