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Where Do You Catch the Ferry in Vancouver?

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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

Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
Image by CTV News Vancouver via
DISTANCE FROM VANCOUVER38 km south of Vancouver
ADDRESS1 Ferry Causeway, Delta, BC V4M 4G6, Canada
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: 1-888-223-3779

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.

Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
Image by Flickr via

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 NanaimoSouthern Gulf Islands
Adult (12+)CAD 17.60CAD 18.10
Children (5-11)CAD 8.80CAD 9.05
Standard VehiclesCAD 60.85CAD 68.55
Vehicles longer than 20 feetCAD 60.85 (additional CAD 1.80 - 6.75 per additional foot)CAD 68.55 (additional CAD 1.80 - 6.75 per additional foot)
StudentsCAD 4.50 - 9FREE
SeniorsCAD 4.50 - 9CAD 2.95 - 6
Children ages 5 and youngerFREEFREE
Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal Tips

Horseshoe Bay terminal

Horseshoe Bay Terminal
Image by Vancouver North Shore via
DISTANCE FROM VANCOUVER21.5 km west of Vancouver
ADDRESS6750 Keith Rd, West Vancouver, BC V7W 2V1, Canada
FERRY RATESCAD 7.15 - 14.30
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: +1 888-223-3779

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 Terminal
Image by Hello BC via

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
Image by the District of West Vancouver via

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.

Horseshoe Bay
Image by Sonja Peterson via

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:

NanaimoSunshine Coast (Langdale)Bowen Island
Adult (12+)CAD 18CAD 14.30CAD 10.95
Children (5-11)CAD 9CAD 7.15CAD 5.45
Standard VehiclesCAD 62CAD 49CAD 31
Vehicles longer than 20 feetCAD 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)
StudentsCAD 4.50 - 9CAD 3.60 - 7.15FREE
SeniorsCAD 4.50 - 9CAD 3.60 - 7.15CAD 2.65 - 5.45
Children ages 5 and youngerFREEFREEFREE
Horseshoe Bay Terminal Tips

Are There Ferries in Vancouver That Are Free?

Are There Ferries in Vancouver That Are Free
Image by Victoria BC via

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.

Ferry Routes
Image by British Columbia via

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?

Can You Pay BC Ferries with Cash
Image by Victoria News via

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
Image by BC Ferries via

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.

The BC Ferries Experience™ Benefits

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

How to Get a BC Ferries Experience™ Card
Image by Hello BC via

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 to Get a BC Ferries Experience™ Card Note

How Do I Get from Vancouver to Downtown by Ferry?

How Do I Get from Vancouver to Downtown by Ferry
Image by BC Ferries via

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.

How Do I Get from Vancouver to Downtown by Ferry
Image by Translink via

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.

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