Transportation

Please Note: Travel services make changes frequently, so please follow links to the actual carrier service and get information directly from their web site.  It is hard to keep up-to-date with their changes.  That is why we provide all these links. 

Victoria is on Vancouver Island (there is no Victoria Island) and between Vancouver Island and Vancouver BC are the Gulf Islands which are another popular destination. This page is a detailed guide to assist you in getting to and from Vancouver Island and in using ground transportation while on the Island. There is no bridge, tunnel or train to Vancouver Island. To get here, you must travel on the water or in the air.  One of the best parts of getting to our wonderful Island is the journey here. The Ferry routes are exceptionally beautiful and the air travel is low enough to see the amazing scenery. Whether you are looking for convenience, affordability or comfort, your options are wide open. Check Below:

The Gulf Islands: The most common way to get to the Gulf Islands is to use BC Ferries. From Victoria, the Ferry rides range between 40 minutes and 90 minutes approximately, depending on which of the Gulf Islands you wish to visit. You can get to Salt Spring Island from Vancouver and Victoria and all other Islands are accessed from Victoria. You can also travel from the Mainland to Nanaimo and Comox by BC Ferry and you can get to Vancouver Island from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy. The best thing to do if you are planning on Ferry service is to go to the BC Ferry Web site. You can make Ferry Reservations.

If you are travelling to Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands by private boat then you might want to check the Marina page.

By Air

A number of major airlines fly to Victoria: Due to schedule changes, route changes, etc. please check to see with each carrier to determine which is your best way to get to your favourite Vancouver Island or Gulf Island Destination.

WestjetAir Canada – Alaska Air (Horizon) – West Coast – Harbour Air – Kenmore Air – Pacific Coastal and Seair Seaplanes fly to Victoria, Nanaimo and many of the Gulf Islands from the Sea Plane Terminal in Vancouver. Some of the float planes land in the heart of Victoria at the Inner Harbour which is right downtown. Harbour Air, Click here for the Harbour Air route map.

Helijet Airways also will fly you to Vancouver Island by Helicopter. The Helijet landing pad is 5 minutes by car or taxi from downtown.

By Ferry

British Columbia Ferries(from Vancouver), Washington State Ferries (from Anacortes Washington State), and the Coho Ferry (from Port Angeles) bring you by car, bike, recreational vehicles, or as a walk-on passenger . There are passenger only Ferries coming to Victoria Port Angeles (Victoria Express) and Seattle (Victoria Clipper). The latest addition is V2V Vacations who operate a luxury passenger service between Victoria and Vancouver. V2V leave Victoria at 9:00 am daily and leave Vancouver at 1:30 pm.

By Bus

If you choose the bus option, your bus will travel on one of the BC Ferries.

PacificCoach Travel Easy travel to Victoria from the Vancouver Bus Depot and the Vancouver Airport(YVR) and downtown Vancouver as well.
Phone: 1-800-661-1725 . Please NOTE: Reservations are now required for this service.

Tofino Bus Island Express provides daily transportation to Tofino, Ucluelet and Port Alberni from Parksville, Nanaimo Vancouver and Victoria. Access all the major points along the VictoriaNanaimo – Parksville – Port AlberniUcluelet – Tofino highway with Tofino Bus Island Express.

IslandLinkBus provides passenger express bus service between most Vancouver Island points and BC Ferries’ services at Nanaimo Departure Bay. Other services offered by IslandLinkBus are: AirportLinkBus provides bus transportation between Horseshoe Bay ferry and Vancouver Airport/hotels. SkytrainLinkBus provides bus transportation between Horseshoe Bay ferry and all three Skytrain lines.

IslandLink Bus offers daily scheduled Vancouver Island bus service between Nanaimo’s Departure Bay ferry terminal and Victoria, Mill Bay, Duncan, Chemainus, Ladysmith, Parksville, French Creek, Qualicum Beach, Fanny Bay, Buckley Bay, Cumberland, Courtenay, Black Creek and Campbell River.

IslandLinkBus connects with AirportLinkBus Lower Mainland bus services via BC Ferries’ sailings between Nanaimo’s Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay. Bookings recommended, online only.

Greyhound Canada
Scheduled bus service to most Vancouver Island locations. In communities where Greyhound does not provide service there is often a shuttle/connector service transporting passengers to the nearest Greyhound stop. Contact Greyhound for details.

GROUND TRANSPORTATION:

While on Vancouver Island you can travel around most communities by using BC Transit. If you would like help with driving around the Island, check Drive BC.

Victoria International Airport (YYJ) is 18 km north of Victoria on Hwy. 17 (Pat Bay Highway).  It is about 2 km south of Sidney by the Sea and about 7 km south of the Ferry Terminal at Swartz Bay.

Taxi & Limo Service

Most major centres on Vancouver Island have Taxi Service or Shuttles. If you are looking for a taxi, plan ahead or use you computer search capabilities to find a taxi company or look in local phone books or use your search engine and search for Taxi Companies in…..Victoria, Nanaimo or whatever community you wish to rent in. If you wish to rent a limousine, you can use a similar process. In Victoria you may wish to choose this local quality Limo Company:

ROYAL LIMOUSINE & VAN SERVICE:  Victoria, B.C., Phone: 250-389-0004, fax: 250-658-5311, Email: royal-limousine@shaw.ca

We take people on totally personalized sightseeing tours, in immaculate Cadillac sedans, superstretched limousines, and eleven passenger luxury vans. We have P.A. systems, and we provide a commentary.There are tinted windows as well as FULL AIR-CONDITIONING IN ALL THE VEHICLES. Our professional chauffeurs take you on a scenic drive through Victoria; then to Butchart Gardens and back through the scenic routes. Travel the Malahat Drive to the Native Heritage Center, and Chemainus’ City of Murals. Airport, ferry tours. Call Marguerite for a quote.

Recreational Vehicle Rentals

Recreational Vehicles can also be rented in a number of larger centres on Vancouver Island. You may choose to use this one in Victoria.

Buccaneer Recreational Vehicles, Victoria, BC

Buccaneer Motorhome & Trailer Rentals
2481 Mount St. Michael, Victoria, phone: 250-544-0634, cell phone: 250-514-2362, E-mail: bucaneer@shaw.ca

Enjoy personal freedom!  Explore Vancouver Island and Western Canada in a U-Drive Deluxe Class C Motorhome (no special driver’s license required). Includes stereo, tilt wheel, cruise control, air-conditioning, sink, fridge, stove, shower/bathtub, toilet, and furnace. Most units have three bed areas and are equipped with cookware, dishes, and cutlery for six. For a small additional fee, we can also supply bedding and linen, TV’s, microwave oven, portable gas barbecue, lawn chairs, etc.

Trains

The train station is on the corner of Pandora and Store street, right next to the Blue Johnson Street Bridge.

Via Rail
  phone 1 888 842-7245 Note: CURRENTLY NOT OPERATING
Via Rail operates a daily service between Victoria and Courtney (part way up Vancouver Island). This is a great way to see some of the beauty of the Island and avoid the busy Island Highway. Many Victoria residents take Via Rail to Chemainus, spend the day shopping or touring and then return on the evening run. The train leaves Victoria each morning around 8:15 a.m. (call to check the schedule).

Common Questions asked in Victoria

This section has special directions to specific locations.

How do I (foot passenger) get from the BC Ferry Terminal to Butchart Gardens?
The simpliest and fastest way is to call a cab or you can take one of the many tour buses from downtown Victoria to the Gardens.
You can take the local transit bus by catching the number 70 bus to Sidney. Ask the bus driver to tell you when you are at James White and 5th because you want to transfer to 75 downtown, which will take you to Butchart Gardens. (Approximate time 40 min).

How do I (foot passenger) get from the BC Ferry Terminal to the Victoria International Airport. Again, use a taxi (about 7 km, 4 miles or so) or take the BC Transit, #70 downtown. Be sure to ask the bus driver as you board or while you are waiting to make sure you have the right bus.

Pleas check with BC Transit.

Victoria Harbour Authority:
If you are coming into Victoria Harbour by boat, contact the Victoria Harbour Master 250-363-3578
or emergencies…388 6275 or phone 380 8177

Getting to Victoria by Cruiseship

Victoria is a port of call for hundreds of Alaskan cruises ships annually. Victoria’s cruise ship season runs from April to October so you will get to experience our temperate climate at its best. We have much less rainfall than both Vancouver, BC and Seattle, Washington. All Cruise Ship passengers are welcomed by a special team of greeters as you get off your ship at the Ogden Point Terminal.

At the Ogden Point Terminal you will discover many transportation options. A shuttle bus leaves every 20 minutes or less to escort you to downtown Victoria in less than ten minutes. Buses also go to Butchart Gardens. You will also find pedicabs, taxis, limos, tour and shuttle buses to major attractions and destinations. If you are in a group, consider a taxi or limo as the cost might be much less and you will get there quicker. New to Victoria as of April 2014 is a water ferry from the cruise Ship Terminal to the Inner Harbour.

Expanded service from Ogden Point to Downtown on the “Linda Mae”

Victoria, British Columbia: Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) is expanding on the Victoria cruise shuttle service to include a pilot water shuttle service from Ogden Point to the Inner Harbour. The 40-passenger Victoria Harbour Ferries vessel, the “Linda Mae”, will shuttle cruise ship passengers and crew from the newly built multi-purpose float at Ogden Point to the Steamship Terminal float on the lower causeway.

The water shuttle pilot will run continuously when cruise ships are in port. The shuttle trips will take 30 minutes each way, including loading and unloading passengers. The boat’s 2-crew team will provide a narrative about Victoria and the history of the local First Nations as they cruise through the harbour.

The marine shuttle will complement the changes made to the ground shuttle service in 2013. Last year, the service was operated with buses supplied by BC Transit and supplemented by Wilson’s Transportation Ltd (Wilson’s), transporting 93,000 passengers between Ogden Point and downtown. The low-floor and double-decker transit buses are well-suited to the residential and urban streets on the cruise shuttle route and offer easy on and off loading, particularly for those with mobility challenges. Similar to last season, Wilson’s will supplement the service with additional buses on peak days, with all buses being operated by Wilson’s team of professional drivers.

The marine shuttle will use the newly installed multi-purpose float at Ogden Point located between Pier B and the Helijetterminal. The new float will also help to reduce traffic impact in the community by enabling marine-based shore excursion tours to pick-up directly at Ogden Point rather than having to drive through the community to another drop-off/pick-up location.

Walking to Downtown: If you prefer to walk to Victoria’s scenic Inner Harbour it takes about 20 minutes. Along the picturesque walk check out Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoy Barb’s world famous fish and chips or Jackson’s Ice Cream. From Fisherman’s Wharf you can hop aboard a Harbour Ferry for an harbour tour or to downtown, or continue your journey on foot. Walking routes are available in free publications you can pick up at the cruise ship terminal.

One thing for sure, when you are done your visit to Victoria you will wish you could have stayed a whole lot longer, guaranteed!