Five hours after I checked out of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, I was checked into my room at the Quality Inn Downtown Inner Harbour Victoria.
TransLink is your source for transportation around Metro Vancouver. A $4.00 CAD ticket takes you all the way from downtown Vancouver to Tsawassen Ferry Terminal, south of Vancouver to the BC Ferry terminal for the ferry to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. The fare is even less on weekends or after 6:30pm at $2.75 CAD.
Vancouver to Victoria for $23.20 CAD by Skytrain, bus and ferry
1. $2.75 CAD or $4.00 CAD Downtown Vancouver SkyTrain to Bridgeport Station, Richmond (about 30 minutes).
2. Bus 620 to Tsawassen Ferry Terminal (keep your Skytrain ticket for free transfer to bus) (about 45 minutes).
3. $16.70 CAD for BC Ferrys Tsawassen to Swartz Bay (about 2 hours)
4. $2.50 CAD Bus 70x from Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to Downtown Victoria (about 45 to 60 minutes). Bus requires exact change.
Hyatt Regency Vancouver to Quality Inn Victoria Inner Harbour
From Burrard Station on the Expo Line, adjacent to the Hyatt Regency, I needed to travel on the SkyTrain to the Waterfront Station on the Canada Line, the same Skytrain line that connects to YVR airport. Waterfront Station is the terminus of the Canada Line.
Waterfront Station entrance seen from above ground. The Skytrain lines are underground in downtown Vancouver.
Take Canada Line train to YVR Airport or Richmond-Brighouse. Either train works since you exit at Bridgeport Station, three stops before YVR Airport.
Bus 620 is waiting downstairs at Bridgeport Exchange. Be sure to keep your SkyTrain ticket in good condition, do not fold it or let it get wet. You need to feed it into the ticket reader on the bus.
From Bridgeport Exchange I could see Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn, so these hotels are walking distance. Costco is also nearby.
Look for the line of people, many with backpacks. The 620 bus takes you to the front door of the Tsawassen Ferry Terminal.
Ferries run about every two hours to Swartz Bay, with even more frequency in summer months.
The ferry ticket lines move quickly, even when crowded. There are automated booths or staffed ticket counters.
You can check your luggage for free immediately after you buy your ticket and enter the terminal, if you don’t want to drag bags around the ship for the two hours on the ferry. I checked my small suitcase to leave me free to wander around with my camera.
The BC Ferry is large with restaurants, business work stations, conference rooms, gift shop and children’s play area. There are TVs and free wifi. The TVs work fine. I was unable to get a webpage to load on the free Wi-Fi.
The journey across the Strait of Georgia is open water travel from Tsawassen for the first half of the journey, before reaching the islands passage. Much of the open water portion is actually U.S. territory.
The passage through the islands is a great area for photographs. Keep an eye out for bald eagles.
You may want to line up early when the ferry comes to port, if you plan on getting a seat on the 70x bus to Victoria. I needed $2.50 in change and I was one of the last persons to board the bus, left standing for an hour ride into downtown Victoria, about 30 km south of Swartz Bay. There is little luggage room on the double decker bus and most people have their backpacks and bags on their lap or in the aisle. An hour on the bus to travel 30 minutes might seem like a long time. A car is barely faster. You will soon learn travel around Vancouver Island is slowwww.
Quality Inn Downtown Inner Harbour Victoria at $87 CAD per night compared to $200+ for the Marriott or Fairmont Empress offered a prime downtown location, around the corner from the two upscale brand hotels in the same area. Uptown Victoria is a couple miles from Inner Harbour area and much more of a suburban strip mall environment. I found the Quality Inn Victoria was a great deal for its prime location in the heart of downtown Victoria.
British Columbia Legislature Building in downtown Victoria.
Public transportation is cheap and easy to travel between Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.