[OT] Canada on Rails by ferry?

Hey y’all,

Are any folks planning on taking the ferry from Seattle to Vancouver
(via Victoria)? I’ve never done it before so I have no idea how much
of an adventure it is. Flights are a $100+ less to Seattle than
Vancouver so the price works out the same or a bit less. My plan is
to fly to Seattle (from Savannah, GA) on Tuesday to catch the early
ferry on Wednesday morning. I’m planning on flying out of YVR or
taking the Amtrak bus. If you’re interested in joining the adventure,
send me a message.

If anyone has done this trip before, please send advice! Would it be
uncommon to see whales in April?

The Victoria Clipper departs Seattle at 8am on Wed. and arrives in
Victoria at 10:45am. Ferries leave for Vancouver at 1pm and 3pm.

More info:

Bradley Taylor

Rails Machine
Simplified web application deployment

If you’re not from the area (I am) and have the time to come early
enough to do this ferry
ride, I would think it would be very worth it.

The San Juans are beautiful and boat rides are always nice (well, when
they don’t involve
typhoons anyway). I don’t know about whales (that’s the fall, isn’t
it?), but if it’s nice
weather (in this area it rains most days Nov. thru May, though it’s
usually more like a
mist) you should see something alive even if just birds. Also, Victoria
is supposed to be
very quaint, with everything accessible by foot (third hand info

I have to work that day, so I’m driving up that night. But your idea
sounds like an
excellent adventure.


PS: One thing you might want to look into the how the border issues are
handled on the
ferry… I haven’t been to Canada in about fifteen years, but it was
time-consuming then
and that was ten years before 911.

I don’t believe the border crossing is too time consuming. Victoria
lives off tourism and therefor is very well equipped for getting people
off the boats and into the shopping district. I’ve picked up my
girlfriend from the Seattle ferry a few times and she gets through quite
quickly, although she is a Canadian.
I have never taken the ferry from Seattle to Victoria, but I have taken
the Victoria to Vancouver ferry countless times. It’s a beautiful little
1.5 hour trip. It can be a bit of a pain getting to and from the ferry
though. Although the Clipper(Seattle ferry) arrives in downtown
Victoria, the Vancouver ferry leaves from Sydney, a 20 minute drive from
downtown. On the Vancouver side the ferry arrives in Tsawassen, which is
about a half hour drive from downtown Vancouver. There is a bus which
you can take which will make it much easier. The public transportation
on the Victoria side is pretty bad.

Victoria Depot(5 minute walk from Clipper) -> Hotel Vancouver (Downtown
Van) - $39.00CAN

If you’re not up for the bus, or if you want to save a couple bucks, I’m
going to be driving to the ferry and then downtown Van and I have a
couple free spaces in the car. Give me a shout if you’re interested.
As for downtown Vic, it’s pretty small, but there are tons of things to
see. Within a couple minute walk from the Clipper terminal you can see
the Parliament Building, the Wax Museum, The Royal BC Museum, and the
Empress Hotel. If you want to grab some lunch I would recommend
NoodleBox. It’s a local favorite. It’s has two locations downtown. If
it’s a sunny day and you want a nice sit down lunch, try the Canoe Club.
The brew their own beer, serve up a mean burger and have a huge patio
down by the water. It’s a bit hidden away so make sure to bring your
google maps print out.
If you’re up for a small walk, you should check out Beacon Hill park.
Only a 5 minute walk from the Clipper and you have a nice open park with
ponds a nice hill with a great view of the States, and hundreds of ducks
and Canadian geese.
If you want to get down to business, but need some wifi, Serious Coffee
has free wireless, as does Solstice ( well, actually the wireless
belongs to Swan’s Hotel across the street, but the reception is still
pretty good ).
If you need anymore info on the Canadian side of your adventure, just
let me know.

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