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.