We will be spending two days in Vancouver after our Alaska cruise and would like to take a side trip to Victoria. Would we be better off renting a car in Vancouver and paying the transportation costs to get our car over on the Ferry or should we take public transporation? ANY SUGGESTIONS HOW WE SHOULD GO and how long of a trip is it? Thanks for your help.....We want to see the inner harbor and possiblly the Gardens.
Bus would be the most convenient. You'd go right from downtown to downtown. If you rented a car and took the ferry, you can sometimes wait six hours to get on a ferry in mid-day.
Check the tourism Vancouver websites to confirm this, but I think there's also downtotn-to-downtown floatplanes that you can take, as well as regular flights. The Victoria airport is way out of town, so if you could get a floatplane that takes you to the inner harbour in Victoria, that would be the best.
There used to be a hydroplane between the two cities, but I'm not sure that exists anymore.
Rent a car and take the ferry. Actually, you maybe able to "rent-a-wreck" vehicle for cheap and pay nothing for milage - the cars are in good shape. It's doesn't cost an arm and a leg and its convenient . You drive off the ferry and off you go on your merry journey - wherever you want and whenever you want. Public transportation would limit where you want to go but it maybe cheaper than renting a car.
I too only go to Victoria with a car and it is easy to reserve your space for a car for about an extra $15ca. , on the BC ferry. So the long wait concern for car space is not valid. It will allow you far more touring options and I would also only consider this trip with an overnight. It isn't worth a day trip in my experience. This is the place for orca tours if that is of interest. Butchart gardens is on the way from the ferry drop off Swartz Bay, to Victoria. Ferry is 1 3/4 hours each way, but wait times at the ferry terminal are usually a 1/2 hour before.
I had to laugh when I recalled our experience with this. We booked an excursion from our hotel (about $100 US each) because we didn't have a rental car, and BE WARNED!! This is a great, great trip, but it is a long day. The brochure stated that we would leave at 9:00 a.m. and could return about 8:00 p.m. or so. Well, the shuttle bus picked us up at our hotel at 8:00 a.m., then we drove around to the other hotels. Then they took us to a bus station so that we could take our bus to the ferry (another couple of hours). Then we got on the ferry, and it was great. I think we got to Victoria around noon or 1:00 p.m. Then we went on our whale watching excursion, which I HIGHLY recommend because it was so great, and then we did a walking tour of Victoria from www.frommers.com and shopped and enjoyed that beautiful waterfront. Then we took the last bus back to the ferry (it was about 8:30 p.m.) and got back to our hotel around 12:30 a.m. the next morning. It was a long day but was so worth it. This is a long explanation, but I didn't want you to be fooled like we were when we read the brochure because we didn't realize how long it would take us to get there and back. But it was stress-free (we're in our early 40s but we get tired of the maps and all that when we are on vacation) since we didn't drive, and Victoria is so lovely.