Aerial shot from inside a plane looking down at Victoria below

5 Ways to Get From Vancouver to Victoria

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Harbour Air Seaplanes | Ben Giesbrecht

They say that life is about the journey, not the destination, and the journey to Victoria from Vancouver can be one of the best parts of your visit. BC’s capital city, located on Vancouver Island, is an easy day trip from Vancouver. But there is so much to see and do, you may want to spend a few days. Experience this seaside city’s history, exquisite gardens, museums and art galleries, and its thriving food and drink scene.

Wondering how to get to Victoria from Vancouver? You have options.

BC Ferries | Andrew Strain

1. BC Ferries

Cruising through the Strait of Georgia aboard a BC Ferries vessel comes with choices, and with many benefits, including fresh air out on the deck, breathtaking scenery you can only see from the water, and a good chance of spotting marine wildlife. Sail between Tsawwassen, south of Vancouver, and Sidney, 30 minutes from Victoria; or between Horseshoe Bay, north of Vancouver, and Nanaimo. Either way, keep your camera ready, as whales, dolphins, and sea lions frequent this route, particularly in the spring and summer.

Another benefit of ferry travel is on-board amenities. Hungry? Food options include the Coastal Cafe, with some routes featuring White Spot for lunch and dinner, and a coffee shop. Want a keepsake to remember your trip? Passages Gift Shop stocks West Coast jewellery, clothing, books written by Canadian authors, and many other souvenirs. 

Insider Tip: Reservations are strongly recommended for vehicles travelling on busy weekends. If you prefer to travel without a vehicle, there is parking at the terminals, and connecting bus service is available.

BC Ferries
Vancouver International Airport | Tourism Richmond

2. Commercial Airlines

If your favourite things about flying are taking off and landing, you’re in luck. This 25-minute flight gets you from YVR in Vancouver to YYJ in Victoria (or vice versa) quickly and with some lovely scenery down below. If you are travelling without a car, rentals are available at both airports, as are taxis and public bus service. On the mainland, you can also travel by SkyTrain, which gets you into the heart of downtown Vancouver in about 20 minutes.

Both Air Canada and Pacific Coastal Airlines fly this route.

Insider Tip: If you find yourself with time to spare at Vancouver International Airport, you’ll find an impressive selection of dining options to help you pass the time.

Harbour Air Seaplanes

3. Floatplane

To make the crossing in a decidedly West Coast way, fly with Harbour Air Seaplanes. Take off in the Vancouver harbour, and land about 40 minutes later in the Victoria harbour. The quick flight leaves you plenty of time to experience Victoria for a day, and frequent departures allow for lots of flexibility. Arrive early (or pay a small fee) to get a window seat. You won’t regret it. The views over Vancouver, the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia, and the Victoria harbour are stunning.

Insider Tip: Be sure to make reservations in advance. These small planes have limited seating capacity, and they can fill up fast.

Harbour Air

4. Helicopter

Helijet is another great option if you prefer to see the sights from up high. The smooth helicopter crossing takes about 35 minutes, and Helijet offers several daily flights between Vancouver’s waterfront and Victoria’s.

If you’re travelling with kids, book your flight in advance to take advantage of their Kids Fly Free offer, which allows for one child 12 years or younger to fly free with a fare-paying adult.

Insider tip: If you have lots of luggage, Helijet offers a generous luggage allowance of 50 lbs per passenger.

Victoria | Tanya Goehring

5. Motor Coach

Sit back and relax in the comfort of a luxury motor coach with the BC Ferries Connector. The BC Ferries Connector leaves from downtown in both cities and drives you right on and off the ferry.

Insider Tip: Many of these routes sell out, so be sure to make reservations in advance.


With all of these amazing ways to get to Victoria from Vancouver, what are you waiting for?

Originally published in January, 2018.

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