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Old 07-27-2009, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
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Hello all,

As I have noted in a previous thread, my wife and I will be visiting Vancouver in late August. We will be travelling to Victoria for a couple days as well, and I have a question about the ferry service- if we are going during a weekday (Will likely be a Monday or a Tuesday) will I need to make reservations for taking a car on the ferry, or would we be OK to just go down to the ferry terminal and buy a ticket shortly before boarding (without having to wait in line through several departures to finally get on a boat)? I guess I just don't know how busy these ferries are going to be, and we'd hate to have to wait a couple hours or more just to get on the boat and get to our destination when our time for sightseeing is so limited.

Thanks in advance for any responses!
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
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Shouldn't be a problem. Horseshoe Bay, the longest wait I've seen is two sailings, same for Tsawwassen.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
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Is it uncommon to show up and get on the first sailing without a reservation?
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
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Ferries from Tsawwassen (45 minutes south of Vancouver) to Swartz Bay (40 minutes north of Victoria) are hourly in the summer. Typically, without a reservation, I'd aim at being there no later than 45 minutes before the sailing and hope you get on. On a Monday or a Tuesday, no worries. Just be sure that you're not travelling on a holiday Monday (ie: August 3rd), otherwise I wouldn't even attempt at the ferries without a reservation.

Note that they only set aside a few spots for reservations - most of the ferries' 400+ spots are for first-come-first-serve traffic.

At the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, there's also a big market place area with a food court and gift shpos. The worst that could happen is that you arrive, the next sailing is full, and you'd have to wait another hour for the next ferry.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm31828 View Post
Is it uncommon to show up and get on the first sailing without a reservation?
You wouldn't want to show up 5 minutes before, but if you showed up 30-60 minutes before, you'll probably be okay. It really depends - nobody can tell for sure, but typically you should be okay. I tend to arrive an hour before the sailing if I dont' make a reservation. I just leave the car parked, go grab a coffee, grab a bite to eat, read the newspaper, and before I know it, it's time to get back into the car and load onto the ferry.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robynator View Post
You wouldn't want to show up 5 minutes before, but if you showed up 30-60 minutes before, you'll probably be okay. It really depends - nobody can tell for sure, but typically you should be okay. I tend to arrive an hour before the sailing if I dont' make a reservation. I just leave the car parked, go grab a coffee, grab a bite to eat, read the newspaper, and before I know it, it's time to get back into the car and load onto the ferry.
Thanks for the info, Robynator! That is good news, we do plan to show up early, but I envisioned long lines and waiting 3 hours or so just to get on the boat, so I wasn't sure if a reservation was necessary. Glad to hear it's not usually like that.

We are really looking forward to seeing the area!
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