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  #1  
Old November 17th, 2012, 04:13 PM
emeltee emeltee is offline
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Default Vancouver to Victoria

I'd like to visit my aunt in Victoria. What's the best way to transport 7 people from the end of a cruise(Vancouver) to Victoria. Should we rent a van since most likely my aunt wouldn't have a vehicle big enough to shuttle us around once we get to Victoria?

Also, how long will a trip take to and then from (so I can plan a departure flight back home?)

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old November 17th, 2012, 06:33 PM
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You should plan that a trip to Victoria will take 3.5 to 4 hrs in either direction. Now if that hasn't put you off, there are several options besides flying from harbour to harbour at a cost of over $200 pp round trip. You could take transit which is the cheapest but is a bit fussy having to make a number of transfers and handling of luggage each time. An other option would be with Pacific Coach Lines who have scheduled service and during the cruise season even operate directly from Canada Place. However given the fact that there are 7 of you there would likely be economy in renting a van.

Here are some links for your convenience:

www.pacificcoach.com/

www.bcferries.com/

http://tripplanning.translink.ca/

http://www.westcoastair.com/
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  #3  
Old November 17th, 2012, 09:24 PM
emeltee emeltee is offline
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Thanks for the info. The Pacific Coach line seems like a very easy way to take. I don't know if I want to deal with the hassle of renting a van in Vancouver.

We'll just have to figure out how to get around once we get to Victoria. Maybe a taxi or shuttle to my aunt's house, perhaps?

Not sure if we'll do much sightseeing in Victoria, since 6 of us have been there before (I think my 3 yo will be okay if we don't see the sights), so I think being car-less might be okay for us. I guess it would depend on rental rates vs taxi rates.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emeltee View Post
I'd like to visit my aunt in Victoria. What's the best way to transport 7 people from the end of a cruise(Vancouver) to Victoria. Should we rent a van since most likely my aunt wouldn't have a vehicle big enough to shuttle us around once we get to Victoria?

Also, how long will a trip take to and then from (so I can plan a departure flight back home?)

Thanks!
The problem with renting a van in Vancouver, and then driving it to Victoria is two fold. One; the ferry can be very busy for vehicle traffic, and a 1 or 2 sailing/hour delay isn't uncommon; Two; the price for the vehicle alone on the ferry is around $50 (+ another $20 if you want to book ahead and avoid problem #1).

If you're OK with taking your luggage on a couple of city buses, the transfer from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria is pretty straightforward.

Three Zone ticket (which will be $5.50 next year); and take a Canada Line Skytrain(subway) to the Bridgeport station (near the airport). From there, the #620 bus (on the same ticket) takes you straight to the ferry terminal. As a walk-on it's exceedingly unusual (twice in 30 years of riding the ferry for me) to have a wait for the next ferry (unlike a car).
On the Swartz Bay side take the #70 bus right into downtown after getting off the ferry. ($2.50)

Doing it on the local bus system has a few advantages vs taking Pacific Coach;
  • Price ($8 vs $35/ea) for the bus (the ferry is another $15 on top of that)
  • Schedule; the skytrain/bus meets every ferry, whereas the coach only meets the odd hour ferries
  • Connection from Canada Place. Only one pacific coach bus loops through downtown Vancouver nearish to Canada Place, otherwise you'll have to get to the coach/train station which is about a $10 taxi ride from Canada Place.
the downsides;
  • you'll need to change once (at Bridgeport station), ride the elevator escalator down from the Skytrain Stop to the bus loop
  • you'll need to be OK with your luggage, rather than just popping it under the bus for the whole journey
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  #5  
Old November 17th, 2012, 11:03 PM
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Just to be clear, Pacific Coach Lines does operate from Canada Place on days that there are cruise ships in Vancouver, it is not "nearish" Canada Place at all.
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  #6  
Old November 18th, 2012, 03:10 AM
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Default Hey Putterdude

The weather tells me that you are back at Desert Lakes enjoying the warm weather. I am your buddy here in BHC and would like some advice on a hotel in Vancouver. My friend & I from Pt Townsend are going to do a B2B to Alaska in May '13. When I was there in '91 prior to a cruise, we stayed at a beautiful hotel that overlooked Canada Place and was very near the cruise terminal. What would you suggest and is not totally unreasonable. Looking at cruise on 5/22 on Coral????
Cindy
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  #7  
Old November 18th, 2012, 06:16 AM
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Yes, we have been back at Desert Lakes for 3 weeks now but have had to move my golf over to El Rio as the new ownership group at DL decided not to sell any annual and semi-annual memberships. Except for those couple of days last week the weather has been lovely and this upcoming week looks great. I think we will be able to eat our Thanksgiving dinner outside this year.

Hotels in Vancouver, you may have stayed at the Pan Pacific which is part of Canada Place or maybe the Fairmont Waterfront which is across the street. Both of these are pretty expensive. The next closest would be the Tower at the Terminal City Club, the Marriott Pinnacle followed by Renaissance. I would watch Hotwire, you can usually pick up the Sheraton at the Wall Centre or the Sutton Place for about $135 to $150. Right now they have what would appear to be the Westin Bayshore for $172. Send me an email if I can be of further help.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Putterdude View Post
Just to be clear, Pacific Coach Lines does operate from Canada Place on days that there are cruise ships in Vancouver, it is not "nearish" Canada Place at all.
Pacific Coach operate one shuttle from Canada Place per [cruise] day, leaving at 11:00 to connect to the 11:45 departure out of Pacific Station (and hence 1pm ferry) . They also operate a hotel shuttle from some downtown hotels which leaves 30-50 minutes prior to the 7:30, 8:45 and 9:45 departures from Pacific Station. Full details can be found here:
http://www.pacificcoach.com/About-Us...-Pacific-Coach

On the flip side; taking Skytrain/bus from Canada Place at 11:30 would meet the same ferry. Likewise leaving an hour [or two] earlier from Waterfront Station at 10:30 [or 9:30] on Skytrain/#620 would actually allow you to meet the noon [or 11:00] ferry; an option not available on Pacific Coach

So, just to be clear, in this case; not only is it more money to take Pacific Coach, it is also slower due the transfer required at the bus depot.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 10:28 PM
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To be clear there is no transfer involved from Canada Place during the cruise season.

Directly from the above referenced PCL link:

VANCOUVER CRUISE SHIP TERMINAL SERVICE TO/FROM VICTORIA (SEASONAL)

Our Cruise Ship Terminal service operates between Canada Place, Ballantyne Pier and downtown Victoria when ships are arriving and departing at the Port of Vancouver. Reservations and pre-payment are required a minimum of 24 hours prior to departure. Advise our driver directly of your drop-off point.

PCL's service is widely used Victoria residents departing going on cruises.

A person considering transit should be aware that they must handle their luggage to and from transit buses that are not designed to handle luggage, the Canada Lines cars excepted. But there is no question the service is cheap and indeed some people obviously do enjoy schlepping their luggage.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Putterdude View Post
To be clear there is no transfer involved from Canada Place during the cruise season.

Directly from the above referenced PCL link:


VANCOUVER CRUISE SHIP TERMINAL SERVICE TO/FROM VICTORIA (SEASONAL)

Our Cruise Ship Terminal service operates between Canada Place, Ballantyne Pier and downtown Victoria when ships are arriving and departing at the Port of Vancouver. Reservations and pre-payment are required a minimum of 24 hours prior to departure. Advise our driver directly of your drop-off point.

PCL's service is widely used Victoria residents departing going on cruises.

A person considering transit should be aware that they must handle their luggage to and from transit buses that are not designed to handle luggage, the Canada Lines cars excepted. But there is no question the service is cheap and indeed some people obviously do enjoy schlepping their luggage.
Thanks for clarifying what I was saying.

Note the timing:
Vancouver (Cruise Ship Terminals) 11:00
Tsawwassen Terminal (BC Ferry) 13:00
Victoria Arrival (Bus Terminal) 15:20

That's the same ferry as the bus departing the bus station at 11:45am. The service is not direct, but just a pre-pickup for people leaving the cruise terminal.

Your choices are 11:00 on Pacific Coach, or 11:30 Skytrain from Waterfront/#620 Bus to catch that same 1pm ferry.

Pacific Coach is ONLY for the 11:00 am departure/1pm ferry, whereas Skytrain/bus on the 1/2 hour would meet all 14 daily sailings: that is leaving downtown from 5:30am until 5:30pm + 7:30pm to meet the 7:00am-7pm + 9pm sailings).

Lastly, the transit buses run on the #620 route are designed to carry some luggage (there's a luggage area up front), and have nice cloth 2+2 seating like a coach, not like the main urban routes.

Yes, it's more work to switch to the bus at Bridgeport, and it's not quite as cushy, but it's a significant saving. For someone wanting a nice experience I would save the money on the coach, and use that $20 to buy a buffet lunch on the ferry (make sure you get an odd hour ferry, and wait 45 minutes after departure to head to the buffet, to let the early birds clearout to let you in for the spectacular part of the crossing through active pass). Note this buffet is only available on the odd hour (S-class vessel sailings).

On the Victoria side, I'd say the experience on the double deckers they run from Swartz Bay to downtown is probably nicer than Pacific Coach.
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  #11  
Old November 19th, 2012, 03:17 AM
emeltee emeltee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Putterdude View Post
To be clear there is no transfer involved from Canada Place during the cruise season.

Directly from the above referenced PCL link:

VANCOUVER CRUISE SHIP TERMINAL SERVICE TO/FROM VICTORIA (SEASONAL)

Our Cruise Ship Terminal service operates between Canada Place, Ballantyne Pier and downtown Victoria when ships are arriving and departing at the Port of Vancouver. Reservations and pre-payment are required a minimum of 24 hours prior to departure. Advise our driver directly of your drop-off point.

PCL's service is widely used Victoria residents departing going on cruises.


A person considering transit should be aware that they must handle their luggage to and from transit buses that are not designed to handle luggage, the Canada Lines cars excepted. But there is no question the service is cheap and indeed some people obviously do enjoy schlepping their luggage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottbee View Post
Thanks for clarifying what I was saying.

Note the timing:
Vancouver (Cruise Ship Terminals) 11:00
Tsawwassen Terminal (BC Ferry) 13:00
Victoria Arrival (Bus Terminal) 15:20

That's the same ferry as the bus departing the bus station at 11:45am. The service is not direct, but just a pre-pickup for people leaving the cruise terminal.

Your choices are 11:00 on Pacific Coach, or 11:30 Skytrain from Waterfront/#620 Bus to catch that same 1pm ferry.

Pacific Coach is ONLY for the 11:00 am departure/1pm ferry, whereas Skytrain/bus on the 1/2 hour would meet all 14 daily sailings: that is leaving downtown from 5:30am until 5:30pm + 7:30pm to meet the 7:00am-7pm + 9pm sailings).

Lastly, the transit buses run on the #620 route are designed to carry some luggage (there's a luggage area up front), and have nice cloth 2+2 seating like a coach, not like the main urban routes.

Yes, it's more work to switch to the bus at Bridgeport, and it's not quite as cushy, but it's a significant saving. For someone wanting a nice experience I would save the money on the coach, and use that $20 to buy a buffet lunch on the ferry (make sure you get an odd hour ferry, and wait 45 minutes after departure to head to the buffet, to let the early birds clearout to let you in for the spectacular part of the crossing through active pass). Note this buffet is only available on the odd hour (S-class vessel sailings).

On the Victoria side, I'd say the experience on the double deckers they run from Swartz Bay to downtown is probably nicer than Pacific Coach.
Okay, so let me see if I can get this straight:

On PCL , we'd only have one departure from Canada Place at 11:00. (What time would we get off the ship, anyways?) However, we wouldn't have to worry about transfers. Does the bus go on the ferry? Or do we get off the bus at the ferry terminal, then hop onto the ferry - a separate fare, which is paid when? What happens to our luggage once we are on the ferry/in Victoria?

If we weren't 7 people, and a range of ages from 4-80, then, I might go for the less expensive option. However, given our group, I think PCL might be less hassle for everyone involved, even if it costs a bit more. (Well, my two girls would be reduced, even free on PCL.)

Hmmmm, wonder if I could convince my aunt to come to Vancouver instead?!?
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Old November 19th, 2012, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by emeltee View Post
Okay, so let me see if I can get this straight:

On PCL , we'd only have one departure from Canada Place at 11:00. (What time would we get off the ship, anyways?) However, we wouldn't have to worry about transfers. Does the bus go on the ferry? Or do we get off the bus at the ferry terminal, then hop onto the ferry - a separate fare, which is paid when? What happens to our luggage once we are on the ferry/in Victoria?

If we weren't 7 people, and a range of ages from 4-80, then, I might go for the less expensive option. However, given our group, I think PCL might be less hassle for everyone involved, even if it costs a bit more. (Well, my two girls would be reduced, even free on PCL.)

Hmmmm, wonder if I could convince my aunt to come to Vancouver instead?!?
Yes, it's less hassle, but you pay for it in both $ and lack of flexibility.

The timing is something like this on Pacific Coach.
dep Canada Place 11:00, arr Tsawwassen Ferry terminal 12:40
dep on ferry from Tswwassen 13:00 arr Swartz Bay 14:40
arr Victoria bus depot (Belleville @ Douglas St) 15:25

You get on the bus, your luggage goes underneath and you collect your luggage at the far end.

Without knowing the specific makeup of your group, it's a disservice to not provide you will all the alternatives.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emeltee View Post
Okay, so let me see if I can get this straight:

On PCL , we'd only have one departure from Canada Place at 11:00. (What time would we get off the ship, anyways?) However, we wouldn't have to worry about transfers. Does the bus go on the ferry? Or do we get off the bus at the ferry terminal, then hop onto the ferry - a separate fare, which is paid when? What happens to our luggage once we are on the ferry/in Victoria?

If we weren't 7 people, and a range of ages from 4-80, then, I might go for the less expensive option. However, given our group, I think PCL might be less hassle for everyone involved, even if it costs a bit more. (Well, my two girls would be reduced, even free on PCL.)

Hmmmm, wonder if I could convince my aunt to come to Vancouver instead?!?
Yes the PCL bus, which is direct despite assertions to the contrary, there is no transfers. The fare paid is from Canada Place to the downtown Victoria bus station. Your luggage is taken from you by the driver at Canada Place and placed in the belly of the bus and you don't have to handle it again until you arrive in downtown Victoria at 3:20 pm.

Unlike transit you are not fighting with suitcases between your legs or out in the aisles with people struggling to get by them. (Canada Line excepted) Per your original post, you indicated that there were 7 of you, I can only imagine what it would be like with 7 people seated together with 7 suitcases in the aisle. The seats are comfortable "coach" style seats. The bus drives on the ferry first, in fact PCL's coaches are first on and first off the ferry.

As I indicated earlier, this service is extremely popular with people from Victoria going on cruises, to the point that I am aware of PCL having to add buses to accommodate everyone.

All options re getting to Victoria were were set out in the second post in this thread.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emeltee View Post
I'd like to visit my aunt in Victoria. What's the best way to transport 7 people from the end of a cruise(Vancouver) to Victoria. Should we rent a van since most likely my aunt wouldn't have a vehicle big enough to shuttle us around once we get to Victoria?

Also, how long will a trip take to and then from (so I can plan a departure flight back home?)

Thanks!
For your return flight back home you may want to consider booking your departure from Victoria Airport. The cost may be the same, more or less than a Vancouver departure even if it involves an extra connection at the airport in Vancouver.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by scottbee View Post
Yes, it's less hassle, but you pay for it in both $ and lack of flexibility.

The timing is something like this on Pacific Coach.
dep Canada Place 11:00, arr Tsawwassen Ferry terminal 12:40
dep on ferry from Tswwassen 13:00 arr Swartz Bay 14:40
arr Victoria bus depot (Belleville @ Douglas St) 15:25

You get on the bus, your luggage goes underneath and you collect your luggage at the far end.

Without knowing the specific makeup of your group, it's a disservice to not provide you will all the alternatives.
I'm glad you posted this information. I like to know all the alternatives. Like I said before, if it were just me and my husband without my elderly parents or young children, I'd probably go this route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by em-sk View Post
For your return flight back home you may want to consider booking your departure from Victoria Airport. The cost may be the same, more or less than a Vancouver departure even if it involves an extra connection at the airport in Vancouver.
Thanks for the info. Flying out of Victoria would make things so much easier.
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  #16  
Old November 21st, 2012, 12:26 PM
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porsena porsena is offline
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Flying home out of Victoria would make sense. It's also a smaller airport with less crowded security. However, public transit options from Oak Bay to YYJ are poor. A cab would be in the region of $60-70 (about a 40 minute drive) and you'd need at least two of them for your group.
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  #17  
Old November 23rd, 2012, 01:24 AM
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operabob operabob is offline
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I live in Victoria. If I have to head to the airport and don't have a ride I'll take the local express transit bus (they're modern double deckers) and get off at the McTavish stop and call the cabs. They're all lined up outside the airport less than a mile away. Saves a heck of a lot over a taxi for a solo.

There are also shuttles from downtown hotels but with a group you're paying as much as a taxi.

http://www.victoriaairportshuttle.com/

With groups of 4 we have used a private limo service. Costs the same as a taxi but larger vehicles with larger trunks. I'll try to find the name for you later.

Our airport is International, new and you can park for 2 hours directly across from departures for a buck or two. In Vancouver they want your first born child.

With a large group and luggage I'd favour Pacific Coast lines as mentioned by others. You'll ride in comfort and they'll drop you off directly behind the Empress Hotel. BTW: If it's sunny it's a very picturesque trip.

Hint: When on the ferry, if all you want is coffee and a pastry don't line up. Come inside and enter the food area backwards past the cashiers. The people lining up are going for the hot food. Don't waste your time. Or you could just go to the coffee bars usually just past the cafeteria.

There is also the Pacific Buffets (usually smaller line ups except for breakfast). It's the same food as in the cafeterias but you have to eat three times the amount to compensate for the higher prices.

Being your basic penny pincher of Scottish descent I take my own instant coffee tubes and oatmeal. Hot water is free on the boat and the coffee in the cafeteria also doubles as a barnacle remover. They do serve Starbucks in the coffee bar though.
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  #18  
Old November 23rd, 2012, 01:30 AM
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Also, our ferries are large and you're basically traveling inland waters so 99% it's a walk in the park. If not they cancelling the sailing.
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