This vacation to Vancouver, B.C. was a short 1 week get away. We traveled by car and ferry so I could have packed anything I liked, but instead I kept it to my basic travel wardrobe In fact I used an even smaller bag than I normally do ( a 22 inch ). The only thing I did, that I would not have if I had been flying is I took one of my old leather carry bags that I love. It worked out fine as I was able to mix and mach.
The ferry going into Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay Is very spectacular on a sunny day and we were fortunate to have glorious weather. October can be very unpredictable in Vancouver but I was prepared with lots of travel clothing that I could layer.
You can book in advance if you must be in Vancouver at a certain time for instance if it is for business or to catch a flight. There are busy time periods especially on holidays or summer. One time we had two ferry waits. Check the ferry schedule
The ferry is a little expensive it cost $75.00 each way for the car and driver and one passenger from Nanaimo to Vancouver. $150.00 return is a big chunk of our travel budget but better than flying with the little float planes as flights can be cancelled for fog. This has happened to us before. Flying can take 15 minutes but the ferry is about 1 1/2 hours.
On past trips we have taken less expensive ways onto the ferry like walking on or catching a bus that takes you right onto the ferry. This works well if you are going right to the airport to get a flight. There is a bus at the ferry terminal to take you to downtown Vancouver and a sky train to the Airport.
It is very pleasant and the time goes quickly enough. Don’t sit in your car. There is a passenger deck with a nice cafeteria, snack shop and gift shop. The gift shop has a good selection of made in B.C. items. There is a rack of free pamphlets and you should have a look and pick up a few including a map of the city. The seats are comfortable and there is an elevator if you have mobility problems. If you are a smoker or you want to get some great pictures there are outside decks.
If you sit up front you get a great view of the mountains coming into horseshoe bay. On more than one occasion we saw the sun come up and even whales nearby in the ocean.
It is a short distance from horseshoe bay to the city center of Vancouver and the highway is well signed. You go over the Lions gate bridge and you get a glimpse of Stanley park as you drive through. We went right into the center of the city as our time share apartment was on Robson and Hamilton.
- New Horseshoe Bay webcam gives drivers live updates on traffic and weather in busy corridor (theprovince.com)
- Fall for Canada: 5 family-friendly Vancouver adventures (orbitz.com)