Boat Travel: Vancouver, B.C. to Victoria, B.C.

One the easiest and popular ways to get between Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada is by the BC Ferries. Grandmothers take it across for a day trip to have lunch, as I overheard on my ride.The port in Vancouver is called Tsawwassen and for those going to the Butcharts or Butterfly Gardens or downtown Victoria should head to Swartz Bay. From 7am to 9pm boats run between these two ports so traveling is convenient and reasonably priced at less than $15 in 2011 for a one-way ticket. The boat itself is massive and is usually carrying cars, SUVs, RVs, and cargo trucks.

Getting to the boat can be a little tricky, so be sure to ask where to go when you buy your ticket or at least what boat/dock you should follow the signs for. Throughout the terminals some areas can be a little steep and if you are carrying your own luggage in a manual chair be ready for a little workout. If you need assistance, it’s best to ask at the ticket counter. At one point an elevator is available with a reminder that priority should be given to the physical disabled and elderly. Even to get onto the actual boat there was a bit of an incline. Place yourself near the entrance so the person opening the doors will let you preboard.

Once at the door of the boat, I could pick wherever I wanted to sit that I felt comfortable and choose a cafe table that had a section open for wheelchair access. There was lots of space to move around freely but not much to see inside the boat. In the middle of the floor was a cafe with a variety of options for food and drink, a buffet restaurant, a few tourist shops, and restrooms. One restroom was specifically designed for wheelchair users with wider access, roll-under sink and grab bars by the toilet. To open and close the door automatically there is a button outside and inside the bathroom. Also, on the inside there is another button to lock the door.

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