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Old 05-23-2014, 06:50 PM   #1
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WSDOT Anacortes Ferry vs BC Ferry to Victoria

We are planning a trip to Victoria BC and are trying to decide which ferry service to use to get there. We will be driving up from the Portland area.

Irv2 member Jack1234 has been wonderful answering questions about the BC Ferries and the Coho Ferry (thank you Jack!!) but we are still trying to get information on the WSDOT Ferry so we can make a decision on which to take. Based on what Jack has told us Coho is out.

Has anyone taken the WSDOT Ferry from Anacortes over to Sydney? If so how was the loading and unloading? Were there any problems you faced? We will be in our 38" rig (we are 12"11' high) and towing our 4 door Jeep. It has already been suggested that we disconnect and take the Jeep on separately as it does reduce the cost.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Mods: This is probably better in the Crossroads forum. Could one of you move it for me please. Thanks!
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:24 PM   #2
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I haven't taken the WSDOT ferry but have heard interesting things about their promotional fares. So if you don't mind I'll tag along to see what answers you get.

Could be a way for me to avoid Vancouver B.C. traffic & border crossing nightmares.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:44 PM   #3
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You will not have issues loading and unloading unless there is an extreme tide, and that friends on how much overhang you have. You can check tide tables online.

The boat only makes one trip a day departing at 8:30 and arriving about noon. You will need reservations. You are right about the Jeep. They charge for length and height, so disconnecting the Jeep shortens your length/height charge and lets the Jeep board as a standard car.

Last time we took the boat was with bicycles but we ride the same boat often during the winter when it subs in our route. There are usually semis on it.

There is a summer surcharge.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:10 PM   #4
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I haven't taken the WSDOT ferry but have heard interesting things about their promotional fares. So if you don't mind I'll tag along to see what answers you get.

Could be a way for me to avoid Vancouver B.C. traffic & border crossing nightmares.
Thanks for al that info Coupe!! With the WSDOT ferry only running once a day we may end up doing BC ferry after all.

Skip - do you need reservations for the BC ferry?
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:53 PM   #5
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The one time we went to Victoria, BC we took the Black Ball ferry from Port Angeles, WA. Then continued on to Vancouver, BC via the Canadian Ferry System. No problems, no complaints.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:26 PM   #6
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Anacortes to Sydney is a spectacular trip and I believe somewhat cheaper than B.C. Ferries not to mention the fuel savings.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:33 PM   #7
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I ran the numbers to see what the ferry costs would be. I was told that it would be cheaper to unhook the toad and drive it on rather than tow it on. That is VERY true! Example: MV Coho would have been $132 higher if I towed the Jeep on as opposed to driving it on separately.

For the curious here are the rates for a 38" rig, a Jeep and 4 passengers. Rates are round trip.

BC Ferry (Vancouver, Tsawwassen Terminal/Victoria) : $601.23 US
Miles to terminal: 311
90 minute ferry ride
14 Departures a day

WSDOT (Anacortes/Sydney): $508.70
Miles to terminal: 260
3 hour ferry ride
2 Departures a day

MV Coho AKA Black Ball (Port Angeles/Victoria): $538.70
Miles to terminal: 233
90 minute ferry ride
4 Departures a day


After talking to DH we are trying to debating going straight to Victoria from a WA terminal or taking a couple extra days, visiting Vancouver first and then taking BC Ferry.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:41 PM   #8
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Just wondering if you're aware that you need a US Passport to visit Canada these days? I've discovered on some motorcycle forums that I belong to...that not everyone is aware. Or do you have the "enhanced" Washington drivers licenses?
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:44 PM   #9
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Just wondering if you're aware that you need a US Passport to visit Canada these days? I've discovered on some motorcycle forums that I belong to...that not everyone is aware. Or do you have the "enhanced" Washington drivers licenses?
Yup, we are set on that front. We all have passports.
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:36 AM   #10
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Yup, we are set on that front. We all have passports.
Terrific...enjoy your trip to Vancouver Island...a great place to visit!
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangepeel
For the curious here are the rates for a 38" rig, a Jeep and 4 passengers. Rates are round trip. BC Ferry (Vancouver, Tsawwassen Terminal/Victoria) : $601.23 US Miles to terminal: 311 90 minute ferry ride 14 Departures a day.
In defence of my job as the Director of tourism and promotion for BC ferries (just kidding)....I am confused by your calculations for a trip from Tsawwassen (Vancouver) to Swartz Bay (Victoria). The cost is $Cdn. 228.05 x2 = $456.10 round trip.

Passengers are $16.25 p/trip x 4.....the car is $53.25 p/trip....and the MH is ($53.25 for the first 20' and 18'x$6.10p/FT) $109.80 = $228.05. This is also in $0.92 ( much cheaper) Canadian dollars not $USD. This information can be verified on the official BC Ferries website. .... www.bcferries.com
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:45 AM   #12
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In defence of my job as the Director of tourism and promotion for BC ferries (just kidding)....I am confused by your calculations for a trip from Tsawwassen (Vancouver) to Swartz Bay (Victoria). The cost is $Cdn. 228.05 x2 = $456.10 round trip. Passengers are $16.25 p/trip x 4.....the car is $53.25 p/trip....and the MH is ($53.25 for the first 20' and 18'x$6.10p/FT) $109.80 = $228.05. This is also in $0.92 ( much cheaper) Canadian dollars not $USD. This information can be verified on the official BC Ferries website. .... www.bcferries.com
Thanks Jack, when I am back at my laptop. I will run the numbers again. Oh wait, just had a thought. What dates did you enter? I put in our dates for July. I wonder if the rates may be higher for summer travel. The start date I put in was July 6 with a return of July 12.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:02 AM   #13
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No change in rates in summer; they're high all the time.
Reservations possible on BC Ferries, If your travelling on a Fri or Mon . I'd rec-commend them . You MUST arrive 30 mins. before sailing time or your reservation & fee is lost.
I avoid summer travel, so on that route in particular, can't say if they would be necessary mid- week days.
Ferry rates have doubled in the last 8 years, and March first of this year, they started charging BC seniors 1/2 fare for mid-week travel, instead of being free; we just paid vehicle fee , no passenger fare.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:44 AM   #14
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Interesting, I am getting higher rates than you show Jack. (It's a Canadian conspiracy! ) Here are screenshots of what I got. I had to set it as two separate reservations.

Reservation one is 3 passengers and the RV. They are charging $16.75pp for passengers, $168.50 for the RV and a $15.00 reservation fee. That gives me $233.75 each way.



Reservation two is 1 passenger and our toad. They are charging $16.75 for the passenger, $55.00 for the vehicle and $15.00 reservation fee. That gives me $86.75 each way.



So in total that would be $641.00 Cdn. Throw that into the Google currency converter and that gives me a US total of $589.64.



A bit cheaper that the $601 I figured last night but I think that is because I put us in at 39", our rig is a couple inches past 38" so I wanted to estimate high. But that is still $133 higher than what Jack is getting.

Higher rates for non-citizens perhaps? Oh, or at the beginning it asked if you wanted to make a reservation with an account or without an account. I chose without an account. Discount there maybe?

$60 can be accounted for for those reservation fees. I find it irritating I cannot put it all on one reservation as that costs me an extra $30!
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