The Ferry to Salt Spring Island

Important safety tip … when booking your ferry trip to Salt Spring Island, it’s a good idea to pay a lot more attention to the process than I did.

It wasn’t until I went back to figure out what I’d missed did I realize on the BC Ferries schedule did you have to go to the Southern Gulf Islands schedule ( and then click on Vancouver Departures.

On this page you have to navigate to further navigate Tsawwassen to Salt Spring Island (Long Harbour). There it tells you that it’s a three hour trip because you stop at Galiano, Manye and Pender Islands on the way.

So, how did I miss that this was a three hour trek? I reserved without going through the schedule and I simply did not look at the arrival time. This was partly because I had no choice. There are not that many sailings to choose from and it’s not like I’m going to find an oar and try to speed the boat along.

The other surprise when I reserved the round trip was that they charged me for the whole trip. When you reserve a Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay (i.e. VancouverVictoria) trip, they charge you $17.50 for the reservation. Then when you arrive at the terminal you pay the fare. Sadly, the $17.50 is not applied to you fare or returned. It would make more sense to charge $17.50 for those people who don’t reserve. Oh well, that won’t be the last oddity one finds with BC Ferries.

Once you are on the ferry, in my case the Queen of Nanaimo, you will feel like it’s the 1960s. That’s how old these ships are. I did not feel unsafe, I was just expecting my grandmother to show up; this would be a trick as she’s been dead since the 90s.

What will really please you though is the scenery. It’s amazing. As you wind through the channels between islands and see the quaint harbours, you will put aside the technological non-advances and say “whoa.”

One Response to The Ferry to Salt Spring Island

  1. Jerry Hall says:

    You should buy a helicopter. They’re much quicker, and relatively easy to fly. You don’t even need a license, as far as I’m concerned. And helicopters store easily on any unused rooftop. And they come with built in ventilation– as long as the rotor is turning. I’d borrow it if you had one. Think about it. . .

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