Pro Tip: Don’t forget we are on an island.
Though our big sister cities of Vancouver and Seattle may seem right next door on a map, there is a big body of water separating us from the mainland. Though it means a bit more planning, the crossing also makes for a very scenic trip to Victoria!
Recommended ways to get over the water:
Fly straight to Victoria International Airport (YYJ) (be sure to get a window seat!)
Our local airport (YYJ) has domestic and international flights coming in direct from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Seattle. The airport is about a 40 minute drive from downtown and the host hotel depending on traffic. If you are flying in to YYJ, it is important to remember that Victoria does not have rideshare providers like Lyft or Uber, just good old-fashioned taxis!
There is an airport shuttle that runs directly from the airport to Downtown Victoria. Details on that shuttle can be found HERE.
Experience the novelty of a float plane from Vancouver or Seattle
Nothing is more iconic than flying into Victoria Harbour on a float sea plane. There are two service providers that fly right into the Inner Harbour, directly in front of the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel. Harbour Air has flights from Vancouver, either from Coal Harbour (downtown Vancouver) or Richmond- YVR South. Kenmore Air offers flights from Seattle with take-off at Lake Union. Kenmore Air also offers a ground shuttle from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Click HERE for details.
As a GSCA delegate you receive discounts with both Kenmore Air and Harbour Air.
Kenmore Air: Use promo code GSCA2019 for 10% off flights from Lake Union to Victoria
Harbour Air: Use promo code GSCA2019 for 20% goFlex and goGold rates from Vancouver to Victoria
Catch a HeliJet if you are in a rush
The trip from Vancouver to Victoria via Helijet is a mere 20 minute flight from harbour to harbour. Fares and travel details can be found HERE.
Take a Ferry like a local
BC Ferries provides Ferry services from Vancouver to Victoria. These big boats take about 1.5 hours to make the crossing and travel through the picturesque Gulf Islands often spotting orcas or other marine life along the way. You can drive a vehicle or walk onto the Ferry and the total travel time from Vancouver to downtown Victoria is about 3.5 hours.
Transportation from Vancouver International Airport to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal takes approximately 45 minutes. If you choose to adventure like a local, you will want to look at the ferry times between Tsawwassen (Vancouver) and Swartz Bay (Victoria) terminals HERE.
From Washington, the Clipper (from Seattle) has a crossing time of 2 hours and 40 minutes and the Blackball Coho (from Port Angeles) has a crossing time of 1,5 hours. Both ferries provide direct access to downtown. The Clipper is walk on only from downtown Seattle and the Coho has walk on and drive on services. More information on the Clipper HERE and the Coho HERE.
As a GSCA delegate you receive discounts for The Clipper. If booking over the phone, mention “GSCA” to the booking agent, or get your discount when booking online HERE.
Car Rental Information
If you are looking for a car rental while you are in town, you can find a list of the rental services available inside the Victoria International Airport.
There are also several rental companies located close to the theatre and host hotel:
Enterprise Car Rental – 2507 Government Street 250.475.6900
National Car Rental – 767 Douglas Street 250.386.1213
Budget Car Rental – 757 Douglas Street 250.953.5300
Avis Car Rental – 1001 Douglas Street 250.386.8468
Depending on your travel plans, and unless you can book a direct flight into Victoria (YYJ), you will likely want to book your commercial connecting flights via either Seattle (SEA) or Vancouver (YVR) into Victoria (YYJ)
If you book via Seattle (SEA) you will clear customs in Victoria which is a much simpler process (and less time consuming) than in clearing customs in Vancouver.
Attending Dome Day?
You could also consider booking your flights into Victoria (YYJ) and then outbound from Vancouver (YVR) after Dome Day. The GSCA has arranged bus transportation for the ferry crossing on the morning of Dome Day Friday, Sept. 13.