Other than flying to Vancouver Island, there are two main car ferry routes from the British Columbia lower mainland. One route travels from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo and the other from Tsawwassen to Sidney.
However, there is a third option for travellers from the US Olympic Peninsula to Victoria, BC, and that is via the MV Coho, a classic ferry that has provided daily service for over 50 years. The ferry, operated by the Black Ball Line, departs for a 90-minute crossing from the tiny town of Port Angeles, WA., and sails right into the inner harbour of Victoria. Immigration and customs officials meet the ferry and make entry into Canada quick and efficient.
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
Years ago, we once took the MV Coho from Victoria to Port Angeles in order to see the Olympic Peninsula and visit the Boeing Plant at Everett, WA. It was a pleasant trip, and an easy crossing. This time we planned to cross in the opposite direction, cutting off hours of extra driving all the way north to Tsawwassen, and avoiding the traffic congestion in the Tacoma/Seattle region.
We arrived in Port Angles at the end of a long day of driving up the west coast, and settled into the hotel we had booked ahead of time. We had also make a reservation for the noon ferry crossing so we didn’t have to rush in the morning, or put our car in the line up too far in advance.
We had perfect weather for the voyage and I didn’t feel the motion too very much at all. I did wear my travel bands on my wrists to help minimize the motion sickness that usually plagues me on watercraft.
The biggest delight of the whole trip was pulling into the Inner Harbour once we reached Victoria. We know the city so very well, and have walked all the various footpaths along the harbour, but now we were seeing everything from a completely different perspective. It continues to amaze me that a car ferry can deliver passengers right into the very heart of this stunning city.