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Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal

Boat or Ferry and Pier
  • Chris B.
    "... allow Vancouver & Gulf Islands and are a lot shorter..."(3 Tips)
    Jenny L.
    "Just bought a BC Ferries Experience card"(3 Tips)
    Kayodé W.
    "... forget to use your BC Ferries Experience Card; you get a 30% discount"(2 Tips)
    Anthony M.
    "Also ShawOpen free wifi for Shaw Internet subscribers."(6 Tips)
82 Tips and reviews
  • gulf islands
  • ferries
  • free Wifi
  • experience card
  • takes reservations
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  • Ruby 🚲 G.
    Ruby 🚲 GalanidaJune 2, 2014
    Been here 50+ times
    Bring your bike on the ferry via the bus (or bike the Lochside Trail)! $2 fee. Buy your ticket in foot passenger area then walk to deck 2. First on, first off the ferry.
  • Bradford
    BradfordDecember 17, 2010
    If catching the ferry to or from Victoria, travel in style (and quiet) use the seawest lounge on your Bc ferry. Only 12 dollars you get a paper, coffee, snacks and wifi. Totally worth it!
  • Cathy
    CathyMay 28, 2012
    Been here 25+ times
    If you miss your boat, you will get busted by choosing your own lane. Just ask the guy who is now having to swim to YVR this evening. Avoid doing that. It's a long cold swim.
  • ITT Wilsons T.
    ITT Wilsons ToursApril 6, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    If you visit the Gulf Islands frequently buy a discount card at toll booth. Load card with Min$95 and save almost $14 per trip- SSI too
  • H K.
    H KSeptember 5
    Takes an hour to Victoria. Also make sure to get here 30 min before the ferry departs so you have time to buy your ticket.
  • Ilona B.
    Ilona BickerSeptember 12, 2014
    If you have a reservation, make sure to check in at least 30 minutes prior to sailing time or you will lose your reservation.
  • Salt Spring Air P.
    Salt Spring Air PhilipMay 21, 2011
    Been here 50+ times
    If you miss the ferry or want to avoid the wait next time fly from pat bay (5 mins from here) goes straight to Vancouver from $99pp free parking 1888-537-9880
  • MisterEastlake
    MisterEastlakeFebruary 19, 2015
    They have a pay phone that takes coins or credit card. It even has a yellow pages phonebook!
  • Stephen A.
    Stephen AkinsJune 23, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    If you are going on a Gulf Island Ferry, you can take the side stairs/elevator just before the ticket booth; and walk across the lot below. Its faster and you won't get caught in the foot traffic com
  • Stephen B.
    Stephen BonnerJune 5, 2012
    Sea West Lounge on the Ferry worth the $12 charge for comfy seats, newspapers, and snacks. No screaming children
  • Salt Spring Air P.
    Salt Spring Air PhilipDecember 29, 2010
    Been here 50+ times
    If you miss the ferry, call SaltSpring Air to come and get you, 40 mins to down town Vancouver, or drive to pat bay, N Sannich and get on the schedule flight. 250-537-9880
  • Terry O.
    Terry OstiJanuary 17, 2012
    Brilliant how BC Ferries can charge us more $$ for reservations because the lineups were so long due to the fact that they could not provide decent service during peak times.
  • Robin W.
    Robin WNovember 5, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    Travel a lot between islands? Load up an Experience card and save at least $16 every trip (undersize vehicle & 1 pass.) . No savings between Swartz Bay & Tsawassen though.
  • Alyx G.
    Alyx GilgunnSeptember 14, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Although I've only lost once, the race to the ferry to make your reservation should get you there MORE than 30min before hand.
  • Dilara 🐰
    Dilara 🐰August 21, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Best to make reservations (only $17) & arrive at least 30 mins prior to departure to avoid sailing waits.
  • Chris B.
    Chris BJune 5, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    The lanes on the right usually allow Vancouver & Gulf Islands and are a lot shorter...
  • glenn l.
    glenn lethamJanuary 28, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Sit outside on the ferry with your camera, the views are spectacular @yyjpics
  • Mark Y.
    Mark YagerOctober 16, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Note that self-serve kiosks are for WALK-ON PASSENGERS ONLY. If you're driving on, you can pay be cash or credit, no debit.
  • Shawna Y.
    Shawna YankeJuly 7, 2013
    Once you're on the boat, make a quick beeline for the cafeteria if you want food. The line builds fast!
  • Robin W.
    Robin WFebruary 11, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    Whatever u do... Don't waste your time walking to the Stonehouse Pub, which u know u want to... Cuz it's closed down! Instead... Bring ur own beer and chill in ur car like a boss.
  • Lance G.
    Lance GlennSeptember 1, 2011
    Been here 50+ times
    The pet area smells of poo. You're brilliant. Any other tips, like you have to pay to ride the ferry?
  • Stephen A.
    Stephen AkinsAugust 23, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    If you use the self serve ticket kiosks you can get through much faster. But if it's close to sailing time, you have to use the ticket booth
  • Dottie W.
    Dottie WMay 26, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    There is also Shaw Exo WiFi available here! If you have a @shaw email address you can log in! It's seamless for all the other exo WiFi spots
  • Michael B.
    Michael BNovember 19, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    If you have a lengthy ferry wait you CAN leave your car and stroll to the nearby Stonehouse Pub for a pint!
  • Josh
    JoshAugust 6, 2012
    I think you sail through American waters, so your phone might shoot you a roaming message.
  • Tim A.
    Tim AyresAugust 9, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Tip: the food options at this terminal are not great. Stop in Sidney on your way to the terminal and pick something up.
  • Connie D.
    Connie DunwoodyOctober 7, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    There are no PCL buses on the even-hour ferries. Option is to take the 620 bus to Bridgeport Station in Vancouver and pick up the Canada Line from there.
  • glenn l.
    glenn lethamAugust 28, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    kinda fun watching the skipper dock this huge beast...
  • Josh B.
    Josh BathSeptember 11, 2011
    Don't forget to grab a couple of bags of Kettle Corn ... Mmmmmm Mmmmmm good;)
  • Jenny L.
    Jenny LomasAugust 14, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Just bought a BC Ferries Experience card and saved $16 on our trip to Salt Spring.
  • Terry W.
    Terry WooDecember 27, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    The Lands End Cafe is basically a gas station convenience store with ridiculous prices.
  • Lee-Anne D.
    Lee-Anne DixonAugust 20, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Great night for sailing!
  • glenn l.
    glenn lethamJanuary 19, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Heading to SeaTac? Take the quikcoach shuttle bus from the Richmond casino, awesome service!!
  • Miguel L.
    Miguel LlamasJune 21, 2013
    If you're going to Victoria make sure you take the express bus in the ferry
  • Rian B.
    Rian BowdenAugust 27, 2010
    I don't care what they say... It keeps getting better and better to ride the Ferry! Free wireless, what more could we ask for?
  • Wei H.
    Wei HuAugust 20, 2012
    Make a reservation if you are going to Vancouver on a Sunday night.
  • Ivan C.
    Ivan ChevelevAugust 19, 2013
    Don't take the leftmost lane when checking in - it only gets one booth, while the other lane gets three...
  • Adam Q.
    Adam QuineySeptember 1, 2012
    Skip the ferry and instead shop at local artisan kiosks!
  • Teresa
    TeresaJanuary 23, 2011
    Yes there is enough time to use the restroom after announcement that you are nearing terminal, told to make your way back to vehicle...
  • Rick C.
    Rick ChadwickJune 19, 2015
    BC Ferries are great!
  • Eugen K.
    Eugen KleinApril 4, 2012
    Pass the time by connecting to the BC Ferries free WiFi! @kleingroup
  • Jamie
    JamieJuly 18, 2011
    Ferry wait? Stonehouse Pub is a five minute walk away - great outdoor patio!
  • Graham M.
    Graham McCluskyJuly 9, 2011
    If you're American you CAN use debit cards which have a Mastercard or VISA logo on them...Canadian banks don't have this technology yet...
  • David S.
    David SkidmoreOctober 7, 2011
    Stay away from the Jewelry lady in the tent by the cafe, she's a cow. I took a picture of some of her wares because I thought they were cool and she yelled at me to delete it due to privacy laws. Um?
  • chris h.
    chris holtJanuary 23, 2012
    Wow crazy windy ride. We're last ferry for the day all others suspended
  • Pavel Z.
    Pavel ZomarevJune 9, 2011
    Onboard wireless gets clogged in the first ten minutes after departure. Do not count on it!
  • Maya C.
    Maya ConnJuly 6, 2015
    Free Wi-Fi and friendly customer service.
  • David B.
    David BrunsdonJune 9, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    put a pinch of sage in your boots, and all day long a spicy scent is your reward.
  • Kayodé W.
    Kayodé WanApril 9, 2011
    Don't forget to use your BC Ferries Experience Card; you get a 30% discount
  • Davin G.
    Davin GreenwellFebruary 25, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    I recommend getting on a ferry. Check it out!
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