Getting To And Around British Columbia
British Columbia has so many transportation options that getting around can be half the fun. A visitor can take planes, trains, automobiles, ferries and buses on scenic routes. Options include:
FROM WASHINGTON STATE
By boat: The three Victoria Clipper catamarans provide the only scheduled connections by water between Seattle and Victoria. Two of the passenger-only ships make direct three-hour trips to Victoria, returning in late afternoon or early evening; one makes stops at Port Townsend and Friday Harbor. Round-trip cost ranges from $47 to $67. Information: 448-5000.
Washington state ferries make two runs daily to connect Anacortes and Victoria via Sidney, B.C. about 18 miles north of Victoria (phone 464-6400) Adult passenger round-trip is $12.10. Auto reservations available for summer sailings after June 16.
The Black Ball Ferry sails between Port Angeles and Victoria three times daily after May 16 and four times daily between June 6 and Sept. 6. After May 16, adult round trip is $12. (1-457-4491). Victoria Rapid Transit offers twice-daily passenger-only service from Port Angeles to Victoria May 23-June 14 and four times daily June 15-Sept. 8. Adult round trip is $20; children 5-11, under 5, free. (1-800-633-1589).
By plane: Daily flights from Seattle and other Puget Sound cities are available to Vancouver and Victoria on Horizon, Air Canada, AirBC and United airlines. Float-plane companies such as Lake Union Air (284-0300) and Chrysler Air (329-9638) both on Lake Union, and Kenmore Air (486-8400) on Lake Washington have regular and charter flights to most of B.C.'s harbor terminals.
By car or bus: In good traffic, driving I-5 to Vancouver takes about three hours. But expect weekend congestion at border crossings. Greyhound offers four daily trips to Vancouver for $32 round trip (628-5510). WITHIN B.C.
By rail: When the budget for VIA Rail, Canada's national passenger railway system, was slashed early last year, the southern route of the trans-Canada passenger service was eliminated. A private firm, the Great Canadian Railtours, now offers trips on that southern track to the Canadian Rockies from May 26 to Sept. 29. Trains connect Vancouver, Calgary, Banff and Jasper on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. (1-800-665-7245).
VIA Rail still offers cross-country service to Montreal on a northerly route. (1-800-361-3677).
B.C. Rail runs trains from its North Vancouver terminal to the Whistler resort, and connects interior communities and the northern B.C. city of Prince George. (1-800-631-3501).
By air: Air B.C. has extensive routes within the province while Canadian Airlines serves most major Canadian cities. Glacier Air Tours connects Vancouver and Whistler (1-604-683-0209), Vancouver and Victoria are linked by Victoria Fly-away (1-604-687-0700); Harbor Air connects Vancouver and Victoria and several other destinations along the B.C. coast and Gulf Islands (1-604-688-1277).
By bus: Pacific Coach Lines and Maverick Coach Lines serve Vancouver, Victoria, and other destinations in B.C.
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