Over the last number of years ferry travel in North America has become increasingly popular: and no where more than on the west coast.
With passenger-vehicle ferries, traditional ferries, high-speed & passenger-only ferries plying the waters between Washington and British Columbia, travellers to the coastal islands have more water based transportation choices than ever before.
Ferries provide an opportunity to see & enjoy coastal communities in a leisurely way not possible by air, rail or road.
Sitting between the US State of Washington and the Canadian Province of British Columbia are the San Juan and Gulf Island (as well as Vancouver Island, home of the popular City of Victoria).
The operators of ferry service
The coastal communities of the Northwest are served by 4 major players:
BC Ferries; Washington State Ferries; Blackball Transportation and the high-speed passenger-only ferry service out of downtown Seattle, Clipper Vacations.
Ferrytravel.com is a website which compiles information on all ferry systems public & private, operating in BC, WA and Alaska.
Details on every ferry port, every route, every ferry schedule for every ferry system, for every ferry route cost and for each reservation opportunity (where reservations are accepted), are all available through www.ferrytravel.com.
For travellers to, in and around the coast, the site is worth exploring- it won't break - no matter how many times you go from page to page & back again, and it will show if any ferry choices exist for travellers wanting passage between ports.
It should be noted that each ferry system does provide an opportunity to travel without first having made a reservation. Sometimes this works, other times it doesn’t.
However - there is nothing is more disappointing than sitting at a terminal watching ferry after ferry depart without you because those having taken the time to make reservations, have filled the ship. Making a ferry reservation is always a good idea.
Reservations for the Blackball ferry can be made at 800-264-6475; for Washington Ferries at 888-808-7977 and for the BC Ferry mainland & gulf island sailings at 888-223-37791.
Reservations for the BC northern routes, Prince Rupert, Port Hardy, Bella Coola, Bella Bella and Skidegate can be made through 1-800-686-0446.
Reservations for the Seattle-Victoria Clipper ferry however can be most easily, securely & and quickly made by going to www.ferrytravel.com.