6 Ways to Get from Seattle to Victoria, BC

,
kenmore air seaplane flying into victoria inner harbour
kenmore air flying into victoria inner harbour

While Victoria is closer to American soil than its British Columbia mainland, it feels a bit like traveling to Europe. (It’s 75 miles from the Emerald City and just 28 miles from the closest US town, Friday Harbor.) Sure, the watery border can make you think twice about the best way to get to Victoria BC. 

But if you know your options, getting there can be just as much fun as being there. The following outlines the six top ways to travel between this Vancouver Island metropolis and Washington’s high-tech hub. 

How to Get from Seattle to Victoria

Flights from Seattle to Victoria 

1. Commercial Flight from Seattle

Several large commercial airlines fly directly from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Victoria International Airport (YYJ). The actual flight time is roughly an hour. However, keep in mind that flying through a major international airport requires check-in, passing through security, and passing through Customs and Border Protection (which often involves long lines). 

REQUIRED: An acceptable form of identification. (Passports are recommended, as these are the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification documents for international travel). 

2. Kenmore Air Seaplane from Seattle

A seaplane flight from Seattle to downtown Victoria is the fastest way to reach the British Columbia capital. (And, we happen to think the most beautiful as well.) Flights depart from both Kenmore Air’s Lake Union terminal and Lake Washington terminal.

Flight time is roughly 45 minutes and delivers passengers directly to Victoria’s Inner Harbour, right beside the iconic BC Parliament Buildings and Fairmont Empress. Lines are nearly non-existent. The Customs and Border Protection process is easily the most friendly and simple you’ll ever experience. And, the terminals offer beautiful views. 

REQUIRED: A valid passport is required for all seaplane passengers traveling from the United States. If a passenger arrives at check-in without a valid passport, they will need to reschedule their flight. 

Seattle to Victoria Ferry Options

3. Black Ball Ferry from Port Angeles

The Black Ball company’s MV Coho ferry boat sails between Port Angeles and Victoria at least two times a day (except when out of service due to annual maintenance). At 341.6 feet long, the boat can carry just over 100 vehicles. The total time at sea is roughly 90 minutes from dock to dock. 

However, reaching the MV Coho’s driving from Seattle to Port Angeles takes roughly 2.5 hours without traffic. And, that doesn’t include the time spent waiting in the ferry line. 

REQUIRED: An acceptable form of identification. (Passports are recommended, as these are the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification documents for international travel).

4. BC Ferry from Tsawwassen in Vancouver, BC

If you’d like to have your personal vehicle while exploring Victoria and Vancouver Island, your other choice is to take a BC Ferry from Vancouver. The BC Ferry system’s Spirit of British Columbia provides regular service to Victoria’s Swartz Bay. 

The boat is 547.9 feet and can carry up to 358 vehicles. Total sail time is rough 95 minutes, but this does not include the more than 2-hour drive from Seattle to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal or the time spent waiting for the ferry. 

REQUIRED: An acceptable form of identification. (Passports are recommended, as these are the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification documents for international travel).

5. Victoria Clipper Passenger Ferry from Seattle

The Victoria Clipper is the only commercial vessel that offers direct service from Victoria to Seattle. Departing from Pier 69 in downtown Seattle and sailing directly to the Belleville Terminal in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, it is also the fastest water route. The total sail time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

However, keep in mind this is a passenger-only Seattle to Victoria ferry. Bikes are permitted for a small handling fee. (Bike space is limited and there are limitations on the types of bikes permitted aboard. If you plan to bring your bike, be sure to book in advance and coordinate with the Clipper.)

REQUIRED: An acceptable form of identification. (Passports are recommended, as these are the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification documents for international travel).

6. Washington State Ferry from Anacortes

Prior to the pandemic, the Washington State Ferries offered a seasonal route from Anacortes to Sidney, BC — a small harbor town located less than 30 minutes from downtown Victoria. Due to the pandemic, this route has been halted and will resume during the summer of 2023, at the earliest. 

If you are interested in sailing to Victoria from Anacortes, we recommend monitoring the Washington State Ferries website for new information. Additionally, keep in mind that this Seattle to Victoria ferry option also requires a nearly 1.5-hour drive from downtown Seattle (assuming there’s no traffic) and waiting in the ferry line. 

REQUIRED: An acceptable form of identification. (Passports are recommended, as these are the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification documents for international travel).

Fun Things to do in Victoria, BC

Ultimate Seattle, WA to Victoria, BC Weekend

Victoria BC
Tucked within the Olympic Rainshadow, the small metropolitan hub gets 308 days a year with sunshine! So whether you’re looking for indoor activities or plenty of fresh air, there’s a wide variety of things to do in Victoria, BC.

Swoon-Worthy Things to do in Victoria, BC

A couple on a hike during sunset at Gonzales Hill Regional Park. Photo by Destination BC and Hubert Kang.
If you’re looking to add some extra va va voom to your romantic Victoria getaway, we have you covered. This list includes date-worthy restaurants, scenic views, heart-thumping activities, and more! Photo by Destination BC and Hubert Kang.