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BC Ferry Info


For Travel to Salt Spring Island

The BC Ferry service makes regular trips to 3 different terminals on Salt Spring Island.

BC Ferries does not accept payment by debit card. Cash or credit only.

If you’re flying from another location, you can land in either Vancouver International Airport or Victoria International Airport for easy access to a ferry terminal.

This page provides details on each of the three routes…

From Vancouver (Tsawwassen) From Victoria (Swartz Bay) From Crofton

Tsawwassen to Salt Spring

BC Ferry approaching Active Pass near Salt Spring Island.
Booking a sailing ahead of time is the best way to avoid the disappointment of having to wait around to get to Salt Spring Island. If you don’t wish to make a reservation, be sure you’re plenty early to the ferry terminal, especially if it’s a holiday weekend.

» To Long Harbour

The length of a ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Long Harbour on Salt Spring Island ranges, depending on which sailing you catch.

The non-stop sailing takes 1.5 hours. The three stop sailing, which stops at Galiano, Mayne, and Pender Islands, takes twice as long – 3 hours. There’s also a 2 stop sailing on specific days.

Check the online schedule here

» To Swartz Bay then Fulford Harbour (Thru-fare)

Taking this route means two separate ferry rides to reach Salt Spring, but is sometimes a better option for visitors who want to arrive on the south end of the island, or who are on a schedule that the infrequent Long Harbour sailings don’t jive with. Request a ‘thru-fare’ when purchasing your tickets in Tsawwassen. This covers the fares for both sailings. The ferry from Tsawwassen takes you to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. Passengers disembark, drive down the highway a short jaunt to the turn around point, then back in the ferry lineups to catch the sailing to Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring.

Reservations Online

Prepaid vehicle reservations are available on sailings between Tsawwassen and the Southern Gulf Islands.

Simply register for a ‘myBCFerries’ account and you can manage all reservations from there.

Reservations by Telephone

  • 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779) from anywhere in North America
  • *BCF (*223) from your cell phone on Rogers or Telus Mobility Networks
  • 250-386-3431 from outside North America

Swartz Bay Departures (North of Victoria) to Salt Spring

BC Ferry in Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island.
Reservations are NOT available for travel between Swartz Bay and the Southern Gulf Islands. However, there are frequent daily sailings. The ferry terminal is very close to the airport and the trip takes just over 30 minutes once you board the vessel.

Dunderry Guest House

You dock at Fulford Harbour, which is at the south end of Salt Spring.

Cell phone connections most often don’t work in Fulford. So try to do any necessary communicating before the ferry is docked.

Check the online schedule here for departure times

From Crofton (Vancouver Island) to Salt Spring (Vesuvius)

Vesuvius Bay on Salt Spring Island.
The sailing from Crofton docks at Vesuvius Bay on Salt Spring Island. (Crofton is about 40km south of Nanaimo.) This one is a very small ferry and the sail is only 20 minutes long. There are frequent DC (Dangerous Cargo) sailings on this ferry where no other passengers are permitted.

Beachfront at Vesuvius

The DC sailings are posted on the schedule. But this ferry departs every hour:10 minutes, so you won’t have to wait long if you miss a sailing or end up encountering a DC route.

Check the online schedule here

If you’re able to, go out on the deck and experience (at least some of) the voyage from outside. It’s exhilarating!

The air is fresh, the ocean alive! In fact, we’ve always considered the ferry ride one of the main highlights of a trip to any of the Gulf Islands.

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