On our road trip to BC this summer, we knew we would have to take BC Ferries, to get to Vancouver Island. We were excited! Would the ship be small or like a cruise ship? Would it be a rough ride? Would we get to see whales? We took the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo.
When we first got onto the ferry, my daughters wanted to explore the whole ship, right away, to see what was on board. The views from the front seating area and from the viewing deck were amazing! We could see for miles. We didn’t get to see any whales, but on our way home we saw a helicopter hovering, over the ocean, from the side of the ship. It hovered for a long time as we passed. We loved just sitting on the viewing deck outside, feeling the ocean breeze.
The ships we were on had many amenities to entertain us during the voyage. There was a kids play zone, video game zone, cafeteria, gift shop, tourist information, and cafe. The gift shop was very well stocked with souvenirs, clothing and local art. It was larger than I expected and fun to browse all the local treasures.
Of course we were hungry, after walking all over the ship, so we checked out the Coastal Cafe. There were plenty of to-go items life fresh salads with salmon, baked goods and soup. We stood in line for a full meal and were delighted to see that they were serving White Spot food. My daughter was excited to get her food in a pirate ship again! I had the stir fry and it was so good I had it on both ships!
We booked our tickets for the ferry, of our choice online; it was so easy! I would highly recommend booking your tickets online just in case. The ferries can sell out, especially on weekends. The BC Ferries website is extremely helpful and full of information. In addition to the normal schedules, you can find information on activities in the cities you are visiting, bus information, current conditions and webcams.
You can also book vacation packages on the BC Ferries website for hotels and ferry tickets together. There is a good selection of options to choose from and the prices look good.
I should also mention that the ferry terminals themselves have a fantastic selection of food and gifts, for while you are waiting for you ship to board.
We really enjoyed our trip on both BC Ferries ships. We had so much to do the time flew by.
Disclosure: I received free passes for the ferry in exchange for this review, however, all opinions in this post are my own.