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Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

Lawrenceville, NJ
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Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

For reasons relating to the end of our trip, our family is booked into Seattle on our way to Victoria, BC. We're driving from the airport to catch a ferry to Victoria, where we are starting our trip. Meeting up with relatives traveling from the Midwest, we'll be leaving Sea-Tac at about 4. Per Google Maps, it takes about 2 hours, 50 minutes to Tsawassen Ferry Terminal near Vancouver, and about 2 1/2 hours to Port Angeles via the Olympic Peninsula. The Black Ball ferry line leaves Port Angeles for Victoria at either 5:20 P.M. or 9:30 P.M. This means that I couldn't count on boarding this ferry before 9:30 P.M.

The I'm leaning towards Tsawassen vs. Port Angeles, because of a 7 P.M. auto ferry. Am I being realistic? Can I count on a space on the B.C. Ferries auto ferry without a reservation, given the question of whether I can make the 7 P.M. ferry, vs. the 9 P.M. ferry?

I'd appreciate the input of the community. Thanks.

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Vancouver Island, Canada
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British Columbia, Canada
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Black Ball Ferry Line
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seattle
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1. Re: Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

You have many things going against you and I assuming this is a weekday. You're dealing with rush hour traffic through Seattle all the way to the Canadian border. You also may encounter traffic going into Tswassen. BC Ferries you can make a reservation but if you have to be there 30 minutes prior to departure or the reservation will be cancelled. alaska airlines and Delta have service in to Victoria so you may try that first. Dealing with the border is the big unknown

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Seattle
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Delta Hotels by Marriott Burnaby Conference Centre
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Lawrenceville, NJ
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2. Re: Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

Thanks for the reply. We're going on a Saturday afternoon. Will that make a difference?

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

What month? The Tsawwassen ferry runs hourly in the summer.

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

The 2h 50m time quoted for Seatac to Tsawwassen is obviously a "wheels turning" time and does not take into account any time queuing for the border. On Saturdays in the summer, that wait can be anywhere from 30 min. to 90 min. You'd then have a long queue getting into the Tsawwassen terminal area. In my view arriving at SEA at 4 and making a 7 PM sailing from Tsawwassen is quite impossible.

I would book the later Port Angeles ferry and either drive to PA via the Tacoma Narrows or take the Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry. The Coho will put you right in the Inner Harbour at Victoria, vs. Swartz Bay, a half hour's drive from the city.

If you're coming from the east coast and/or midwest, don't ignore the time difference. A 9:30 PM ferry is actually a 12:30 AM ferry to you. Maybe a better solution is to spend the night somewhere in western Washington and take a morning boat?

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Lawrenceville, NJ
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5. Re: Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

The trip we're taking is in the summer. We've booked and paid for our room on a Saturday night in August, in Victoria. From the helpful information above, it seems the smart choice is either the 9:30 P.M. Port Angeles ferry, or the 9 P.M. Tsawassen ferry near Vancouver. I locked in our hotel room before realizing that our traveling father-in-law couldn't join us from the Midwest until 3:30 or so at Sea-Tac.

Of these two, which is the best choice? Can we get a decent quick dinner somewhere along the way, and thus make a relaxed trip of what is otherwise a slog on our way to Victoria?

Your help on this is very much appreciated.

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Vancouver Island, Canada
Port Angeles
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Washington
Vancouver
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British Columbia, Canada
seattle
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6. Re: Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

Saturday the traffic won't be as bad on the highway but there's always a wait at the ferry. The border is the big an own. Is there anyway you could take the Clipper and rent a car once in Victoria which would make way more sense?

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Victoria
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Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

>> Of these two, which is the best choice? Can we get a decent quick dinner somewhere along the way, and thus make a relaxed trip of what is otherwise a slog on our way to Victoria? <<

The drive to Port Angeles (either via Tacoma or the Seattle ferry) is more scenic than the drive up the freeway to the border. The PA ferry (Coho) will get you to downtown Victoria right at 11 PM; the Tsawwassen boat will get you to Swartz Bay around 10:40; however by the time you offload and drive into Victoria it will be after 11, so all things considered I'd pick the PA ferry. Have dinner in Port Angeles - plenty of places.

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Lawrenceville, NJ
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8. Re: Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

I appreciate the breakdown. Thanks for your insight.

Port Angeles, WA
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9. Re: Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

Try Wine on the Waterfront in Port Angeles for little plates and a good selection of wines by the glass. Sabia Thai is another good choice, as is Bella Italia. At Bella, however, make sure to order only from the list of specials, not from the dated and uninspired main menu. The specials are very good and feature local fish, meats, and produce.

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Port Angeles
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10. Re: Port Angeles vs. Vancouver, from Sea-Tac to Victoria

You avoid most of Interstate 5 and the border crossing taking the Port Angeles Ferry. That is also my vote. I would suggest waiting until you are across the Hood Canal Bridge before stopping to eat in either Sequim or Port Angeles. The bridge can open and cause a delay up to 30 minutes. (This is another one of those items that Google Maps can't account for). I can go for months without it ever opening and then get caught twice in one week. If you wait to eat until after you are across, it will help give you a clear idea about how much time you have.

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