Very sadly, Washington State Ferries announced on March 1, 2023 that service from Anacortes, Washington to Sidney, British Columbia will not resume until 2030 at the earliest.
The main reason being a lack of vessels certified to sail internationally. They are looking at other options to restart the service sooner.
Travel Alternatives for Ferry Service between Washington State / British Columbia mainland and Vancouver Island
Three ferry options – 1) from Vancouver, BC area; 2) from Port Angeles on the Washington State Peninsula; and 3) from Seattle.
1) For alternative travel to Vancouver Island with or without a car, try BCFerries. They have terminals outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay going to Vancouver Island.
2) The Black Ball Ferry Line’s M.V. Coho Ferry from Port Angeles (on the Washington peninsula) into Victoria, BC has resumed service. BlackBall Ferry Line website.
3) Seattle Clipper (walk-on only; no cars) – Service from Seattle to Victoria. The ride is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Terminals are at Seattle’s Waterfront on Pier 69 just north of Anthony’s Restaurant and Belleville Terminal in the heart of Victoria’s downtown harbour. 7-day advance tickets range from $115 – $160 USD. (You might want to call for reservations as the online form wasn’t populating for Victoria yet – 1(800) 888-2535 between 8am-5pm PDT.) More information for Seattle to Victoria walk-on ferry on their website.
Continue reading for details on parking, bringing your bike, and ferry locations for Anacortes, Washington and the San Juan Island route.
This article will take you though the logistics of traveling without your car on the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes, Washington to Victoria, British Columbia or the San Juan Islands.
The Low Down: Walk On Fare
A one-way walk on fare for one adult (age 19 – 64) is
$19.45 from Anacortes, WA to Sidney, BC. Roundtrip cost is $38.90 on the Washington State Ferries.
56% Savings When You Leave Your Car Behind
The cost of bringing a car from Anacortes to Sidney is $95.10 round-trip (summertime rate) and that’s just for the car. A trip for two (with car) would cost $172.90. Reduce that cost by 56% to just
$76.20 round-trip for two adult walk-ons (without a car). Victoria Regional Transit System will get you around the Greater Victoria area (more on this below).
TripAdvisor: Victoria, BC – Where to Stay, Eat and What to See (affiliate link)
Option: Bring Your Bike
Bringing your bike is also an option. It will cost an additional charge of $6.00 per bike one way ($12.00 roundtrip) on the ferry. The Victoria Regional Transit System is equipped to carry two bikes on each bus. However the Anacortes / Skagit Transit bus is not equipped to carry bikes, so you would need to ride the short distance to the ferry terminal from downtown Anacortes.
Ferry Port Locations
Anacortes, Washington is located 77 miles / 124 km (1-1/2 hours without traffic) northwest of Seattle.
Sidney, British Columbia is 16 miles / 26 km (25 minutes) north of Victoria located on Vancouver Island in Canada.
TripAdvisor: Deals on Hotels in Victoria (affiliate link)
Victoria Government Parliament Buildings
Where to Leave Your Car in Anacortes
Along Highway 20, there is March Point (map) Park and Ride. It’s just a 10 minute drive from downtown Anacortes. They offer free overnight, multiple day parking. The lot is in a remote location. It is lighted, but I don’t believe they have security cameras at this location.
Skagit Transit asks that if you are leaving your car longer than three days, please call them to register your vehicle. Skagit Transit can be reached at 1-360-757-4433. (Keep reading for info on parking at the Anacortes ferry terminal.)
From March Point, take the Skagit Transit 410 bus directly to the ferry terminal. Bus fare is $1.00 per adult; $0.50 per child, 65+ or disabled.
The ferry terminal is 3 miles from downtown Anacortes.
Parking at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal
If you are feeling a little spendy or just need things to be a little easier, there is parking at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal. The rates are as follows:
- 1 day (0-24 hours) – $10.00 (summer rate)
- 2 days (48 hours) – $20.00 (summer rate)
- 3 days (72 hours) – $25.00 (summer rate)
- 4 days (96 hours) – $30.00 (summer rate)
- One week (7 days) (72-168 hours) – $40.00 (summer rate)
- Calendar Month Permit – $90.80 (summer)
See website for additional parking rates over 7 days – Anacortes Ferry Terminal parking.
Bags / Luggage
Just walk on the ferry with your bags and leave your car behind! There are no lockers or bag check on the ferry. They ask you do not leave your bags unattended on the ferry for the 2 – 2-1/2 hour crossing.
Arriving in Sidney BC – Bus from Sidney to Victoria
Once you arrive in Sidney, you will go through customs with other people who walked on. The 70 Express Bus will take you directly into Downtown Victoria. Unfortunately, the bus does not enter the ferry area. It is a short 10 minute walk – 3 blocks west, 4 blocks north – to the bus stop. View this route map. Or walk along 1st Street for a view of the water and turn at Beacon Avenue.
Single tickets on the bus are $2.50 per ride. A DayPASS is an even better option at
$7.75 $5.00 (valid until midnight). You may purchase a DayPASS at 7-11 located on Beacon at Resthaven Dr one block from where you catch the bus at 5th and Beacon. View fares. Transfers are available on the bus. View the Victoria Regional Transit System website.
Beacon is the main drag in the area. Catch the 70 Express Bus on Fifth at Beacon (Southwest corner of Fifth and Beacon in front of DFH Real Estate and Sidney Mortgage). Buses run about every 30 minutes. View the 70 Bus Schedule & Map
The 70 Express Bus will take you to Government at Superior (map) in Downtown Victoria. You will arrive a couple of blocks from the Inner Harbor and the Empress Hotel. This is a main sightseeing area and well worth the walk.
The Empress Hotel – Inner Harbour – Victoria, BC
Summer 2016 Sailing Times
There is two sailings leaving from Anacortes to Sidney:
Lv: 8:25am, Ar: 11:05am
Lv: 2:50pm, Ar: 5:00pm
There is two sailings leaving from Sidney to Anacortes:
Lv: 12:00pm (noon), Ar: 2:10pm
Lv: 5:55pm, Ar: 8:30pm
View Washington State Ferries Sailing Schedule
Have a wonderful time on your holiday between Washington state and Vancouver Island, Canada!
Please note: This article was written based on my own travel experience that I paid for. This is not a paid promotional article. I just want to you learn from my experience and enjoy traveling at a smart, discounted cost.
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