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Trip 221 - July 12 & 16, 2021 (Monday and Friday)

BC Ferries Trip

Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo - Departure Bay (and back)

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Distance from Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal: Approximately 17 km via Lions Gate Bridge, Marine Drive, Taylor Way and Highway 1 West.

Liked: A modern ferry with numerous amenities, fine water and mountain views.

Of Note: Very windy on the sun deck in the front of the ship, the cost of the ride is expensive, sailing waits are possible (unless you have a reservation, which costs extra).

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (5th edition) Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal Coordinates: Page 11 (North Vancouver) A6.

Vancouver Island Backroad Mapbook (9th edition) Departure Bay (Nanaimo) Ferry Terminal Coordinates: Page 19 (Nanaimo) C2.

Related Websites: BC Ferries - Official Website, Coastal Renaissance Ferry Info - BC Ferries.

Other Ferry Trips: Francois Lake Ferry Trip, Bowen Island Ferry Trip.


Today, we took a trip aboard Coastal Renaissance BC Ferry from West Vancouver's Horseshoe Bay (at the end of Highway 1 West) to Nanaimo (Departure Bay). Coastal Renaissance is a 14-year-old ferry full of modern conveniences, and the views en route are quite decent too. The ferry took 1 hour and 41 minutes to cover the distance of approximately 56 km, at an average speed of about 34.0 km/h, and a maximum speed of 47.2 km/h.

Coastal Renaissance was built in Germany in 2007, and is a very fine and comfortable vessel. As per BC Ferries website, it can carry 310 cars and 1,604 people (crew members included), at a maximum speed of 23 knots. As that translates into 42.6 km/h, and our GPS showed a maximum speed of 47.2 km/h, there must have been some favourable current along the way.

During the voyage, there are good views of nearby islands to be had, though beware of strong winds on the upper (sun) deck near the front of the ship. Finally, unless you are a foot passenger, get ready to spend some serious cash for this ride. Round trip just for a regular vehicle alone is going to be over $110. There are also applicable fees for each person in the vehicle. If you have a trailer or your vehicle is large, there are additional fees. Check out BC Ferries website for the sailings schedule and the latest ticket prices.

The first two pages of this trip report cover the sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo - Departure Bay. The last page shows the return sailing we took on July 16th.

27-28. Queen of Cowichan, the ferry we took on our way back, passed by us at some point of the trip.

BC Ferry Queen of Cowichan

29. Now it's time to check out the main passenger deck (#6) containing numerous amenities. There are plenty of comfortable seats...

Inside Coastal Renaissance Ferry

30...a cafe...

Coastal Renaissance Ferry Cafe

31...with a line-up...

Coastal Renaissance Ferry Cafe Line-up

32...a seating area for eating and window watching...

Inside Coastal Renaissance BC Ferry

33...a rack with numerous tourism-related brochures...

Tourist Information Racks Inside Coastal Renaissance BC Ferry

34...and neat interior decoration for an overall impressive ambience.

Decoration Inside Coastal Renaissance BC Ferry

35. Deck #5 is also for passengers, but it has a much smaller seating area due to the plentiful safety equipment.

Coastal Renaissance Ferry Deck 5

36. A fine view.

37. A 6-person Zodiac rescue boat.

Zodiac Rescue Boat Coastal Renaissance BC Ferry

38. Interior decoration on deck #5 is just as impressive as on the deck above it.

Coastal Renaissance Ferry Interior Seating Area

39. Even the stairwell signs are pleasant to look at.

Stairwell Sign Coastal Renaissance Ferry British Columbia

40. Deck #4 is for vehicles, and is the only deck where customers are allowed to stay in their vehicle during the passage.

Coastal Renaissance Ferry Vehicle Deck#4

41. Looking back from deck #4.

42. Good views all around.

43. Motorcycle parking area.

Coastal Renaissance BC Ferry Motorcycle Parking Area

44. Coastal Renaissance. Made in Germany in 2007.

45. Approaching Nanaimo.

Coastal Renaissance Ferry Approaching Nanaimo Departure Bay

Here is our video of Coastal Renaissance Approaching Nanaimo - Departure Bay.

46. Departure Bay is straight ahead.

Docking at Departure Bay Ferry Terminal

47. Here it is, Departure Bay Ferry Terminal. A view from the sun deck.

Departure Bay Ferry Terminal Nanaimo British Columbia Canada

Here is our video of Coastal Renaissance Getting Ready to Dock at Nanaimo - Departure Bay.

More ihikebc videos are on our YouTube Channel.

48. It's time to go. See ya.

Driving out of Coastal Renaissance BC Ferry

49. And we are in Nanaimo, The Harbour City.

Nanaimo BC Canada

It sure was a memorable ride on a very cool modern ferry.

Our return trip on BC Ferry Queen of Cowichan is covered on Page 3 of this trip report.

BACK: Ferry to Nanaimo Page 1    NEXT: Ferry to Nanaimo Page 3



ihikebc.com Trip 221 - BC Ferries Trip (Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo - Departure Bay and back) Page 2 of 3