By Plane

Victoria is the island's major air hub, with jet, commuter-plane, and floatplane service from Vancouver and Seattle.

Both standard commuter aircraft and floatplanes provide regularly scheduled service to a number of other island communities from both Victoria and Vancouver. All of the southern Gulf Islands, as well as many towns, can be reached by scheduled harbor-to-harbor floatplane service, either from Vancouver International's seaplane terminal or from downtown Vancouver's Coal Harbour terminal. In fact, it's easy to arrange a chartered floatplane for almost any destination along coastal Vancouver Island. Since floatplanes don't require airport facilities, even the most remote fishing camp can be as accessible as a major city.

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Commercial airline service is provided by Air Canada (tel. 888/247-2262; www.aircanada.com), Horizon Air (tel. 800/252-7522; www.alaskaair.com), Pacific Coastal (tel. 800/663-2872; www.pacific-coastal.com), and WestJet (tel. 877/952-4638; www.westjet.com).

Commuter seaplane companies that serve Vancouver Island include Harbour Air Seaplanes (tel. 800/665-0212 or 604/688-1277; www.harbour-air.com), Tofino Air (tel. 866/486-3247 for Tofino base, 888/436-7776 for Sechelt base, or 800/665-2359 for Gabriola base; www.tofinoair.ca), and West Coast Air (tel. 800/347-2222 or 604/606-6800; http://westcoastair.com).

By Ferry

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BC Ferries (tel. 888/BCFERRY [223-3779] or 250/386-3431; www.bcferries.com) operates an extensive year-round network that links Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and the mainland. Major routes include the crossing from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay and to Nanaimo, and from Horseshoe Bay (northwest of Vancouver) to Nanaimo. In summer, reserve in advance. If you're taking a car, beware: Ticket prices add up quickly.

Washington State Ferries (tel. 888/808-7977 in Washington, 206/464-6400 in the rest of the U.S., or 250/381-1551 in Canada; www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries) has daily service from Anacortes, in Washington, to Sidney, on Vancouver Island. One-way fares for a car and driver are around US$75 in high season.

The year-round passenger ferries run by Victoria Clipper (tel. 800/888-2535 or 206/448-5000; www.victoriaclipper.com) depart from Seattle's Pier 69; adult round-trip tickets range from US$134 to US$155.

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From Port Angeles, Washington, the year-round (except for a 2-week maintenance break in Jan) Black Ball Transport's car ferry MV Coho (tel. 360/457-4491 in Port Angeles, or 250/386-2202 in Victoria; www.cohoferry.com) offers service to Victoria for US$15 per adult foot passenger, US$53 per vehicle. Also from Port Angeles, from mid-May to the end of September, foot passengers and bicyclists can pay US$25 round-trip to hop on the Victoria Express (tel. 800/633-1589 or 360/452-8088 in the U.S., or 250/361-9144 in Victoria; www.victoriaexpress.com).

In summer only, Victoria/San Juan Cruises' daily Victoria Star 2 (tel. 800/443-4552; www.whales.com) passenger ferry travels between Bellingham and Victoria via the San Juan Islands. One-way adult fare is US$59.

By Bus

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One of the easiest ways to get to Vancouver Island destinations is by bus. Conveniently, the bus will start its journey from a city center (such as Vancouver), take you directly to the ferry dock and onto the ferry, and then deposit you in another city center (Victoria or Nanaimo). A lot of the hassle of ferry travel is minimized, and the costs are usually lower than other alternatives. (If you're traveling to Vancouver on VIA Rail or Amtrak, bus connections are easy -- the bus and train share the same terminal.)

Pacific Coach Lines (tel. 800/661-1725 or 604/662-8074; www.pacificcoach.com) offers bus service via BC Ferries from Vancouver to Victoria. The one-way fare is C$43 for adults. Greyhound Canada (tel. 800/661-8747 or 604/482-8747; www.greyhound.ca) provides seven daily trips between Vancouver and Nanaimo. Fare is C$22 one-way.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.