Hop aboard the Victoria Clipper for a getaway via ferry from Seattle to Victoria!
Would you love to plan a simple getaway or short day trip from Seattle to Victoria, British Columbia? Perhaps you’d like to plan a romantic weekend away for Valentine’s Day or your anniversary, or even a girls’ getaway weekend to the Butchart Gardens. I recently took a trip aboard the Victoria Clipper and I can’t wait to share why I think it’s the ultimate easy getaway from Seattle to Victoria.
First, let’s talk planning. Often travel can seem overwhelming when you’re faced with planning transportation, schedules, and accommodations. The Clipper has a consistent sailing schedule of once to three times a day, depending on the season, so you just find the day you want to leave, make your reservation, then show up in Seattle an hour before departure. Easy.
Plus the Victoria Clipper has a great set of partners so you can book an affordable package deal that covers your transportation, accommodations, and even attraction tickets all in one. This makes it a great option for low stress planning. It is good to note that there could be changes made to your plans if weather makes it is unsafe for the ferry to make the journey. Be sure to talk to the Clipper staff about how to confirm or get notified of any weather delays or changes.
Once you’ve planned your ultimate easy getaway, it’s time to start the journey. The girls and I headed into Seattle with my mom for an overnight weekend girls getaway. We arrived at the recommended parking garage in Seattle, which is about one to two blocks away from the Seattle clipper terminal. They have a parking deal for a discounted $10 a day rate, a great deal for Seattle overnight parking. Just be sure to bring your parking ticket aboard the ferry so you can have it validated.
We arrived at the terminal check in an hour before departure where we lined up to have our passports checked and our boarding documents printed. You can also manage your own boarding documents at home before departure. After checking in you move to the boarding area and after a while you’re let aboard the ship.
The Clipper ferry we were on had two levels with the bottom level being the largest and also featuring the snack/gift booth. Some seats are laid out like a traditional airplane configuration while those at the windows and back have a table. The tables are great for families and for catching a little nap! Water is freely available and if you’re prone to motion sickness (raising hand here) the Clipper is nice enough to warn you if they expect rough seas and offer a complimentary motion sickness tablet for kids and adults. I was very happy to have that option when they said our sailing could be a bit rough, we all went ahead and took the preventive since we didn’t want to feel sick during the trip!
During the almost three hour boat ride there is a lot of freedom to walk around and even grab some snacks in case you get hungry. The girls loved their Lil’ Sailor snacks and my mom and I both enjoyed our snack trays as well. As you make the morning journey from Seattle to Victoria you’ll travel through the San Juan Islands and you’ll have daylight so I recommend watching the scenery as you zoom along. On the evening journey from Victoria it is dark, so you won’t have the opportunity to view the gorgeous pacific coastline.
Ease of Exploration
When you dock in Victoria it’s a quick wait to clear Canadian customs and then you’re ready to explore. We checked in to our beautiful room at the Inn at Laurel Point, which is right next door to the Clipper ferry dock and only a short 10-15 minute walk into downtown Victoria along the marina. After a while we decided to walk downtown and grab a bite of lunch at the Flying Otter Grill.
Later that evening we arrived in front of the Empress Hotel to catch our bus to the Butchart Gardens where we experienced the beautiful Magic of Christmas display as part of our Victoria Clipper Holiday Lights Tour to The Butchart Gardens. The girls loved following the paths of lights to find all twelve scenes from the twelve days of Christmas song. We returned back to our hotel after a fun and busy day exploring.
The return ferry didn’t depart until 5 pm, so our overnight adventure aboard the Clipper actually got us two days of exploration in Victoria. The next day we spent a lazy morning at the hotel and enjoyed breakfast at their restaurant. Then left our bags with the bellman as we set out for more exploration. We visited some local shops and purchased a few souvenirs, then grabbed a bite of late lunch before heading back to board the Clipper home. Our return trip was smooth and we all felt a little sad that our weekend getaway was coming to an end.
I highly recommend giving the Victoria Clipper a try whether you’re a local who wants a fun getaway, or even a visitor to Seattle who wants to have a taste of Canada on your trip. The trip is simple to plan with minimal effort, which is why I think it’s the ultimate easy getaway from Seattle to Victoria!
Thank you to Clipper Vacations for hosting our trip! All opinions are my own based on our personal experience.