Crossing the Puget Sound, the Victoria Clipper provides service between the cities of Seattle and Victoria. The Seattle Ferry also crosses Puget Sound and goes to Orcas Island and BC as well, but it is much slower. The vessels of the Washington State Ferry will not get you to your destination as quickly as the Victoria Clipper.
Victoria Clipper leaves from Pier 69 on the Seattle waterfront, further north than the Seattle Ferry terminal, which is at Pier 66. When you arrive, you"ll be asked to check in your luggage so that you don't have to carry it while you're onboard. You'll then make your way to the departure lounge, which is the staging area for the riders. Here you will find them relaxing before the Clipper leaves and enjoying free tea and coffee.
The boarding is done by order of groups, each of which is assigned a number. When you hear the number of your group called, you will be able to walk outside to the deck area and board the Victoria Clipper.
While the boarding process is ordered, you are allowed to take a seat anywhere you like, so you can sit at a window or in an aisle seat, or on the upper or lower deck. If you come with family or friends this is a great time to spend some quality time chatting before you get to where you"re going, be it Victoria or if you"re coming the other way to travel to Seattle.
Once you get up to Victoria, you will undoubtedly want to explore Vancouver. Victoria is city on Vancouver island, so you can take yet another ride, on the BC Ferries. Unlike the Seattle Ferry and the Clipper, both of which can only go so far, the BC Ferries can take you over to Vancouver easily once you"ve finished exploring Victoria.
There are 35 vessels that are part of the BC Ferry fleet, which has been around since 1960. The BC Ferries serve a number of ports, up to 47, along the Canada Coast. The bulk of the water transportation that goes on up here is on a BC Ferry, so this is an important part of the tourist season in BC. You can start your trip on a Clipper and end it on a BC Ferry, all while enjoying prime views of the Pacific Northwest, which are totally different than the ones you will have on a Seattle Ferry, which generally stays in the Puget Sound, since only one of its vessels goes to BC.
If you're going to BC, you are crossing a country line so you are required to have a valid photo ID and proof of citizenship. One perk of crossing a border is the duty-free shopping on board, where you can buy souvenirs and other things you might want need to make your trip on a BC Ferry comfortable.
The Victoria Clipper also gives you the opportunity to see the whales of the San Juan Islands. A 3.5 hour guided tour of the migrating pods of orcas will be the highlight of your trip. Whether you"re headed north or are a Canadian visitor that wants to travel to Seattle, the Victoria Clipper can help get you there.