Washington State Ferries offers only one international route, and that is between Sidney, BC and Anacortes, WA. Due to budgetary problems facing the Washington State ferry system over the last few years, this international run has been limited to only the summer months, and only two departures per day.
The ferry leaves Victoria at 12.00pm (noon) and also at 5.55pm. The two sailings are slightly different though. The midday sailing does not stop at any of the San Juan Islands and is a direct sailing to Anacortes. The later afternoon sailing however makes one stop along the way, arriving at Friday Harbour at about 7.00pm. The direct sailing takes 2h05min, and the afternoon sailing with a stop at Friday Harbour takes approximately 2h30min.
The ferry route winds through the San Juan Islands offering spectacular scenery and views of Mt. Baker on a clear day. If you’re lucky enough, you may even get to see a pod of killer whales (Orca’s). Since there are only 2 sailings per day, reservations are recommended. They can be made online and must be made at least 48 hours in advance of your sailing. The great thing about reservations on the Washington State Ferry system compared to B.C. Ferries, is that the reservation fee is counted towards the total fare, so there is no out of pocket expense to make a reservation. If you do, you have to arrive 1h30min prior to departure, and don’t forget your passports, you will have to go through customs and immigration.
While you wait for the ferry, a fully stocked gift store is on site to help you pass the time. The gift shop also offers light snacks, drinks, and ice cream – great for those long ferry waits on hot, sunny days!
For more up to date information, please visit Washington State Ferries.
Washington State Ferries