It has been awhile since I have gone by bus, but this is what I did: take the Airporter to downtown Vancouver and then take the city bus to the Horseshoe Bay terminal. You would only have to change buses once.
I found this that might be helpful:
To get to Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal (Vancouver) from Vancouver Airport take the Airporter Shuttle to Downtown Vancouver. From Vancouver Downtown (see Maps on Airporter site) you can take BC Transit to Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal "257 Horseshoe Bay Express', or the "250 Horseshoe Bay". You can catch these busses at Burrard and Georgia Streets, downtown Vancouver. Check the BC Transit website for trip planning and schedules.
I have also taken both a taxi and a limo from the airport to Horseshoe Bay. I think it was around $60-65 one way.
If you are going to rent a car anyway, you might as well pick it up at the airport and drive yourself. While Granville Street can be traffic-laden at times, it is easy to navigate your way. Traffic in Vancouver is a far cry from what you find in big American cities, so you will probably not find things too difficult. The Lion's Gate Bridge and Granville Street are two places that could slow you down, but neither involve any freeway driving, so are relatively stress-free. If, on the other hand, you can get away without a car altogether, then bussing it should work out fine.
Thank ;you both for helping out.
Our decision to rent a car in Gibsons was because we were advised that it is difficult driving to Horseshoe Bay, plus the BC Ferries auto reservations were $30 plus the auto and personal fares both ways. It just didn't seem to make sense, but I'm still open. The Chrysler dealership in Gibsons has quoted a mid size rental for six days for $389.
My husband isn't much of a public transportation person but I grew up in the PNW so am very comfortable with it.
Thanks again for the input and maybe I'll ponder this a little bit more.
Check again with the Gibsons rental place-they may charge for kilometers-still quite common outside major cities in Canada.
There is twice daily service from the airport to Gibsons on Malaspina Coach Lines: malaspinacoach.com/schedule-06_0628-0904.php
Servise is a bit limited (one morning and one afternoon departure only), however, so the shuttle and then transit would give you more options.
Have a look at a rental company like Thrifty or Avis/Hertz/Enterprise, which should be able to do you a mid-sized for around $350 or a bit less per week from the airport, including unlimited miles.
You'd think it would be easier to get from the airport to Horsehoe Bay without a car!
I wouldn't mind hearing from some Vancouverites on this, but my limited experience of driving to Horseshoe Bay (I have done it a few times in the last decade but not in recent years) is that it is straightforward and that traffic is not too too crazy.
Hi! Its quite a distance from the YVR to Horseshoe Bay terminal in West Van. If you two are young at heart and adventurous, travelling with just backpacks, that might be a workable plan. I just picked up a work mate from YVR and drove her home in West Van. This took about 45 minutes early in the evening. If you are getting a car anyhow, may as well pick one up from YVR, do a mapquest plan of how to get from point A to B. I agree with the other poster, depending on when your flight gets in and when (weekday or weekend) you might not face too much traffic. Granville streets and the Lions Gate bridge are not all that bad during some parts of the day, If you are not pressed for time-travel from YVR-take Marine Drive East to Boundary Road-connect with the highway heading towards North Van, take the 2nd Narrows Bridge (Ironworkers Memorial is another name of this bridge) and travel along that route to the ferry terminal. Reservations are not required on the ferry, only if you are pressed for time or cannot get there in decent time to board the next sailing. Happy travels. If you need more help, write.
What great info! Thanks. We've decided to rent at the airport and drive to Horseshoe. I'm a pretty seasoned traveler and have no problems getting around new cities; your directions will be very helpful.
I do have one question though. We arrive on Friday, August 18th, at 1:30 in the afternoon. I figure we can get to Horseshoe to catch the 4:10 pm ferry.
Question - make a reservation for the car or not?
Hi there. You might want to check the schedule for ferries, I did not see a 410 pm sailing. its www.bcferries.com and look at schedules. Factor in clearing customs, getting the car and arriving at the terninal the required '30' minutes prior to sailing to claim your reservation. Its Friday and there should be several more sailings. Why spend the $$? If you need to be at an appointment or have set plans there. Put the suitcases away out of sight and stop off for a small meal before getting the boat. It will still be light out early on and the views on board should be great. Have a super trip.
I agree completely with the focus on making our first day of vacation a non-hassle day.
The thought was arrival at 1:30, take on luggage so quick customs, have a car by 2:30, drive to the Terminal estimated at 45-60 minutes arriving say at 3:15-30 allowing for the 30 minutes pre-boarding requirement.
My husband absolutely does not want to fuss with bus service to downtown, changing buses, worrying about making the right connection, being hot, carrying luggage (bad back), etc.
So I think I have the right plan, it's just how busy is the 4:10 ferry for automobiles on a Friday night and is the extra $30 (26 CAN) for a reservation goint to be good piece of mind. I can only assume the 5:35 ferry would be even more packed.
Sweltering, Ah sorry, looking at the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay-my bad. Sorry. The 18th is not a long weekend, so if you get there in plently of time I am not sure you need one, you can check on line-they acutally list how full the boat is and what % is reserved. How did you do with the mapquest search for a route other than thru the downtown core? Have a great trip.