Victoria Clipper in Victoria's Inner Harbor

Our Experience Taking the Victoria Clipper!

Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Kelly

We recently took the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria BC, and we’re excited to share all about our experience! The Victoria Clipper is a high-speed ferry that takes passengers from downtown Seattle to Victoria’s inner harbor in less than 3 hours.

The Victoria Clipper recently sponsored our trip. We couldn’t believe how easy it was to get to Victoria. In addition to a very comfortable ride, we were treated to outstanding views of the Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, and the Salish Sea. In this post, we’re sharing everything you need to know to take the Victoria Clipper! Be sure to read all the way to the end, because we include our video footage of the journey!

Disclosure: We were gifted passenger fare on the Victoria Clipper in exchange for our honest review. This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases. 

About the Victoria Clipper

The Victoria Clipper’s fast ferry from Seattle to Victoria BC is the Victoria Clipper V. It’s a passenger only ferry. (The high-speed catamaran does not load personal vehicles.) The boat is 167.3 feet long and can seat up to 525 passengers. There are a number of amenities onboard, including dining options, alcoholic beverage services, and an outdoor deck that is available to all passengers.

You can easily book tickets for the Victoria Clipper on their official website or through 

We boarded the Victoria Clipper at Pier 69 in Seattle. Parking was available at the Bell Street Pier Garage. At the time of our visit, we were able to park our vehicle overnight with only a $10 per day charge with the Clipper’s validation ticket.

Entrance to the Bell Street Pier Garage
Entrance to the Bell Street Pier Garage

The Victoria Clipper has direct service to the Belleville Terminal in downtown Victoria BC’s historic Inner Harbor. Once you disembark, you just have to quickly go through customs and then you can easily walk to downtown Victoria BC. 

The route takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. Because it’s so fast, it’s possible to visit Victoria as a day trip from Seattle.

There is no WiFi onboard, however we were able to maintain cell service during our entire journey!

Because Victoria is in Canada, we needed to bring appropriate identification for border crossing. We just brought our passports and it only took us 30 minutes to get through Customs & Immigration when we de-boarded.

You can also book a hotel package through the FRS Clipper website. When you combine your ferry tickets with lodging, you can likely save money. We stayed at the Fairmont Empress hotel, and it was less than a 10-minute walk away. We wrote all about our stay at the Fairmont Empress if you’d like to see our full review and more photos! It’s one of the best hotels in British Columbia. There are multiple hotel packages to choose from! 

Arriving in Victoria BC
Disembarking in Victoria BC!

Seating Options

When you book your ticket, you can choose between three different fare classes:

  • Economy 
  • Vista
  • Comfort

Economy Seating 

Economy Seating
Economy Seating

The Economy class is the most budget-friendly. Passengers with Economy tickets will sit on the boat’s main level. The seats are positioned in the center of the boat. There’s also the option to upgrade to the Economy Panoramic seats, which are the seats located along the windows. I think it’s definitely worth the upgrade, because the journey is absolutely beautiful.

Vista Seating

Our seats on Vista Seating
Vista Seating

We personally sat in the Vista section of the Victoria Clipper. Passengers with Vista class get to board the vessel earlier and they get to sit on the upper deck. Our seats were located in the center of the boat. We had a large table in front of us and our seats were very roomy. There were also attendants that came by to take our food and beverage order, so we didn’t even have to leave our seats to stand in line for food. You can also upgrade this fare to the Vista Panoramic seats if you’d like to sit by the windows. We really enjoyed the Vista class because there was extra room and we had fabulous views.

Vista Panoramic Seating class
Vista Panoramic Seating

Comfort Seating

Comfort Seating onboard
Comfort Seating

The highest class on the Victoria Clipper is the Comfort Seats. Passengers in this class will also get to board the boat earlier. There’s a separate section on the Victoria Clipper’s upper deck for Comfort Class. (There’s a glass wall and door that makes this space a little more quiet and private.)

Passengers in Comfort Seating receive complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, fruit, and snacks. There’s an attendant that will provide food and beverage choices.

You can also upgrade this fare to the Comfort VIP fare, which includes seats along the windows and the very front of the vessel. If you want the best views while you ride the Victoria Clipper, this is the option to choose! If you want a view from your seat, we think it’s worth it to get the Comfort Class fare.

Comfort VIP Fare
Comfort VIP Fare

Dining Options

During the ferry ride there are dining options available onboard. Many of the foods are sourced locally from Seattle, including Caffe Vita coffee and pastries from Alki Bakery. There are breakfast items like yogurt parfaits and oatmeal, and there are light meal options such as sandwiches and wraps. We ordered the Ham & Swiss Pretzel Roll and a Mozzarella Pesto sandwich. Both were good!

The Victoria Clipper does have alcoholic beverages for purchase, but no outside alcohol is permitted. However, outside food is permitted.

You can view the food and beverage menu to see all options.

Motion Sickness Concerns

If you’re prone to motion sickness, you might be wondering what it’s like to take the ferry from Seattle to Victoria. It’s good to know that the ferry typically won’t operate in extreme weather conditions, but the seas can be choppy from time to time.

If you tend to get seasick, I recommend booking your trip when the seas are typically more calm. We visited Victoria on a sunny day in late spring, and we had perfectly smooth waters. I’m prone to motion sickness myself, and I had no issues during the majority of the ride. I noticed that the boat did sway a little while we were loading and unloading in Seattle, but once we got going, it was very stable. I was very comfortable the whole trip!

If you are feeling ill, the staff on the Victoria Clipper provide complimentary ginger candies and motion sickness medication. I also noticed that there are paper bags available in the bathroom in case anyone does get seasick. 

Overall, my experience on the Victoria Clipper was very comfortable and I never got seasick.

Whale Watching

In addition to ferry service to Victoria, you can also book a whale watching tour. You’ll disembark from Pier 69 and a naturalist will tell you all about the Salish Sea. There are a variety of whales that frequent the area, including Orcas and Humpbacks. 

If you don’t see any whales on your trip, no problem. You’ll be offered a complimentary whale-watching tour at a later date. 

Depending on which tour you book, you’ll be out fro either 3 or 6 hours. 

The FRS Clipper’s whale watching tours are the perfect way to see the beauty of the Pacific Northwest!

Our Experience Taking the Victoria Clipper to Vancouver Island

We left Seattle early on a Friday morning. Our departure was at 8am, and we arrived at the pier an hour early. We parked our car at the Bell Street Pier Garage, and it was a quick 2-minute walk to Pier 69. We only packed carry-on luggage, so we didn’t need to check any luggage this time. (For an additional fee passengers can check larger suitcases.)

Pier 69 where we disembarked

We lined up outside as we waited to present our boarding documents. The outdoor area was covered and there were glass windows to help protect against the weather. We presented our documents and were provided our boarding passes. Because we were Vista class, we were able to board early.

clipper entrance at the pier

We were definitely impressed with the Vista class seating. The boat wasn’t fully sold out, so there was no one sitting across from us and we had the whole table to ourselves. We were able to stretch out and play card games during the ride. (So much better than flying!)

When we walked aboard the vessel, we dropped off our carry-on luggage on the first floor. There were designated areas for roller-style carry-ons. Larger luggage could be stowed prior to boarding, but we were able to pack everything we needed in our carry-ons.

Tables onboard the ferry
We never leave home without our cribbage board!

I especially liked going outside and admiring the views from the deck. The entire journey to Victoria was spectacular. The San Juan Islands were so beautiful, and it was neat to see them from a different perspective.

Beautiful Views of the San Juan Islands from the boat

When we arrived in British Columbia, it took us about 30 minutes to get through Customs & Immigration. Once we checked through, we were within easy walking distance of the main attractions in Victoria. 

The terminal in Victoria is also within easy walking distance of the Pendray Inn and Tea House (highly recommend!), the Parliament Building, the Inner Harbor, and Government Street (the main tourist corridor). We didn’t have to take a ride share, taxi, or rent a car. It was perfect!

See our full list of things to do in Victoria BC!

We stayed in Victoria for several days, and then we returned to Seattle on a Monday evening. The Victoria Clipper ferry departed at 5:30pm, and we had another beautiful trip back to Seattle. We arrived to the Emerald City during golden hour, and it was just a spectacular way to cap off our trip!

Victoria BC's Inner Harbor
Leaving Victoria BC’s Inner Harbor

More Photos From Our Trip

Our Video Footage

We created this YouTube video of our trip to Victoria BC. As you can see below, it was a beautiful way to arrive in the city!



After our experience on the Victoria Clipper ferry, we would highly recommend it to others. Here’s a summary of why we think it’s worthwhile to take the Victoria Clipper:

  • You can relax on the way to your destination
  • The views are spectacular throughout the trip
  • The boat takes you directly to Victoria’s Inner Harbor
  • You can choose to make your journey a day trip or an extended trip
  • The different seating options allow you to choose your budget
  • The staff were professional and offered excellent service

If you’re thinking about planning a trip to Victoria BC, we definitely recommend taking the Victoria Clipper!

Pinterest pin for Victoria Clipper
Pin for later!

Disclaimer: We always strive for content accuracy. Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please look up such information directly from each vendor or institution for the most current information.

Hi, I’m Kelly!

After studying abroad in Spain, I became passionate about international travel. Since then, I’ve traveled to 6 continents and 36 states within the United States. When I’m not travel blogging, you can find me hiking, reading books in Spanish, or playing cribbage. I hope my blog inspires you to see the world!