My Love Affair With BC Ferries (or why I hate flying)

I wish I all my travels could be taken aboard a BC Ferry.

Consider air travel vs ferry travel:

  • On a plane you’re strapped into a cramped seat with minimal leg or elbow room.  If you have a window seat and nature calls you have to climb over your travel mates or ask them to get up. This ‘call’ usually arrives just as they’ve fallen asleep.  On the ferry, however,  window seats aren’t boxed in and you can opt to sit alone if you’re not feeling friendly. The seats are spacious, cushy, you don’t need to strap yourself in and there’s no problem accessing aisles. You can walk around the ferry for the entire trip if you don’t feel like sitting. You can even shop aboard the larger vessels.
  • Washrooms on airplanes are scary, noisy, cramped spaces and there are very few. If one becomes “unusable” for any reason, the line-ups for the remaining few become long. Washrooms on ferries are numerous, spacious and, in my experience, clean.
  • Unless you’re flying business class, food on flights is limited and expensive and your first choice is usually unavailable once the flight attendant reaches your row. (Same with the beer and wine.)  On BC Ferries there are a lot more options as well as tables for dining.
  • The scenery from the window of a BC ferry is spectacular and ever-changing as compared to the view of  endless sky and clouds when you’re in the air. (And you see nothing if your seat mate has closed the window screen.)
  • Boarding a ferry does not require frustrating security checks and you don’t have to pay extra for your bags.
  • Turbulence is more unsettling than rough seas – there’s further to fall.

Part of my love affair with ferry travel is that feeling of suspended time. There’s nothing you have to do but read, nap, nibble or eavesdrop while seated in a comfortable lounge. Much the same may be said of air travel but with the comfort factor removed and if you forget to bring nibblies you’re out of luck.

I never grow tired of watching ferries come around the point and glide into the bay, majestic giants, quiet and snow-white against a backdrop of blue ocean and moss green mountains.

It’s a shame that air travel is far faster and you can visit significantly more places than with ferry travel.

Perhaps the greatest reason I love ferry travel is that it always coincides with the start of  beloved cabin time, or time spent with a dear friend. Perhaps that’s the real reason I look forward to riding BC Ferries.