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Transportation

Where to next on Vancouver Island: Victoria Water Taxi

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Water Taxis in Victoria: Your Guide to a Unique City Experience

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Victoria Water Taxi Photos:

Victoria is a city where the ocean isn’t just a view but a pathway to adventure! If you’re seeking a blend of urban charm and maritime flair, hopping on a water taxi is a must-do. Whether you’re a local rediscovering your city or a visitor soaking in the harbour vibes, water taxis offer a unique perspective of Victoria. Ready to dive in? Let’s explore what makes these nautical jaunts so special.

— Fisherman’s Wharf is part of our self-guided “One Day Victoria Walking Tour” —

 

Two colorful water taxis with checkered detailing docked at Victoria's waterfront near the Empress Hotel, with Canadian flags fluttering in the breeze and passengers milling about the ticket center on a sunny day

What Is A Water Taxi?

Water Taxis in Victoria are more than just a means of transport; they’re part of the city’s culture. These small, agile boats zip across the harbour, offering a quick, scenic, and fun way to travel. The bright yellow ‘pickle boats’ have a max capacity of 12 and are operated by friendly and knowledgeable locals, offering 12 designated ferry stops in the inner and upper harbours.

Why Choose Water Taxis?

  • Scenic Views: Witness Victoria’s skyline from the water, including the iconic Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel.
  • Convenience: Water taxis connect key points along the harbour, making them a practical choice for getting around.
  • Explore: Discover new locations along the lower and upper harbour you might not otherwise experience.
  • Convenience: No car? Visit places around Victoria that might be harder to reach without a car.

How Does It Work?

In Victoria Harbour, apart from the Empress Hotel and Fisherman’s Warf, the majority of locations do not have personnel present on the docks.

The information found on the dock will direct you to place a call to book a water taxi while you stand on the dock, waiting to be picked up.

A QR code and phone number are displayed to contact the dispatcher at all stops.
Call to book 250-514-9794 and there’s a Live Map with current taxi locations.

Photograph of a Victoria West water taxi map signboard, showing various routes and stops like Songhees Landing and Fisherman's Wharf. Two QR codes for scanning are on the left, with a large red octagon on the right encouraging to scan for a water taxi or call the provided phone number. The map has a legend indicating taxi service, gorge tour, and harbour tour routes.

Key Routes And Destinations

Water taxis in Victoria have several pick-up and drop-off points, including:

  • Fisherman’s Wharf: A lively spot with floating homes, seafood stands, and playful seals.
  • Empress Dock: The heart of Victoria, where historic architecture meets modern city life.
  • Old Town: Middle of downtown Victoria, shops, restaurants and Bastion Square.
  • Chinatown: Brick buildings, narrow alleys and home to Canada’s oldest Chinatown,
  • Point Ellice House: The Point Ellice House and landscaped gardens provide a rare opportunity to see one of North America’s most extensive collections of late Victorian and early Edwardian objects.
  • Selkirk Landing: Go for lunch at Glow or walk across the Selkirk trestle bridge to the historic neighbourhood of Victoria West. Last pick-up time will change seasonally.

 

Live Map with current taxi locations.

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Hours & Contact Information 

Operating Hours:
Open 7 days a week, starting 10:00 am daily.

Closing hours may vary based on weather and time of year. (Selkirk Landing & Railyards Landing last pick up one hour before closing)

Operating hours are subject to change based on weather conditions, etc. Please call 250-708-0201, and press option 1 for the most up-to-date information on our services.

Accessibility:

The ferry’s interiors are narrow and can only accommodate collapsible wheelchairs. Additionally, all passengers should be able to walk a few steps while boarding and be able to use the seating in the boat.

Parents or guardians must fold strollers and hold small children securely. Note that some strollers may not fit on board ferries.
Please also note that dock ramps can become very steep due to tidal changes and access may be limited at certain times of the day.

The Water Taxi Ballet

Taking inspiration from the world-famous RCMP Musical Ride, the water taxi balley is a uniquely captivating event where skilled captains choreograph their boats in a synchronized dance on the water. This charming display of maritime grace typically happens during the busy summer weekends, transforming Victoria’s harbour into a lively, aquatic stage.

The best vantage point for this spectacle is along the Steamship terminal, where you can enjoy unobstructed views of the performance. The beauty of this event is that it’s completely free to watch, offering a memorable experience without any cost.

The ballet takes place between May and September on either Saturdays or Sundays at 10:45 am during summer, adding a magical touch to Victoria’s already enchanting summer ambiance. It’s an unmissable, whimsical attraction that uniquely captures the spirit of Victoria’s waterfront.

Up-to-date water ballet schedule

After the performance, join us at the Causeway Marina near the Empress Dock to visit with the Ballet Captains!

 

Combining with Other Activities

Water taxis can be part of a larger adventure:

 

 

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Don't Get Lost — Stay Safe

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Original Author:

Modified: May 17, 2024
Last Visit: November 7, 2023

Thank you for visiting – I hope you found the information you were looking for at VIBL (Vancouver Island Bucket List) please continue to discover all of the great places that makes Vancouver Island so great! 

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Pack Out:
We love Vancouver Island and want to keep the natural beauty. Please respect the places you visit and pack out what you pack in and leave the area better than when you arrived. We all know how much trash can spoil an experience and the environment, so please help us keep it clean!

Wildlife:
Vancouver Island is a land of natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Please be aware of your surroundings and take the usual precautions for personal and wildlife safety.
Black bears, cougars and even wolves are common on Vancouver Island for more on Wildlife Safety Click Here 

Tide and Seasonal Safety:
Changing seasons and tides can have a drastic effect on most locations on Vancouver Island. Please be cautious as the information in this post may vary depending on the time of year and weather. Make sure to check for current weather and tide information before you make your journey! Click here for the tides in your area. 

Be aware of ocean currents before swimming, paddle boarding or kayaking.

Land Acknowledgement:
We would like to acknowledge the land we appreciate daily within the 50 First Nations that make up the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Nuu chah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the first peoples of Vancouver Island .

Disclaimer:
The information on this website should not be taken as accurate, complete or up-to-date. Please check and look into the information yourself. We do not assume any liabilities for the use of this information. It is unreasonable to rely solely upon the information from this website. 

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