World’s top 10 ferry rides
I’ve long been a fan of B.C. Ferries‘ scenic routes, ever since I took my first trip from Vancouver to Victoria (well, from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, if you want to get technical) over two decades ago. And my enthusiasm was rekindled earlier this month when I had the chance to hop aboard several ferries on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. The scenery rivalled almost anything you’d see from the deck of a pricey cruise ship. Just check out this view along the route from Earl’s Cove to Saltery Bay.
It turns out my fellow members of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) agree with me. The B.C. Ferries made SATW’s new list of the world’s top 10 ferry rides. Here’s the whole list, in order of popularity.
1. Star Ferry in Hong Kong
2. Ferries from Sausalito to San Francisco, California
3. Staten Island Ferry, New York Harbour
4. Washington State Ferries, Puget Sound to the San Juan Islands
5. British Columbia Ferry System, including Vancouver to Victoria
6. Ferry from Sydney Harbour to Manly, Australia
This is the only other ferry on the list I’ve had the chance to try, and SATW was spot on with this choice. Here’s a shot I snapped en route to Manly in late 2007.
I love ferries because they let you see much of the same scenery you’d pass on a tourist boat cruise, at a fraction of the cost and without the stupefyingly dull taped commentary. (“And on your right you’ll see the [words lost due to static on ancient P.A. system], where local magnate Horace P. Bogardus once raised prize guinea fowl.”) You also get the chance to rub shoulders with locals, backpackers and all sorts of other fun people. On some ferries, you might even find yourself camping on deck overnight. You can’t travel much more like a local than that.
Disclosure: I travelled to Sydney courtesy of Tourism Australia and to British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast courtesy of the Vancouver Coast & Mountains Tourism Region.