Stranded on Vancouver Island

Hi everyone,

My husband needed to get from Vancouver Island (Nanaimo) on New Years Day to Vancouver to catch a flight to Edmonton and back to work.  There was one problem and it was a big one.

No Float Plane Service on Vancouver Island

His usual way of getting to the mainland is using a float plane service (we have 3 companies available) but… no one was flying on New Years Day.  That surprised us.

No 5:45 ferry from Duke Point  Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal

He needed to be in Vancouver by 9:00 a.m. on the 1st but with no float planes we had a big problem.  The next thought was catching the 5:45 ferry from Duke Point to Tsawwassen. Another problem – no ferry until later in the day.

Expensive Flights from the Nanaimo Airport

Our last resort – a regular flight from the airport to Vancouver.  Listed below are the prices we faced and the 7:30 would have been the only one that would work for us.

Air fare from the Nanaimo airport January 1st
7:30 am is $385.00
1:00 pm is $565.00
3:00 pm is $251 but here’s the kicker go at 8:35 pm and it’s $121.00.

Our last option proved to be the best!

On December 31st we drove the car to Vancouver via the ferry, stayed in a hotel (booked through Hotwire!), went for dinner, had breakfast at Dennys and I drove back to Nanaimo via the ferry.  The list below were our costs.

Ferry to Vancouver (2 people)                   $83.00

Hotel (via   discounted                $72.00

Dinner at the Keg (we splurged)               $121.00    It was New Years!

Breakfast                                                         $30.00

Ferry back to Island (1 person)                 $74.00

Total cost                                                         $380

So… rather than pay $385.00 for a 20 minute flight we had a mini over night vacation for $5.00 less.  Not a difficult decision to make.  There has to be something wrong with this but it’s actually true.  Let that be a lesson – don’t assume regular modes of travel are available on holidays or do they keep their regular prices.  In fact they raise their rates because of the holiday.

Happy travels,

Carol Ann Quibell



PS:  If you are wondering why our hotel was so reasonable?  We booked it through and stayed at a beautiful hotel at half the regular price.  We always use for booking hotels.  Read more about this when we were in Texas..




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About Carol Ann 113 Articles
Writer, traveler, RVer sharing her travel logs and information.