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BC Ferries posts a Busy Days Forecast for major routes based on historical data. The information is very limited, though. For example, for Tsawwassen (mainland) → Swartz Bay (Victoria), expected busy departures over the next two weeks are: Thursday 2015-07-30: 11am to 8pm Friday 2015-07-31: 11am to 9pm Saturday 2015-08-01: 9am to 3pm Sunday 2015-08-02: ...


It depends on how willing you are to wait. Over the weekend, particularly a Friday night outbound and a Sunday return journey you will likely miss a ferry or two. On a long weekend during the summer, you could be waiting a long time. My two cents worth, 15 bucks is worth the piece of mind.


The passes for Vancouver and Victoria are different. I went two weeks ago from Vancouver to Victoria by bus and ferry. On the ferry you can buy in the gift shop a daily pass for buses in Victoria, costs 5 CAD. To add: you can do it in one day.

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