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BC Marine Trails: Preserving BC coastal access for small craft users.

Departure Bay Ferry Terminal

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The Departure Bay terminal can play a useful role in both linear circuits of the Salish Sea Marine Trail through its most remote regions by paddling north from Nanaimo back to Horseshoe Bay via Lasqueti Island (a potential tourism route), or by serving as a car-free gateway to the nearby Gulf Islands and features around Nanaimo (another potential tourism focus of the Salish Sea Marine Trail). For these reasons most traffic is expected to originate on the mainland and walk-off at Departure Bay to launch. However, Vancouver Island residents may be drawn to walking on here to launch at Horseshoe Bay to circuit the trail from Horseshoe Bay back to Nanaimo.The Departure Bay terminal can play a useful role in both linear circuits of the Salish Sea Marine Trail through its most remote regions by paddling north from Nanaimo back to Horseshoe Bay via Lasqueti Island (a potential tourism route), or by serving as a car-free gateway to the nearby Gulf Islands and features around Nanaimo (another potential tourism focus of the Salish Sea Marine Trail). For these reasons most traffic is expected to originate on the mainland and walk-off at Departure Bay to launch. However, Vancouver Island residents may be drawn to walking on here to launch at Horseshoe Bay to circuit the trail from Horseshoe Bay back to Nanaimo.

Terminal access:

From passenger drop off area, enter the terminal building, wheeling  boats. Buy ticket. Wheel past baggage drop through a fairly roomy corridor. Take exit doors to vehicle area to avoid going through marketplace. This policy is inconsistent, as you may be able to wheel the boat outside from the passenger ticketing area to the bicycle route to avoid the terminal interior.

Terminal egress:

Wheel your boat across the marshaling area and along the patch adjacent to the terminal building then through the gate immediately next to the terminal building’s south corner for access to parking and the launch location.

Launch information:

Associated launch site: Brechin Boat Ramp.

From the terminal building, follow the sidewalk through the parking areas to the traffic lights at the terminal entrance. Cross Zorkin Road then follow it towards the water using the sidewalk and to enter the Brechin paved boat launch. The distance from ferry is about 800m.

Logistics: 

Ferry fees: Same as foot passengers with bicycles ($2 each way, 2017 prices). Show your boarding pass at the vessel ramp entrance.

Parking: Long-term parking is available at the terminal for $12 for 24 hours.

Distances: From nearest long-term parking to kayak drop-off: 280m. From beach to dock: 840m. From kayak drop-off to ferry deck: 300m.

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