My Review for Victoria Harbour Ferry

by thehappysauce

Not a reliable taxi service

There are a lot of reviews on here about the “Harbour Ferry” and there different services to understand. There is a tour boat, and there are the harbour “taxis” that supposedly shuttle you around.

Problem is, they don’t. We were staying at a campground on the West side, and there is a water taxi station there. We called the number posted and got a recording saying they were not open (at 11:00 am). I called again and got a live person. 10 minutes later, a water taxi arrives.

The boats are small and uncomfortable. But the ride is short. We bought a return ticket – big mistake. The taxi service closes “at dusk” so if you want to go to dinner in Victoria – forgetaboutit! It ain’t taking you back home.

We had lunch near fisherman’s wharf and decided to go back. None of the “taxi” drivers wanted to go “all the way across the harbor” to the west side to take us back, so we were STUCK in Victoria. The lady behind the counter offered to have us sent to the other shore, where we were supposed to pick up the tour boat and then ask the captain to drop us off on the west side. Having seen how narrow the docking is there, I am not sure the tour boat would have fit.

And why should I have to ask for favors to get back home? If you are not going to provide service to the west side, then don’t claim to do so. Just discontinue the service and be done with it. It is cruel to lead people on, telling them there is a taxi service, when you don’t really have one.

So anyway, our only choices were to walk back or take a taxi. I asked for a refund on our round-trip ticket and the person at the desk said she couldn’t do that. Finally, one o the “captains” of these little dink boats told her to give us money back and she just handed us $10. We called a cab. Bluebird cabs are reliable and will TAKE YOU BACK HOME when you want to go back.

Oddly enough, we went kayaking later that day and paddled across the harbor in not much more time than these silly taxi boats take to traverse it. And by then, they were regularly going back to the West side – I guess they weren’t so “busy” by then or something.

If you are going to offer a “taxi” service, you have to be a “taxi” and not just a “I’m going where there are full boats and lots of tips” service. Most passengers went from fisherman’s wharf to “downtown” which is a 10-minute walk (I did it, four times!). Save your money and take the walk – it is mostly along the harbor and very beautiful. Better than being in a cramped boat with no windows that open, with the captain’s crotch in your face (no kidding, he sits up on a stool and all you see is his pants).

The boats tend to wallow in poor weather, too. Just a poor boat ride. And not a reliable one. If you want to go from the west side, to say, Spinnaker’s, consider just walking. Victoria has an excellent system of walkways that go nearly around the harbor.

The water taxi? Just a sad joke. Save your money.

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