How to Get to Nanaimo
So you’re all set for your move to Nanaimo, but one major question needs to be answered. How are you planning to get to Nanaimo? There are a few different options which we will explain below so that you can make the best choice for your journey.
By Boat: Whether you own your own boat or you are planning on renting one, this is a unique way to travel at a leisurely pace into Nanaimo. The city has a large harbour and waterfront area where there are many places to dock a boat. If this is your first time coming to the Nanaimo area, remember to chart your course before hand. Also make sure that your boat has all the proper safety equipment, and bring a map along as well.
By Road: Nanaimo is a short 90 minute drive up from Victoria. Renting a car or driving your own is always an option, but if you don’t drive there are multiple coach bus lines that run along the island. Both Greyhound and Vancouver Island Coach Lines run from Victoria to Nanaimo at a reasonable price. If you are renting a car to get to Nanaimo, most rental companies have convenient pickup services which you can use to get from your landing point to the nearest office.
By Ferry: The ferry is a popular option for travelling to Nanaimo. The BC Ferry Service operates between the mainland and Vancouver Island, and it offers two different routes to Nanaimo which leave about every two hours. Another plus of taking the ferry is that you can bring your car with you! If you do bring your car, keep in mind that you have to pay per car and per person to take the ferry. Also note that the ferry can be busy at peak times, but you are able to make a reservation if you know what time you will be arriving at the dock.
By Air: The last option is to get to Nanaimo by air. Nanaimo airport is only 18km from the downtown core, and can be reached via Vancouver, Victoria, and even Calgary. This airport only has three air carriers, so you will have to book with them if you want to fly directly to Nanaimo airport. Once you arrive at the airport, there are plenty of shuttles and taxis to take you into the city. If you would prefer to land closer to downtown, there are a few companies that operate seaplane services to take you right into the harbour, often at hourly intervals. Another new way to travel by air is to take the Helijet, a helicopter service from Vancouver.
When considering your options, think about the things you will be bringing with you. If you are only going to be in Nanaimo for a short period, you will probably have less luggage. Another important thing to consider is cost. Take a look at the costs of the different options at different times of year, and make a decision based on what you can afford. Happy travelling!