How To Get To Bamfield Marine Science Centre

Phyllospadix OregonThe information provided below is to help all of you to reach the Bamfield Marine Science Centre (BMSC) were the ISBW8 will take place. Please note that schedules and fares are subject to changes or increase so please check with travel agencies or bus/ferry companies before you travel. We will not be responsible for your travel plans. However, if you wish for us to help organize your trip from Victoria/Nanaimo to BMSC, please let us know well in advance. We might be able to group delegates and organize charter buses from Vancouver/Victoria/Nanaimo to BMSC. We will not organize travel for delegates if your travel plans are submitted to us later than July 15th, 2008.

[Do you need a visa for Canada or the US?]

There are numerous international flights to Vancouver or Seattle. Then travel to Vancouver Island may be achieved by several means. The following paragraphs provide information regarding travel to BMSC via bus, rental car, and plane.  Additional options may be reviewed at the BMS site.

The simplest way to travel to BMSC is through Vancouver, BC with the Greyhound Bus Company. Once you land at Vancouver International Airport you need to proceed to the Greyhound Bus Terminal located at the Main Terminal of the Pacific Central Station in downtown Vancouver.

Please visit the Vancouver Airport Authority site which provides information about a number of private means of transport, including shuttles, taxes, rental cars, etc.

Greyhound has several departures daily that travel to Ucluelet ($81.20 return).  Once in Ucluelet you may catch the passenger ferry, SeaWay Express which will transport you to Bamfield in less than one hour ($69 return).  There are several departures daily and if demand warrants more sailings may be added. If you choose to arrive in Victoria you may catch a Greyhound bus to Ucluelet ($113.10 return), and then the Sea Way Express ferry.

Alternatively you can travel to BMSC from Vancouver via Nanaimo using the West Coast Trail Express coach service. Coaches run from Nanaimo to Bamfield return for $150 per person (groups of 5 or more save 20%). You can get to Nanaimo via the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal (Tsawwassen – Duke Point). The ferries run every two hours from 5 am to 10 pm; Please view the details here, ferry fare: $11 (one-way).

If you choose to fly into Seattle (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport you may catch a connecting flight to Vancouver ($250 return, 12 flights daily) or catch the Quick Shuttle bus to Vancouver ($83 return).  If you have the time, you might want to consider taking the Victoria Clipper Ferry to Victoria. Once in Victoria, the West Coast Trail Express runs to Bamfield return for $150 per person (groups of 5 or more save 20%).

If you choose this options, the simplest and most efficient way to get to the ferry terminal from SeaTac Int’ Airport is by taxi as the airport is located ~ 20mins away. Alternatively, you might take the Seattle Downtown Airporter bus, which connects the airport to downtown Seattle, main hotels and the ferry terminal every half hour. The Airporter information and booking desk is located at the baggage claim level near carousel 1. Fares are $ 14 once way and $ 24 rtn.

The Victoria Clipper runs from Seattle to Victoria three times a day (7:30am, 8:30am and 3.15pm). Fares are ~ $120.

The following estimates are for renting a car for one week to travel to Bamfield. The prices include car rental, gas, and ferry (Vancouver only).

  1. Vancouver to Bamfield return, car and driver $412. Additional passengers $34 each. Travel time 4.5 hours driving, 1.5 hour ferry travel.
  2. Victoria to Bamfield. Car and passengers $270. Travel time 7 hours driving.

You can also travel to Bamfield is by floatplane. Our Travel Agency can help co-ordinate people to share flights and reduce the cost.  Floatplanes depart from Vancouver International Airport and also the harbour in downtown Vancouver.  There are strict baggage weighs associated with these flights, which are set by Transport Canada. The following price list was provided by one of the local companies.

One way charter service from Vancouver to Bamfield.










Single Otter



We also hope that many of you will choose to extend your stay in British Columbia beyond the meeting.  Car rental is reasonable and this would enable you to stop and view the sites between the airport and BMSC.  It would also permit you visit various beaches in Bamfield or the many local lakes.  The day length is long at this time of year with sunrise at 6:30 and sunset around 20:00, so there will be time for you to explore.  The road to Bamfield in unpaved from Port Alberni; this part of the drive takes about 2 hours.  It is a well-maintained logging road with some incredible views and rest stops beside lakes.  Chances are good that you’ll see a bear, and if you are lucky a cougar.  However it is a logging road with some steep hills and sharp turns.  The drive from Vancouver takes about seven hours, including a 1 hour 40 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo.  Reservations for the ferry are strongly recommended at this time of year and may be made on-line at the BC Ferries website ( The drive from Victoria to Bamfield might take seven hours and does not require ferry travel.

Surfers may wish to visit Tofino. Tofino (also on the West Coast of Vancouver Island), is a short distance from Ucluelet where you may catch the passenger ferry, SeaWay Express to Bamfield.  There are many buses to Tofino and the road is paved the entire way.


ISBW8 Travel Agency

Carlson Wagonlit Travel

2496 West 41st Avenue
Vancouver BC, V6M 2A7
Tel: 604 264-0552
Fax: 604 264-0633
Toll Free From The US: 1-877-264-0552

Email to the attention of Jenny Karmali at

Conference venue, Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

  Web page by