Four companies provide a ferry link between Washington state and Victoria. Clipper Navigation (800/888-2535, www.clippervacations.com , adult US$86 one-way, US$140 round-trip) has a passenger-only service departing Seattle ’s Pier 69 up to five times daily in summer and less frequently the rest of the year. Washington State Ferries (206/464-6400, 250/381-1551, or 888/808-7977, www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries , adult US$16, senior US$8, youth US$12.80, vehicle and driver US$53.70) link Anacortes , north of Seattle, with Sidney , 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of Victoria. A link between Port Angeles  and Victoria is made by the MV Coho (250/386-2202 or 360/457-4491, www.cohoferry.com , adult US$11.50, child US$5.75, vehicle and driver US$44) year-round and the passenger-only Victoria Express (250/361-9144 or 360/452-8088, www.victoriaexpress.com , US$12.50 pp each way) in summer only.
The Alaska Marine Highway System (907/465-3941 or 800/642-0066, www.dot.state.ak.us  /amhs) is an extensive network of government-run ferries through Alaska’s Inside Passage  and along the British Columbia coast. Although these ferries don’t stop at Vancouver, their main southern terminus is just 70 kilometers (43 miles) away at Bellingham , in Washington state. Because of international border regulations, the only Canadian port of entry used by the ferry system is Prince Rupert  in northern British Columbia. Make all reservations as far in advance as possible.
From the southeastern Alaska town of Ketchikan , an alternative to the nonstop two-day trip to Bellingham is to catch an Alaska Marine Highway ferry to Prince Rupert , then a BC Ferries vessel to Port Hardy , at the northern tip of Vancouver Island , from where it’s a scenic drive down to Nanaimo  or Victoria for the short hop across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver with BC Ferries. This is a great way to include Vancouver Island and Vancouver in your northern itinerary without backtracking and at a similar cost.