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Nanaimo (Departure Bay)

Departure Bay terminal is located in Nanaimo on the east coast of Vancouver Island. The terminal is a 5 minute drive north of Nanaimo city centre. Sailings departing from Departure Bay provide service to Horseshoe Bay (Vancouver). Visit the Nanaimo Market Quay for a range of food and shopping options.

With a reservation – Arrive at the terminal 30 to 60 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. Your booking will not be honoured and travel will be based on your order of arrival at the terminal if you arrive before booking check-in has opened, or after booking check-in has closed.

  • Booking check-in opens 60 minutes prior to the scheduled departure for foot passengers and vehicles
  • Booking check-in closes 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure for foot passengers* and vehicles

Without a reservation – Travel is based on your order of arrival at the terminal. 

  • Ticket sales and check-in for vehicles close 5 minutes prior to the scheduled sailing departure
  • Ticket sales and check-in for foot passengers close 10 minutes prior to the scheduled sailing departure

Assured Loading – Arrive at the terminal 20 to 60 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.

*20 minutes for group foot passenger bookings.


680 Trans-Canada Highway,
Nanaimo, V9S 5R1

Get directions >

Transit options


Current conditions
Terminal accessibility
  • Accessible washroom
  • Accessible parking
  • Wheelchairs provided for boarding
  • Wheelchair access to ferry
  • Boarding assistance available
  • Elevator

Learn more about accessibility at our terminals.

Lost and found

If you lost an item while travelling with us, you can:

  • Report your lost item to the customer service desk at the terminal
  • Direct message your lost item details to @BCFerries on Twitter
  • Call 250-722-0181 Ext. 4

View lost and found policy

Terminal amenities
Parking      70% Available
70% long term parking available

Parking at Departure Bay terminal is independently operated and managed by Robbins Parking.

Capacity: 526 spaces
Short term: 177
Long term: 349

Payment options: HONK App (licence plate number required), Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Parking rates:
Short term – display your ticket on your dash

  • $1 for 30 minutes, max 2 hours
  • $18 per day, ending midnight
  • Multiple day parking allowed

Long term – stall number required to purchase parking. Take your ticket with you.

  • $6.25 for 6 hours
  • $12.50 for 24 hours
  • $6.25 for each additional 12 hour period after the first 24 hours


  • Onsite parking meters
    • If paying by credit card, enter your mobile phone number to receive a text notifying you that your parking is about to expire. You can then follow the text instructions to extend your parking up to 24 hours.
  • Cash acceptance
    • Meters accept coins only—no change given.
    • One meter accepts bill/coins and provides change (yellow colour meter) located in long term lot. For long term parking only.

Mid Island Towing

Service notices

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