Arrange Your Transportation to Bowen Island Before Landing at YVR

Vancouver International Airport to Horseshoe Bay to Bowen Island, British Columbia
So, the plane has landed at YVR Airport, and you’re excited about arriving at your beautiful Bowen Island vacation rental. Adventure and relaxation await. Now, how to get from Vancouver International Airport to Bowen Island?

Be Prepared – don’t leave your travel arrangements up to chance.

All scheduling and transportation work around the Bowen Island ferry schedule. Know that the ferry crosses approximately every hour, leaving Horseshoe Bay between 5:50 am and 10 pm each day.  Do consult the current seasonal schedule for actual times.

Important ferry FAQs:
  • 10 pm is the last ferry crossing for the evening.
  • First-come, first-aboard, no reservations are taken for the Bowen Island ferry.
  • We recommend arriving 30 minutes before sailing time. If a commuter crossing, you may want to arrive 45 minutes before sailing.
  • Ticket purchases are cut off 10 minutes before the sailing time.
  • Your ticket fare is your round trip ticket.
  • Consider purchasing an Experience Card if you will be making more than 2 round trips from Bowen to the city. Read more about the Experience Card here.
  • The Bowen Island ferry is only a 20-minute crossing
We highly recommend that all of our Bowen Island Accommodation guests rent a vehicle. Renting a vehicle* will simplify transportation from the airport to Horseshoe Bay, crossing on the ferry, and getting around on Bowen during your stay. Renting a car from Richmond rather than at the airport will save you money. *Ask about AWD vehicle requirements for the Lazy properties. 

Vancouver International Airport to Bowen Island, British Columbia route 
Are you renting a car or catching a cab? Arrive at Vancouver airport no later than 7:30 pm.

Rent a car - It is possible to make the 10 pm ferry with your drive time being approx. 40 – 60 minutes. Renting a car is advantageous especially when driving off the ferry on the Bowen side as you will then have transportation to get you to your accommodation.  Use this link for real-time traffic and mapping from YVR to Snug Cove on Bowen Island.     

Hiring a Vancouver taxi cab at the airport –Your travel time from the Vancouver Airport to Horseshoe Bay is approximately 40 – 60 minutes during non-commuter hours.  Keep in mind there is no Uber or Lyft in Vancouver.

Are you using public transportation? Arrive at Vancouver International Airport no later than 6 pm.

A 6 pm flight arrival or earlier is recommended.  If you are a savvy public transportation traveler with just a carry-on, it is possible to land at 7 pm and make it to the 10 pm ferry.  In all cases, planning ahead of time for your Skytrain, bus, and ferry connections is essential. 
First, catch the Skytrain at YVR Airport Station (Domestic Departures Level 3) and ride from YVR to City Centre Station in Downtown Vancouver (All Skytrain services at YVR go to this station en route to Waterfront Station. The Skytrain trip takes approx. 25 minutes.
Departure times for the Skytrain between Vancouver Airport and downtown Vancouver are very frequent - on average every 5 minutes throughout the daytime (slightly reduced service in the late PM hours). The service runs between 5:10 AM and 1:05 AM.
Get off the Skytrain at City Centre Station. Once outside the City Centre Station, find Georgia St and head east toward the Hudson's Bay Company store, cross the street at Georgia and Granville to the north side of Georgia, and board the next #257 Horseshoe Bay Express Bus. 
Walk east along Georgia, cross to the north side in front of Hudson's Bay for the 257 stop.

Ride the #257 Express bus from West Georgia St across the Lion's Gate Bridge and all the way to its final stop at Horseshoe Bay, BC. The bus station at Horseshoe Bay is a very short walk to the BC Ferry Terminal.
Read our past blog post about public transportation, so you are completely informed and organized before stepping off your flight at YVR. 
Arriving on Bowen Island without a car? (Not recommended)
Arriving on Bowen without a vehicle will leave you with transportation challenges. Read all about the Bowen transportation options here in our Bowen Guide.
  • Shuttle Bus travel on Bowen is limited to the Lazy Bowen Hideaway and the Lazy B Waterfront Suite.  The last shuttle bus #281 to the Lazy properties leaves Snug Cove at 8:25 pm.
  • NO car rentals, Ubers, or taxis are available on Bowen. (Note the one “Bowen Island taxi” on Bowen runs on Friday and Saturday nights only and is unreliable. We no longer include the “BI taxi” as a mode of transportation on Bowen.)
  • The Evergreen Cottage and the Weaver Waterfront Cottage are both within a 20-minute walking distance from the Ferry. Keep in mind the route is uphill, a lightly traveled country road with no sidewalks and no street lights. Do consider your fitness, your luggage load, the weather and whether arriving during the night or day.  All other properties are 45 minute walks from the Cove. 
  • Hitchhiking is legal on Bowen and an accepted mode of transportation. Stick your thumb out and put your smile on to get a ride from a local Bowener.
Will you miss the last ferry at 10 pm?

Recommended:  Book a hotel room in Vancouver or Horseshoe Bay   

Murray Atherton, our neighbor, and past Tourism Bowen Island Chair says: “I’d suggest booking the Accent Inn, Holiday Inn, or the Sandman Hotel (not inn) on St. Edwards Drive. All of them offer free airport shuttles. Guests  then could take a taxi or arrange a pick up at the hotel from a car rental agency in Richmond vs. the Airport (a lot cheaper).

6588 Royal Ave, West Vancouver, BC V7W 2B6, Canada

10551 St Edwards Dr, Richmond, BC V6X 3L8, Canada

3233 St Edwards Dr, Richmond, BC V6X 1N4, Canada
1 604-303-8888

10720 Cambie Rd, Richmond, BC V6X 1K8, Canada

Bowen Island Accommodations hopes this will assist our guests with their travel planning from YVR to Bowen Island. If you have questions about transportation, please ask. We want our guests to have a smooth travel experience.