I'm headed to Victoria, BC this week, but am not taking the usual route. Generally, I travel aboard Washington State Ferries (WSF) via Anacortes to Sidney on Vancouver Island. Or if I want to get there quickly and am ready to splurge, I'll fly Kenmore Air from Lake Union in Seattle directly to Victoria.
But this week's route is one that I haven't taken in more than 30 years: Black Ball Ball Ferry Line's M.V. Coho from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria, BC. It's a bit more complicated, as I have to take WSF from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend, then drive to Port Angeles. But I'm so looking forward to the 90-minute sailing. Every time I see the M.V. Coho in port at the Victoria Harbour, I'm always a bit envious that I'm not on board. She turned 50 years old in 2009 and is still lookin' good.
I'll be taking my car so I can do some exploring around Victoria. And since I'm on a 12:30 PM sailing, I'll be curious to see what food is available on the big boat. According to M.V. Coho's website, there's a cafeteria on board. Let's hope the food is better than the Washington State Ferries! I've never figured out why WSF can't ramp it up a bit in the cuisine department ... BC Ferries has far better offerings on their routes than my local boat company.
Here's a fun contest being offered by Black Ball Ferry Line. They're calling it Fall In Love Again in Victoria, and it's open to both US and Canadian residents (18 and over) until Oct. 12, 2012. Here's what you'll win if your name is selected (enter here):
- Scenic crossing between Port Angeles, WA and Victoria, BC aboard the M.V. Coho. Valid for round-trip passage for one vehicle and two adults.
- Two-night stay at one of Victoria's Historic Inns, a group of heritage accommodations. Pick you pleasure with a $150 Visa Gift Card.
- Selection of Rogers Chocolates, a chocolate maker operating out of Victoria, BC since 1885.
Photo by Sue Frause
I haven't been on a Washington State Ferry yet so I can't comment on the food, however B.C. Ferries food, although good enough, was perhaps better or at least the setting was. I remember my early love of restaurants drove me away from my schoolmates on a school trip abord B.C. Ferries to Victoria. This must of been in 1970 or '71 when I was in grade seven. I snuck away and went into the dining room that the ferries used to have, white linen tablecloths and waiters. I had enough pocket money for breakfast. No idea what they thought of this kid by himself enjoying being served with no adults around. It was a good experience since I've had to dine alone many times on trips and feel perfectly fine doing so. I hope I remembered to tip !
What a fun memory! I do remember the tablecloths and silverware. My favorite "boat" memory going to Victoria was on the grand old Princess Marguerite from Seattle ... oh, I thought I was on an around-the-world cruise the first time I was aboard. Really sad to see her go and the Clipper just doesn't compare. WSFerries food is not my cuisine of choice ... never eat on board. If I'm on a long sailing to the San Juans or Sidney on Vancouver Island, I either eat before or bring my own on board. Bon Appetit!
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