You will find information below on all ways to get to, from, and around Bowen Island. For more information, check out the right sidebar of the Bowen Island Municipality's website, where transportation resources and updates are also listed.
BC FERRY INFORMATION
No reservations accepted ~ first come first aboard.
We recommend arriving about 30 minutes before your sailing time to ensure that you will board.
Remember that ticket sales at Horseshoe Bay will end ten minutes before the scheduled sailing time for vehicles and walk-on passengers. At Snug Cove, Bowen Island, loading will end five minutes before the scheduled sailing time for vehicles and walk-on passengers.
When purchasing your ticket in Horseshoe Bay know that it is a ROUND TRIP fare.
If you miss the 12:00pm ferry at Horseshoe Bay no worries. Park your car in the ferry line up and walk a short distance into Horseshoe Bay to enjoy lunch at one of the fun restaurants or pubs. You will have plenty of time to relax and enjoy your meal before the next ferry departure at approximately 2:30pm.
If you are arriving late to Horseshoe Bay know that the last ferry to Bowen leaves at approximately 9:30 pm. Do Check the schedule for the exact time.
Experience Card Would you like to receive a discount (approximately 42%) off of your ferry fare? To receive your discount on your fare consider buying an Experience Card. It can be purchased at the ticket booth for a minimum of $115. This is a good value if you think you might be making multiple ferry trips and or visiting Bowen Island again in the future. Here is more information about the Experience Card. GREAT news....it never expires!
For a handy guide on ferry Do's and Don'ts, check out the Municipality's ferry guide here.
How to get from Vancouver International Airport to Horseshoe Bay Via Public Transit
There are many options from taxis, to rental cars, to busses........but many like to come to Bowen without a vehicle. The below is how the locals do it as well.
First, catch the Skytrain at YVR Airport Station (Domestic Departures Level 3) and ride from YVR to City Center Station in Downtown Vancouver (All Skytrain services at YVR go to this station enroute to Waterfront Station. For more info on this leg of the journey, see our complete guide to riding the Skytrain from YVR to Downtown Vancouver.)
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 Center Station. Once outside the Station, you need to find Georgia St W and walk along the north side about 1/2 block east towards Seymour St to the Bus Stop (Stop No.58504) and board the next #257 Horseshoe Bay Express Bus.
Ride the #257 bus from West Georgia St across the Lion's Gate Bridge and all the way to it's final stop at Horseshoe Bay, BC. The bus station at Horseshoe Bay is a very short walk to the BC Ferry Terminal.
IMPORTANT be sure to check the bus and ferry schedules. Here is the 257 bus schedule.
BOWEN ISLAND EXPRESS BUS
The Bowen Express Bus operates between Bowen Island and Downtown Vancouver. In the morning it picks people up from the ferry (Monday 6:30am) or in Horseshoe Bay (6:30, 7:30 and 8:30am runs from Bowen - e.g., around 7, 8, and 9am) and takes them downtown. In the afternoon, it picks people up downtown (at 3:45, 4:45, and 5:45), and takes them to Horseshoe Bay, timed to meet a water taxi (4:15 and 5:15 and 6:15) and the afternoon ferries (4:30, 5:30, 6:30).
THE BOWEN ISLAND EXPRESS BUS is a great story about filling a need and thereby creating a successful bus route made especially for Bowen commuters. A few years back our usual ferry was being retrofitted and Bowen was given an extra quick but small ferry. It created overloads and chaos for commuters into the city during peak travel times. Peter King came up with the Bowen Island Express Bus and it made the islanders happy.........they got to work on time and made it home for dinner too.
Now, this service continues (even with our larger ferry) and it is Great for trips into Vancouver and back without a car. Or you might be able to coordinate with your YVR arrival.
WATER TAXI SERVICES
ENGLISH BAY LAUNCH services from Bowen Island to English Bay and back. Currently it is running on a limited schedule between May and September. You must reserve a seat on this water taxi service so
CORMORANT MARINE WATER TAXI If you miss the last BC ferry from Horseshoe Bay or you want a late night out on the mainland count on Cormorant Marine to get you back to Bowen.
Below is the Cormorant Marine schedule between Horseshoe Bay and Bowen:
Sunday to Thursday
Depart Horseshoe Bay
Friday and Saturday
Depart Horseshoe Bay
Charters available at any time.
Are you coming to Bowen Island during the annual Vancouver Fireworks Competition in July? Avoid the traffic chaos and give Brian a call to see if you can join the charter into English Bay to enjoy this spectacular show.
BOWEN ISLAND COMMUNITY SHUTTLE BUS
Many of our guests like to travel without a vehicle and on Bowen, and our Community Bus that services limited portions of the island. Various areas can be accessed by the Bowen Island Community Shuttle, part of TransLink. The schedules can be found at the Municipality website here. The transfer you received from the Vancouver buses work on Bowen with no extra charge.
If you are staying on the east side of Bowen Island (this would include the Lazy Bowen Hideaway and the Lazy B Waterfront Suite) you will be pleased to know that the C11 bus to Eaglecliff will drop you right at the top of the driveway.
If arriving via ferry, walk a short distance to the library where you will see the C11 bus parked out front. Tell your bus driver that you would like to be dropped off at Cleator Road.....they will know where that is. The bus ride only takes about 15 minutes.
When returning to Snug Cove just wave down the bus anywhere along the route and hop on. You can pay with exact change or scan your Compass Card. More info about fares here.
Are you staying at the Eastman Waterfront Cottage, the Eastman Waterfront Retreat, or the Evergreen Cottage? Unfortunately the bus does not service the Mt. Gardner area.
SNOW ROAD REPORT
It doesn't snow often on Bowen but when it does you will want to be prepared. This handy tool will inform you of the current road conditions.
If staying on the East side of Bowen at the Lazy Bowen Hideaway or the Lazy B Waterfront Suite you will need to pay close attention to the "7 Hills to Scarbourough" and Eagle Cliff Road routes.
Know that the driveway down to the Lazy properties is gravel and will likely be just wet as it is at sea level. but always best to park and take a look before driving down Cleator Road. About once every 10 years we do have a good snow fall at sea level as you can see from the photo.
If staying at the Eastman Waterfront Retreat or the Eastman Waterfront Cottage do make a note of the "Mt. Gardner to Killarney Lake" route all the way over to the Mt. Gardner area.
YOU MISSED THE SHUTTLE... YOU DRANK TOO MUCH... YOU ARE ON FOOT...WHAT NOW?
BOWEN TAXI - As of Autumn, 2016, Bowen now has a taxi service. Reach them at 604 250-TAXI (8294).
HITCH HIKE - Put your smile on, stick your thumb out and hitch a ride. Islanders will be happy to pick you up and drop you off along the way. It is a legal way to get a lift on Bowen at all times of the day.
THE GREY WHALE - The Bowen Pub offers a designated driver for their patrons that might have had one too many. Not only will they give you a lift "home" they will pick you up as well. All you need to do is buy dinner and have a good time at The Pub. This service is offered on weekends only.
ZOOM ZOOM BOWEN ~ SCOOTER RENTALS
RENT A SCOOTER AND EXPLORE BOWEN ISLAND
Hourly, Daily, Weekends or Longer
Whether you need a scooter for a few hours, or a few days, Zoom Zoom can accommodate your needs. Their Yamaha Vino 49cc scooters will allow you to explore the island, from its stunning beaches and trailheads to its many restaurants and shops.
NEW TO BOWEN 10/30/2016 - Just launched. No guarantees about availability as this is new to Bowen and we know he still needs more drivers. But give it a try. This is GREAT news for Bowen Island.