There are several ferry routes that operate on False Creek (which is actually a long, narrow bay just south of the main part of downtown Vancouver). The ferries connect a number of different locations along False Creek that isn't particularly easy to access on regular transit routes. Many of these locations have tourist attractions near them, but that doesn't mean that they are exclusively tourist destinations.
In fact, the whole idea of the ferries started when the two founders got tired of having to take a 20 minute bus ride to cross water that should only take several minutes.
There are two different ferry operators on the bay: False Creek Ferries / Granville Island Ferries and Aquabus. Neither shares fares with TransLink (the main public transit system in Vancouver). Both use small single operator boats as their main vessel, and both provide fairly frequent service. Aquabus provides service only from Science World west to Hornby Street, while False Creek Ferries / Granville Island Ferries provide service as far west as the Maritime Museum.
Some areas are served as often as every 5 minutes or more, while other areas are every 15 minutes.
The standard fare is between $3.50 and $5.50 depending on the origin and destination. However, discounts are available if you purchase packages of 10 tickets or 30 tickets or other bulk ticket purchase. Day passes are also available on either company. Therefore, if you are in an area (say, spending the night at the Granville Island Hotel) where you will be using these ferries often, it is best to look into using one of these frequent use discounts.
Please note that some of the ferry docks are not wheelchair accessible, and/or some of them are subject to extreme tide fluctuations that may make them difficult to access by wheelchair.
While False Creek is surrounded by a number of high rise buildings, there are areas where it is still possible to see as far as the mountains north of Vancouver. It is likely that high rises will soon obstruct these areas as well, so enjoy the view while you have a chance.
I wouldn't call it a boat or a ship, but more a very small boat. I always call it a floating bathtub as these ferries are so small! But don't get me wrong, they are a great way to transport yourself from downtown Vancouver to Granville Island and the Maritime Museum. There are several stops where you can get on or off on each side of False Creek. You can either take the Aquabus or the Granville Island ferries, either one is just fine. They do charge a fee, you can chose just to take a ferry to and from your destination or you can take a little sightseeing tour around False Creek if you wish. It's a great way to see a different side of Vancouver.
For the proper schedule and fares, please have a look at the website for each ferry:
Granville Island Ferry
A fun way to get around the False Creek area is by ferry. These are not your typical car ferries. They are tiny little passenger only ferries that remind me of a floating bathtub. There are 2 companies that operate a fleet of these small ferries...Aquabus and False Creek Ferries. They both cover basically the same area, serving the main tourist spots along False Creek: Granville Island, Yaletown, Science World. False Creek Ferries also serves Vanier Park with it's museums. All of these areas are served by Translink Bus as well. But, taking the ferry between them is a much more interesting, albiet, touristy way to do it.
When out and "aboot" & you want to get to the other side a little quicker than the usual way. Consider taking one of the tiny passenger ferries, they even supply one which will take you and your bicycle/s. The prices are low, for an adult it will cost you just $2.50 Can't beat it for convenience.%c
Going to Granville Island by car can turn into quite an adventure: parking space is very limited and since there are practically no sidewalks, pedestrians tend to take over the streets. So if you're looking for a more effective - and fun! - way of reaching Granville Island from downtown Vancouver, why not hop on board the Aquabus? For only $2.50, these tiny boats will take you from their downtown Vancouver stop (at the foot of Hornby St.) across False Creek to Granville Island. For $6, you can even go on a mini-cruise (about 25 minutes) around False Creek! The Aquabus runs every 5 minutes from 6:40 am to 9:30 pm.
False Creek Ferries and aquabus are two separate companies offering the same thing: a quick water taxi across False Creek.
False Creek is an ocean inlet (not a real creek) that's located along the south side of Downtown Vancouver. It separates Downtown from Granville Island and Kitsilano. Usually people have to cross one of three bridges to get from Downtown to Granville Island or Kits, but taking these little water taxis are the fun alternatives. They're also the faster option of getting from point A to point B, and who doesn't like a boat ride?
Depending on your starting point and destination, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2.50 to $5.00 an adult to take these little passenger boats across. You have to buy these tickets using cash only on the boat, but they do give out change.
You can pick up these water taxis at the eastern foot of Davie Street in Yaletown, at the southern foot of Hornby Street downtown, at the southern foot of Thurlow Street next to the Aquatic Centre in the West End, at the north end of Vanier Park in Kitsilano, next to the Arts Club Backstage Lounge and next to Bridges Restaurant - both on Granville Island, the Edgewater Casino, and even the less frequented Stamp's Landing and Spyglass Place under the south end of the Cambie Street Bridge.
Downtown to Granville Island is about a 1-2 minute ride. Yaletown to Granville Island takes about 10 minutes. Granville Island or Downtown to Kitsilano takes less than 10 minutes.
These water taxis are privately owned companies and are not a part of Vancouver's public transit system - this is not "the Seabus" nor are they "BC Ferries" and you can't use your bus pass to ride on these. However, you can purchase a booklet of tickets at a discount rate if you intend to be riding these water taxis frequently. As well, they do offer 25 minute False Creek tours if that's what you're seeking.
They are generally open 7 days a week, but check the websites for exact hours of operation.
False Creek Ferries are the cute little dinghy-like boats which transport tourists from multiple stops in the False Creek area.
Personally I recommend taking the trip from Yaletown to the markets on Granville Island. That costs $4.50. If you just want the ride under the bridge to the other side the cost is $3.
The boats provide a different angle to the city area with opportunity to get a decent photo of the Vancouver skyline.
Ask the drivers any questions you like. Because if they don't know They'll make something up. They're cool people.
We used the Aqua Bus to get from Granville Island to Yaletown, it was a short pleasant ride on False Creek. Fares range from $2.50 to $5.00, we paid $3.50 for our ride. Not every ferry goes to every stop so be sure to inquire when boarding. Other stops include Hornby Street, David Lam Park, Stamp's Landing, Spyglass, Plaza of Nations and Science World. The Aqua Buses are privately run so public transit passes or tickets are not valid.
Times of operation and route map can be found on the attached website. If you are planning on using the Aqua Bus a lot, you can purchase Aqua Bucks and passes.
Getting to Granville Island isn't so tough, but I found that getting anywhere else -from- Granville Island gets to be a pain. The two times I tried hiking out to a bus I was nearly stranded - so why bother with that? It is much more useful to take one of the cheap water taxis and get a quick ride with a great view. The stop at Science World gets you on the Skytrain to downtown, gew-gaws and tasty treats in hand. You might even see something interesting on False Creek while you travel - I saw dragonboat races last time out. The ferry docks are at the outside end of Granville - check the map and give it a shot!
These little ferries will take you around false creek for a nominal charge. They connect Granville Island, the north and south sides, and Science world. Hop on (nope they won't let you steer no matter how much you beg..trust me on this one).
A great/smart way to get around..
a convenient way to get around sites along False Creek. There is a ferry from Hornby St to Granville Island ($2.50) and ferries from Granville Island to various points along False Creek; $5 to the furthest stop at Science World. The company also offers a 'mini cruise' along False Creek for $10.
There are many ways to get across False Creek, the large water inlet in the heart of Vancouver. There are 3 bridges that are easy to walk across. But a much more interesting way is to take a mini-ferry from one side to the other.
Two companies provide this service: AquaBus and False Creek Ferries. Both are good and I would suggest just taking the first one you come upon.