Planning your transportation to and from Nanaimo is easily tailored to the type of experience you’re looking for on Vancouver Island. Whether you’re flying in to the Nanaimo Airport or cruising across on BC ferries, Nanaimo is an accessible west coast destination.


Nanaimo is your gateway to Vancouver Island, with two ferry terminals offering service from the Vancouver area. Depart Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver and arrive 1 hour 40 min later to Nanaimo’s Departure Bay. Depart Tsawwassen and arrive in Duke Point, 15 minutes south of Nanaimo just 2 hours later. We recommend reservations as traffic, in particular during the summer high season and holiday weekends, can be high. Onboard enjoy food, shopping and a playroom for kids.


Hullo, a fast foot passenger ferry run by the Vancouver Island Ferry Company, offers 70 minute direct trips from downtown Vancouver to downtown Nanaimo and back.
The Nanaimo terminal on Port Way has a dedicated pay parking lot. Downtown Vancouver departures are arrivals are at Canada Place.
Reservations are recommended.


Nanaimo Airport

Connect to Nanaimo from anywhere in the world. This busy modern airport is home to three air carriers – Air Canada, WestJet and Island Express. Located just 18km south of downtown Nanaimo, the airport offers shuttles, taxis, rental car kiosks, as well as short and long-term parking.

Float Plane

Regularly scheduled flights to downtown Vancouver and Vancouver International Airport South Terminal are available through Harbour Air Seaplanes, Sunshine Coast Air, and Seair Seaplanes. Flight time is approximately 20 minutes.


Nanaimo’s newest way to travel is via Helijet. Daily flights to and from Vancouver’s helipad and Nanaimo’s Cruise Ship Terminal location are easily booked online or over the phone.


Are you a boater planning a trip to a coastal area of BC, such as Nanaimo? Cruising into Nanaimo at your own pace lets you create your own experience and see the city from a different view! Check out AHOYBC, a valuable resource for trip planning.

Businesses To Help You Get Here

National Car Rental
Budget Rent A Car
Miracle Mile Limousine and Sight Seeing Tours
Protection Island Ferry
Vancouver Island Connector (Tofino Bus)
Seair Seaplanes
Sunshine Coast Air
Nanaimo Airport
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Islandlink Bus
Harbour Air Seaplanes
Nanaimo Visitor Centre