To visit Denman Island, you need to get to the Buckley Bay ferry terminal on Vancouver Island where you will board the ferry for the 15 minute scenic sail to Denman.
Below you will find information about driving here, ferry schedules, taking the train, plus regional and local bus routes.
Driving to Denman Island
To drive to the Denman Island ferry in Buckley Bay, simply take the Inland Island Highway 19 on Vancouver Island, exiting at #101 to Buckley Bay:
- From Victoria to Buckley Bay: 2.5 hrs.
- From Nanaimo to Buckley Bay: 1 hr.
- From Courtenay to Buckley Bay: 20 min.
All times are approximate.
Important Cost Saving Note to Ferry Travellers!
With the cost of travel being what it is, it’s nice to be able to realize a savings if at all possible. On certain BC Ferries Routes (of which Buckley Bay to Denman & Denman to Hornby are two), substantial savings (around 40% compared to regular fares) can be realized by purchasing a BC Ferries Experience Card . For complete information on the benefits and how to purchase, click here.
Cable Ferry to Denman Island
Crossing Time: 10 Minutes
Distance: 1.2 nautical miles
For information about the major routes from Vancouver to Vancouver Island, please see the BC Ferries website.
The ferry to Denman Island departs from Buckley Bay at approximately hourly intervals. To avoid disappointment in the busier summer months, plan to arrive an hour prior to sailing time as there can be very long line-ups.
Ships running to Denman and Hornby Island shuttle back and forth when heavy traffic conditions exist and therefore sailing times may be altered.
Ferry Ticket Prices
For information about fares, please visit the BC Ferries website.
Good to Know!
Don’t be confused if you arrive at the ferry terminal and the ferry seems off-schedule. This tends to happen in the summer months when the ferry shuttles back and forth between Denman Island and Buckley Bay to accommodate the increase in traffic during the busy tourist season. Please be patient—the ferry will come straight back and immediately load for the next sailing.
Comox Valley Airport
Flights into nearby Comox, British Columbia (located about 30 km north of the Denman) make getting to Denman Island a breeze. The flight from Vancouver to Comox is approximately 25 minutes, and you can also fly direct Comox-Calgary. For more information, please see:
Traveling by Train
Until August 2011, taking the scenic train route through Vancouver Island to get to Buckley Bay was a wonderful way to travel here, with the train stop just a short walk away from the ferry landing. Unfortunately, the line has been closed for upgrades. It is hoped that it will be back in service at some point in the future. Check with Via Rail (1.888.842.7245).
Bus Service to Denman Island
Islandlink Bus Service currently provides 3 shuttle services daily between Campbell River/Comox/Courtenay and Departure Bay, and include a pick-up stop at the Denman Island ferry in Buckley Bay. If you’re headed to the Vancouver International Airport, you can also catch a lift to there from Horseshoe Bay on the mainland. Check the Islandlink websitefor complete details, or call 1-250-954-8257.
Greyhound offers direct transportation to the Buckley Bay ferry landing. There are 2 daily buses that go straight from the Departure Bay ferry terminal in Nanaimo to Buckley Bay. Check the Greyhound website for complete information or call 1-800-661-TRIP (8747).
There is a local bus route that will take you to/from Buckley Bay to/from Courtenay, B.C. This is a handy service that allows you to make a day trip to Courtenay/Comox while enjoying the benefits reduced travel costs and fuel consumption. Adult fare is just $1.50. Check Comox Valley Transit Buckley Bay bus schedule. Phone: 250.339.5453.
There is no public transportation on Denman Island.