BC Ferries runs the Inside Passage ferry. Check with BC Ferries (1-888-BC-FERRY or 1-888-223-3779 or 250-386-3431) for the full schedule, but boats generally depart from Port Hardy, on the northern end of Vancouver Island, on alternating days. Reservations are essential.
It’s only during the summer that the boat travels along the coast in daylight. The rest of the year the journey takes place during the nighttime.
During the summer -- most popular with travelers, the ferry leaves Port Hardy at 7:30 a.m. to travel north. (The southern route also leaves Prince Rupert at 7:30 a.m.) The Port Hardy ferry dock is a five-hour drive from the Naniamo terminal, and 6.5 hours from downtown Victoria.
If traveling from Vancouver, you’ll need to catch the ferry from the mainland to Vancouver Island at least a day before.
The ferry arrives at its destination (Prince Rupert on the journey heading north, Port Hardy when traveling south) at about 10:30 p.m.