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Traveling to Canada


It's a beautiful journey aboard a Washington State Ferry as your car ferry sails from Anacortes through the San Juan Islands to Sidney, B.C. on Vancouver Island. Visitors can enjoy Butchart Gardens, with its hundreds of trees and masses of colorful flowers and shrubs. Take double decker buses on a sight-seeing trip from downtown Victoria. Sidney is just 17 miles from Victoria, a one-of-a-kind city, capital of British Columbia and a blend of English and Canadian architecture, flavor and charm. This 2-3 hour cruise provides beautiful scenery, picture opportunities and views of island living.

WSF recommends making vehicle reservations:

If you are traveling by vehicle between Anacortes and Sidney, B.C. or between Friday Harbor and Sidney, B.C., you may make a reservation with us online  or by phone. No deposit is taken when making a reservation, but credit/debit card is taken to confirm your reservation. The full fare will be paid when you arrive at the terminal. Walk-on passengers do not need a reservation.

Please note:  Customers wishing to travel to Sidney B.C. from Lopez, Shaw, or Orcas Islands will need to take an inter-island ferry to catch the daily departures from Friday Harbor to Sidney.  The inter-island fare to Friday Harbor will be waived if you have a same day reservation from Friday Harbor to Sidney. 

There is no service between Anacortes and Sidney B.C. during WSF's Winter Schedule (approximately January through March each year).

Identification is a requirement:

U.S. and Canadian citizens 16 years of age and older traveling to or from Sidney BC  must have  one of the following designated documents:

  • Passport
  • Passport card
  • Enhanced driver's license (EDL)
  • Trusted Traveler document such as a Nexus Card.

The EDL is available from the Washington State Department of Licensing  and in many other states. Please check your local department of licensing for more information.

Children traveling to Canada:

U.S. and Canadian citizens who are 15 years old or younger are allowed to travel with their birth certificate, as are teens between the ages of 16-18 if they are a part of an adult supervised school, religious, cultural or athletic group.

If no birth parent(s) are traveling with the child, you must have written authorization from the parent(s) along with a telephone number where they can be reached to verify the authorization or proof of custody. Failure to provide such evidence may make you inadmissible to enter Canada.

Helpful information:

All passengers and their vehicles and belongings on the Anacortes/Sidney, B.C. route or San Juan Islands/Sidney, B.C. route will be crossing international boundaries and will be subject to United States and/or Canadian Customs Service and Immigration inspection. Articles you bring into either country are subject to being taxed. Canadian law prohibits individuals from bringing guns, mace, pepper spray and other personal defense products into Canada.

If you’ve ever had a felony:

Foreign nationals with a single minor crime conviction (DUI, shoplifting, etc.) may apply to be given a one-time Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) and will be allowed to go to Canada. They will not be afforded this a second time. If they have two or more convictions of minor crimes they will not be allowed into Canada.

If they wish to enter Canada again, they will have to go to a consulate (one is located in Seattle) where they pay a fee to be “rehabilitated” and then they can go to Canada. The cost for this is $200 for a minor crime such as a DUI or shoplifting. It is $1,000 if a more serious conviction of a crime. NOTE: The person with the minor crime conviction must wait five years to apply for the rehabilitation fee.

If you have other questions, please contact the Canadian Border Service for assistance at 204-983-3500.

What is required for U.S. Permanent Residents?

A Permanent Resident or a holder of the immigration “green card” needs to present a valid card at the border.

What do I need to bring my pet across the border?

Information on importing domestic dogs and cats is accessible from the "Animals" section of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website.