Black Ball Ferry Line: The MV Coho ferry sails daily from Port Angeles to Victoria BC inner harbor and back. Summer and winter schedules vary – check below.
What's black, white, red, and gray, 341.6 feet long, 72 feet wide, 50-something-years old, and can carry 1,000 people and 116 vehicles at the same time, all while sailing under a black ball?
The MV Coho, of course!
Appropriately named after the Coho species of Pacific salmon, the MV Coho dodges orcas, dolphins, fishing boats, sea-mountain sized container ships and submarines as she faithfully plies the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Black Ball Terminals
Catch the Coho at these terminals:
Port Angeles WA USA:
101 East Railroad Avenue, Port Angeles WA 98362
Victoria BC Canada:
430 Belleville Street, Victoria, BC V8V 1W9
General Info Toll Free: 1-888-99-FERRY (33779)
A few important travel notes:
Ferry passengers can enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest in the warmth and comfort of the inside cabin. Or, the intrepid ones may dare to stare nature in the face outside on one of her expansive outer decks or under the covered solarium.
It'll take 90 minutes for the crossing, but no worries, there's a cafeteria for chowing down on Ivar's clam chowder, as well as pastries, sandwiches and coffee; there's also a gift shop and a duty free shop to browse when the spectacular views become unbearable.
Any visit to the Pacific Northwest should include a ferry experience! It's a huge part of how we Northwesterners get around. And the Coho is a must-do, if at all possible.
Yes, it takes a couple hours to get to Port Angeles from Seattle, and you can also take the fast ferry, the Clipper, which will still take almost 3 hrs from Seattle to Victoria (see www.clippervacations.com). A regular ole' plane will work too, but if you're going to Victoria anyway, why not take the Coho?
Okay, so it's not real fancy but it's leisurely and comfortable with plenty of room to roam or stretch out for a nap, much more than on the express ferry or a plane. It's the experience, there are a zillion photo opportunities, and you can even bring your car.
If you dare, I highly recommend riding out the worst, uhh, the most exciting waves while leaning up against the bow. It's a kind of wet rugged side of the Olympic Peninsula, a watery Wild West with a vintage twist.
There's nothing like feeling the bone-deep blast of the horns just before pulling away from the dock, watching the land fade away behind the stern and then eventually reappearing in front of the bow, and new anticipation arising for the bump indicating the Coho has nudged the dock at the end of the voyage.
Our Black Ball Ferry/MV Coho is an icon. The voyage is well worth it and highly recommended, even if you spend only a few hours in Victoria BC or Port Angeles WA.
Designed by Philip F. Spaulding & Associates, and built by Puget Sound Bridge & Dry Dock in Seattle, WA, the M.V. Coho took her maiden voyage on December 29, 1959, leaving Port Angeles WA for Victoria, BC, Canada.
sailings, aside from a two week break each January for a thorough check-up and fresh coats of paint - at
almost 60, she's taken good care of herself - the Coho has carried over 22
million passengers and 6 million vehicles between Port Angeles and Victoria.
See Black Ball History.
Other Links you may enjoy:
Cities Near the Coho Ferry:
Seattle: 82 miles (approx. 2.38 hours)
Port Townsend: 47 miles (approx. 1.04 hours)
Sequim: 17 miles (approx. 25 minutes)
Port Angeles: 0 miles
Forks: 56.3 miles (approx. 1.1 hours)
Victoria BC: 0 miles
Vancouver BC: 114.2 km (71 miles) via Swartz Bay (approx. 3.3 hours)