Harbour Air Seaplanes

How Flying (Instead of Sailing) Can Save Your Pocketbook

How Flying (Instead of Sailing) Can Save Your Pocketbook

Imagine soaring out to sea as the sun rises behind you. Your flight is illuminated in the brilliant light as you relax and get comfortable in your seat on the seaplane.  You’re on your way to Vancouver Island. A meeting in Victoria on a Tuesday? Or maybe just a trip to visit family in Nanaimo for the weekend?

Either way, you smile, sit back and enjoy the view.  And before you know it, you coast into your destination city’s harbour with the entire day ahead of you.

How Valuable Is Your Time?

The obvious benefit of flying to Vancouver Island instead of taking a ferry is the amount of time you save.

Here’s a quick look at travel times for ferries vs. seaplanes leaving from Harbour Air’s downtown terminal:

Destination By Seaplane By Ferry
Victoria 35 minutes 1 hour, 35 minutes from Tsawassen
Nanaimo 20 minutes 1 hour, 40 minutes from Horseshoe Bay
Comox 50 minutes 1 hour, 30 minutes From Powell River

*does not include driving time to/from ferry. This chart represents Harbour Air flight times from downtown Vancouver.

We all lead busy lives. These days people are more active, we work a ton and we try to cram as many fun and healthy activities as possible into our lives. It’s part of what makes living in British Columbia’s lower mainland so attractive - our backyard is built on mountains, forests and an ocean, so we try to save time whenever we can in an effort to take advantage of this natural paradise.

So, rather than spending half a day on a ferry, seaplane travel lets you maximize your time in your destination.

For example, let’s say you book a seaplane flight that leaves downtown Vancouver at 8:00am. You need to arrive at the terminal at 7:35am. There are no lineups and no hassles. You board the plane and take off in less time than it takes to stand in line and order lunch on the ferry.

The Relative Financial Impact

Does a seaplane ticket cost more than a ferry ticket? Sure it does. Right?

Well, when you spend over an hour on a ferry, there are other costs to consider.

  • Paying for your vehicle
  • Paying for food
  • Pre-booking (no one wants to miss the boat)

On most ferry trips it costs over $50 to drive on board. With two kids at $8 and two adults at $16 all of a sudden you’re up to nearly $100.

If you’re on your own with a car then you’re still around $75 on a ferry. No car? No problem, you can walk on, but how are you getting to the ferry? That will cost money as well.

Ask Yourself:

1. From a business standpoint, is efficient use of your time valuable to your company?

2. How much does your travel budget save by getting you to and from your destination in an hour as opposed to 5 hours?

Flying to Nanaimo costs $100 on a seaplane. One person with a car taking the ferry is north of $75.

So yes, a single ticket on a seaplane is more expensive, but as we talked about above, does it make that much of a difference when you consider the value of your time?

Time is Money, As The Saying Goes…

If you could have more time in the places you visit, what would you do?

  • Spend more time with family?
  • Explore more?
  • Sit back & relax?

This will sound sarcastic, and I apologize, but if time isn’t important to you then half this argument can be heaved overboard. Riding the ferry can be a beautiful experience as well, however, travelling through the air in a seaplane is a perspective that’s truly unique.

This spring, remember: quality over quantity.  Keep your schedule filled with the things that matter.