This Circle tour was initially created by BC Ferries to increase ridership on the Powell River–Comox ferry route. It became a popular way to see visit some areas of southwestern British Columbia that you might otherwise not visit.
In order to receive the discount for the ferry travel, you must buy all of your tickets at the first ferry terminal you use. Make sure you ask for a "Circle Pac". This will save you approximately $15 for the vehicle and $12 for each person. The tickets are non-refundable and are only good for 30 days. They also do not provide any reserved loading or reservations, so it is best to travel on less busy days.
As this trip involves 4 ferry voyages, you will have to plan some aspects of the journey around the ferry schedules. It is possible to do this trip in about a day and a half, but much of the idea is to linger so you should plan on spending three to five days on the trip.
The most common location to start this trip is in Vancouver. However, it is possible to start at any point along the trip.
From 1 Vancouver you travel across the scenic Lions' Gate Bridge to 2 West Vancouver on the North Shore and continue along the highway to 1 Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal where you will catch the 40-minute ferry to 2 Langdale on the Sunshine Coast. It is about a 90-minute drive to the Earls Cove ferry terminal, but it is worth visiting 3 Gibsons and 4 Sechelt as well as some of the many parks in the area. From 3 Earls Cove you will take a 50 minute ferry across the Jervis Inlet to 4 Saltery Bay and continue north to 5 Powell River.
From Powell River the ferry leaves at the Westview dock and goes to 6 Comox and 7 Courtenay where you can take either the more scenic Old Island Highway or the faster Inland Island Highway south towards 8 Parksville-Qualicum Beach.
The next major town you will come to is 9 Nanaimo you can return to the Lower Mainland at either 5 Departure Bay (to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver) or 6 Duke Point (to Tsawwassen in Delta). However, most travellers will be interested in continuing on to 10 Victoria. From Victoria, travel north to 11 Sidney and then take the ferry from 7 Swartz Bay to 8 Tsawwassen.