From the airport

The local town is called Sidney, and it is here that you find Victoria International Airport. There are legendary stories about people thinking they are heading here but ending up in either Sydney Australia or Sydney Nova Scotia. So when you book flights, please make sure you are going to an airport with the IATA code YYJ. It is also confusing to many visitors that though Victoria is on Vancouver Island, Vancouver is not on Vancouver Island. This led to one visitor booking flights to Victoria Island, which does exist and is in Canada but is in the high arctic. Do NOT book flights to that airport, please go to YYJ.

There are non-stop flights to Victoria from three major Canadian airports:

  • Vancouver
  • Toronto
  • Calgary
All of those have easy connections to global airports, e.g. non-stop flights to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing etc.
Vancouver and Toronto are especially well connected to pretty much all world airport hubs.

Air connections into Victoria International Airport (YYJ) from Vancouver (YVR) run hourly. The gate to gate time is 25 minutes with between 12 and 14 minutes of actual flight time.

There are also non-stop flights into Victoria from Seattle (both Delta and Alaskan - 7 flights/day) and from San Francisco (United Airlines - 1 flight/day).

See this brochure for more information on which airlines fly and into Victoria Airport.

If you have time to take in some beautiful scenery, consider flying to Vancouver and then take a bus to the ferry terminal and take the BC Ferry trip from the British Columbia Mainland (Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal) to Vancouver Island (Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal). It is a beautiful trip (in daylight) lasting 1h 40m with frequent sightings along the way of orca whales. From the Vancouver Island terminal (Swartz Bay) it is a 7-minute taxi ride to any hotel in Sidney. The ferries operate starting each day at 07:00 and the last ferry departs at 21:00. The food on board is poor.

Getting to Sidney from the airport is easy.

Either take a taxi which is a few minutes each way or take a bus that runs regular services to downtown Sidney.

Visa information

For entry into Canada, most visitors will need an eTA (Electronic Travel Authority) and some require visas.

The web site dealing with visas and travel authorities is : http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/ci-ci/visa.aspx?lang=eng&menu_id=1

Here are recommendations based on citizenship of AST members:

  • Citizens of the USA can enter Canada with a valid passport. No visa is needed and no eTA.
  • Citizens of Argentina and China require a visa.
  • For citizens of India and South Africa, an eTA may be sufficient or you may need a visa depending on some details.
  • For citizens of Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland and Spain an eTA (cost is Can$7.00) is sufficient.
To check whether or not you need a visa, click here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas-tool.asp?

To apply for an ETA click here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp

If you need an official invitation letter, please contact Megan Scanderbeg at mscanderbeg@ucsd.edu and Howard Freeland at Howard.Freeland@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

Getting Around Sidney

The Sindey Town Hall website has various interactive maps featuring things to do around town.