Transportation to Hornby

Many people on Hornby has summer visitors and it’s complicated getting here.  This might help a few people to navigate the transportation system getting here.  My recommendation is the float plane from YVR float plane terminal to Hornby for about $ 200 one way.  See details below.

Public transit.

Getting to and from Hornby Island is a lengthy process. Here is a typical schedule for a trip as a foot passenger from Vancouver to Hornby Island. If you are coming as a foot passenger there is an express bus from Downtown Vancouver at Granville and West Georgia to Horseshoe Bay. Check Google Maps for times.   The Ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay at Nanaimo is about 1 hr 40 min.   Then you can pick up the Island link shuttle from Departure Bay to Buckley Bay.  Advance booking for the Island Link is necessary and can be done online.  From Buckley Bay you get the ferry to Denman Island. Then you have a 20 min drive to the ferry on the other side of Denman Island to pick up the ferry to Hornby Island. Each crossing is about 10 min. People travelling as foot passengers on the Denman ferry often approach travelers with cars to hitch a ride across Denman Island.  Seniors with a BC ID are free on Mon-Thurs but you still have to pay for your car.  The ferry fare on Hornby/Denman includes the return fare.

One should check the BC Ferries website up to an hour before leaving as ferries have been known to break down and not be replaced due to lack of availability of replacement ferries.  The Denman and Hornby Island operate on a schedule but will increase sailings if line-ups occur.

Here is a typical schedule for a walk on passenger from Vancouver.   Times can vary so check the schedules of Translink, BC Ferries and Island Link.   Taking your car requires advance booking on BC Ferries to ensure a spot on the ferry at your desired departure time. The ferry schedule for Denman/Hornby is different on some days of the week so close scrutiny of the schedule is warranted.

From Vancouver to Hornby

depart Depart time arrive Arrival time fares one way return
Granville and West Georgia downtown Vancouver bus 250 9:56 Horseshoe Bay 10:30 $1.85 senior
Horseshoe Bay BC Ferries 11:00 Nanaimo Departure Bay *free for seniors Mon-Thurs
$17.20 person
$57.50 car
Departure Bay -Island Link Shuttle Bus 1:05 Buckley Bay 2:10 $28.99
Ferry Buckley bay-Denman Island 3:00 Denman 3:10 $8.90 person
$20.65 car
Ferry Denman-Hornby Island 3:40 Hornby 3:50 0
Total Without car $56.94 $104.98
Total With car $135.09 $240.63

Total travel time 6 hours

Return from Hornby to Vancouver      
depart Depart time arrive Arrival time
Ferry Hornby -Denman 10:00 Denman Island 10:10
ferry Denman-Vancouver Island 10:40 Buckley Bay 10:50
Buckley Bay Island link 11:20 Departure Bay 12:30
Departure Bay BC Ferries 1:15 Horseshoe Bay 2:55
Granville and West Georgia downtown Vancouver bus 257 3:15 Georgia and Granville downtown Vancouver 3:45

Schedule in Effect: June 26, 2019 to September 2, 2019 June 26, 2019 to September 2, 2019


Leave Buckley Bay (Vancouver Island) Leave Denman Island (West)
7:00 am Daily
7:40 am Daily
8:20 am Daily except Sun & DC Thu (see below)
9:00 am Daily
10:00 am Daily
11:00 am Daily
12:05 pm Daily
1:05 pm Daily
2:00 pm Daily
3:00 pm Daily
4:00 pm Daily
5:00 pm Daily
6:00 pm Daily *
7:00 pm Daily
8:30 pm Daily
10:00 pm Daily **
11:00 pm Daily
6:40 am Daily
7:20 am Daily
8:00 am Daily
8:40 am Daily except Sun
9:40 am Daily !!
10:40 am Daily
11:45 am Daily
12:45 pm Daily
1:40 pm Daily
2:40 pm Daily
3:40 pm Daily except DC Thu (see below)
4:40 pm Daily
5:40 pm Daily
6:40 pm Daily
8:00 pm Daily
9:40 pm Daily
10:40 pm Daily

DC    Thursday sailings will be replaced by a Dangerous Cargo Sailing. No other passengers permitted.

!!      Note: The 9:40 am sailing from Denman is usually a busy sailing and has the potential to overload.

*      Last connecting ferry to Hornby Island daily except Fridays.

**       Last connecting ferry to Hornby Island on Fridays.

BC Ferries Experience Card can be purchased at the ferry terminal and saves a few dollars on the fares to Hornby but not between Vancouver and Vancouver Island to be best of my knowledge,


Denman/Hornby Horseshoe Bay/Nanaimo
Experience card
adult 8.90 5.15 17.20
CAR 20.65 12.35 57.50
Senior Free Mon-Thurs. Free Mon-Thurs.



Flying from Vancouver into Comox Airport with Harbour Air or is an option. Prices range from $ 132-$ 199 depending on the day. This would require ground transport or water taxi from Comox to Hornby.   A site called gives a number of ground and water options to get to Hornby from Comox with the shortest being a 2 hour trip using a car from Comox Airport. Public transit via the Courtenay Bus system is available to Buckley Bay. A Water Taxi service is available to/from Hornby and Buckley Bay $ 150, Comox Harbour ($175) as well as other destinations. Comox Water Taxi advertises Hornby to Comox in 35 min. So a one way air/water trip Vancouver/ Comox/Hornby would be about $ 300 one way.

Hornby Direct

There is a seaplane that goes from the seaplane terminal at YVR to directly to Hornby and is the quickest way to get to Hornby for about @ $ 200 one way. It lands on Hornby waterfront by the ferry terminal.

Nanaimo Airport

The Island Link shuttle will stop on the highway next to the Nanaimo Airport. It is a 5 -10 min walk to the departure terminal.

7 thoughts on “Transportation to Hornby

  1. I haven’t read the latest information on prices, etc to Hornby. One year we rented a small house/cabin on Denman as our base and travelled to Hornby from there. Hornby is gorgeous. The beaches remind me of photos I have seen of Greece. A good post and reminder that travellers need to be very prepared in many ways before planning a Hornby trip. Great information:) Erica


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