When traveling between Canada and the United States, it will be necessary to pass through Customs and Border Protection at the border. You will need one of the following travel documents:
- A Passport (required for air travel)
- Passport Card
- Enhanced Driver License or an Enhanced ID Card (EDL/ID) applicable to select states/provinces only, this is different than a Real ID
- NEXUS Card
If you are not a United States or Canadian born citizen you will be required to have a passport and possibly a Visa. Airlines will require a passport for all travelers. Refer to the list of websites below for current visa requirements.
Guests traveling on our San Juan Clipper fast ferry with domestic service between Seattle, WA and Friday Harbor, WA do not need to present identification other than a boarding pass.
Children and Infants
When traveling by land or sea, U.S. or Canadian children under age 16 and infants are required to provide proof of citizenship. They may present one of the following documents:
- An original or copy of his or her birth certificate
- A consular report of birth abroad
- A naturalization certificate
- A citizenship card
If both birth parents are not present, you must provide a signed (preferably notarized) statement from the parent(s) authorizing the child to travel out of the country or proof of custody.
Children from countries other than the U.S. or Canada will require a passport and possibly a Visa. Failure to provide such evidence may make you inadmissible to Canada.
Organized Student Groups
Groups of Children: U.S. and Canadian citizen children under age 19 arriving by land or sea from contiguous territory and traveling with a school group, religious group, social or cultural organization, or sports team are also required to provide proof of citizenship. They may present one of the following documents:
- An original or copy of his or her birth certificate
- A consular report of birth abroad
- A naturalization certificate
- A citizenship card
The group should be prepared to present a letter on organizational letterhead with the following information:
- The name of the group and supervising adult
- A list of the children on the trip, and the primary address, phone number, date of birth, place of birth, and name of at least one parent or legal guardian for each child
- A written and signed statement of the supervising adult certifying that he or she has obtained parental or legal guardian consent for each participating child
What is an Enhanced Driver License or Enhanced ID Card?
US citizens who are Washington state residents are eligible to purchase an Enhanced Driver License or Enhanced ID Card. This EDL/ID will meet the requirements for proof of citizenship to re-enter the US from Canada and Mexico by land or sea. Many other states have or will soon have EDL/ID available for their residents, check with your local DOL for more information. Further information is available at the Washington State Department of Licensing website.
As of August 24, 2017, states/provinces offering an Enhanced Driver License/Enhanced ID Card include:
If You’ve Ever Had a Felony…(Including a DUI)
Persons with a felony may be denied entrance into Canada. If you have been convicted of a crime in the United States it may be considered a felony in Canada. A Driving Under the Influence conviction (DUI) is considered a felony in Canada. Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for more information.
Need More Information on Crossing the U.S./Canadian Border?
For further information on the crossing the U.S./Canadian Border or the duties you may have to pay on goods you bring back to the U.S., please reference the following sites:
U. S. Customs and Border Protection
Department of Homeland Security
U. S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State – Visa Requirements to enter the U.S.
Canada Border Services Agency
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada – Visa Requirements to enter Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada – Overcoming criminal inadmissibility into Canada
Washington State Department of Licensing/ Enhanced Driver License/ ID Card
Check-in & Boarding
You can check-in online or in person at our Seattle terminal 7 days/week (see FAQ above for seasonal hours noted by terminal). Both terminals offer extended hours during the summer months. We recommend arriving at least one hour before your ferry’s departure. Health, Security and Passport checks are done at the ticket counter for all Seattle – Victoria passengers. Pre-boarding is available on most departures if you need a little more time to settle in, such as families traveling with children ages 5 and under and those with difficulty walking.
If you are traveling from Seattle, you will begin boarding 45 minutes prior to departure by group number.
You are required to process through U.S. Customs & Border Protection before boarding any departure from Victoria. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will start processing passengers at least one hour before departure.
We recommend arriving one hour prior to departure, as final boarding call is 20 minutes prior to departure. If you are not on board the vessel 15 minutes prior to departure, you will forfeit your seat and your entire fare.
You are allowed to check up to two pieces of luggage on the Victoria Clipper ferry at the cost of $15.00 USD per checked bag per leg of travel. Each checked luggage item must weigh less than 50 pounds with linear dimensions that do not exceed 62” (length + width + height) including handles and wheels. Luggage items over 70 lbs. will be charged $37.00 USD per leg of travel. All checked luggage items must be fully closed and contained (no protruding pieces or unclosed parts) to be accepted.
Guests traveling on our San Juan Clipper ferry for domestic service between Seattle, WA and Friday Harbor, WA can check two bags free per passenger.
NOTE: Checked luggage will be checked in and paid for at the Clipper terminal on your day of travel. Please allow ample time in your schedule to check in required luggage.
You may carry on a maximum of one piece of luggage and one personal item. The piece of luggage must not exceed the overall dimensions of 24” x 16” x 10” (including wheels and frame) and may be no heavier than 20 pounds.
Passengers are also allowed one personal item, such as:
- Camera bag
- Diaper bag
- Small backpack
- Tote bag
- Standard size laptop computer case
Items that exceed the carry-on policy must be checked in prior to travel. Please note that Clipper carry-on luggage size dimensions are smaller than those of major airlines.
Strollers and assistive items (such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and oxygen delivery devices) do not count towards a passenger’s carry-on allowance. You may bring these items with you to board the vessel where they will then be safely stowed by on-board staff.
Musical Instruments must be packed in an appropriate case for travel (hard sided cases are strongly recommended). Musical instruments that are small enough (flute, clarinet, etc.) may be carried on board the vessel as the passenger’s one piece of carry-on luggage. Guitars or similarly sized instruments can be checked as one of the two allowed checked in items per passenger without an additional charge.
Instruments that are larger than our carry-on size, but can stay with a passenger in their seat (i.e. guitars), will be charged the oversize rate. If an instrument is too large to stay with a passenger in a seat (i.e. cello, stand-up bass), they may purchase an additional seat at the lowest published fare. A standard liability waiver must be completed and signed by the passenger prior to transport of a musical instrument.
During the summer (when the kiosk is open) there is a luggage storage area at the Victoria Clipper Seattle terminal where you can store your luggage (for $5.00 per bag, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm) while you see the sights in Seattle.
Luggage can be stored year-round (when the terminal is open) at the Victoria Clipper (for $5.00 per bag) while you explore in and around the city. Your bags can also be checked and stored onboard on the vessel starting at 9:30 am on the day of travel.
Directions & Parking
Need directions on where to catch the Victoria Clipper or where to park? Check out our Directions and Parking information.
Bicycles are charged a $20 handling fee each way between Seattle and Victoria, BC or Friday Harbor, WA and will be paid for onboard on your day of travel. Bicycle space is highly limited on both vessels and treated on a first come, first served basis on day of travel. We do not currently accept bicycle reservations in advance, but we do request that you reach out via email on our Contact Us form to let us know if you plan to bring a bicycle. We will make a note on your reservation and do our best to accommodate your request.
At check-in, bikes must be stripped of any packs, tire pumps, water bottles, etc., and a Bicycle Acceptance waiver must be completed and signed by the passenger. Bicycles are stored on the outside deck subject to the elements. Due to vessel space restrictions, electric bicycles, tandem bicycles, bike trailers or unusual lengths/types of bicycles are not allowed. San Juan Island offers great options for bicycle and moped rentals easily accessible from downtown Friday Harbor.
Pets in carriers are allowed to travel on our vessels and must be accompanied by a person (we will not transport animals as cargo). Pet space is highly limited. We do not currently accept pet reservations in advance, but we do request that you reach out via email on our Contact Us form to let us know if you plan on bringing a pet so that we may make a note in your reservation. At check in, a Pet Acceptance waiver must be completed and signed by the passenger. Pet fees will be paid for onboard on your day of travel.
- Pets traveling to Victoria, BC: The pet fee for animals traveling to Victoria, BC is $20 each way and you must have the appropriate vaccination records for Customs.
- Pets traveling to Friday Harbor, WA: The pet fee for animals traveling to Friday Harbor, WA is $20 each way.
Smaller pets that weigh 15 pounds or less and fit in a 20”x11”x11” enclosed carrier (duffel bag/soft crate style with handles) can travel in the passenger cabin. They will not be allowed to travel without a carrier or with a carrier that doesn’t sufficiently contain the pet, such as a purse or an open bag.
Larger pets must be in a hard-sided airline approved kennel (kennels can be rented for an additional $10 each way). Be advised that larger kennels are placed on the outside deck subject to engine noise and the elements.
All pets must remain in their carriers or kennels for the duration of the trip.
Traveling with Service Animals
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, including, but not limited to:
- Guiding individuals with impaired vision
- Alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds
- Alerting persons with seizure disorders to the onset of a seizure
- Providing minimal protection or rescue work
- Pulling a wheelchair
- Fetching dropped items
We welcome service dogs on Clipper sailings which are trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability. Emotional support animals are no longer accepted as service animals and may travel under Clipper’s Pet Policy.
To ensure that both you and your animal travel easily and comfortably, please review the following information:
- Trained service animals travel for free.
- The size of the animal must not exceed the footprint or personal space of the guest’s seat or foot area during the entire voyage.
- Service animal documentation must be presented at check-in.
- Animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered at all times in the terminal and onboard the vessel.
- We suggest that you not overwater or overfeed your animal on the day of travel.
- Animals must be seated on the floor space below a guest’s seat or, if no larger than an infant, seated in the guest’s lap, if needed to accommodate your disability.
- Animals must behave appropriately in the terminal and on the vessel. If your service animal engages in disruptive behavior such as (but not limited to) the following, your animal will be subject to our pet policy:
- Barking excessively, not in response to a handler’s need or distress
- Aggressive behaviors towards other guests or animals (e.g. biting, growling, snapping, lunging, etc.)
- Freely wandering or running around
- Relieving themselves in the cabin or places other than designated pet relief areas
- Jumping on guests or employees
- Occupying a seat, table or seatback tray table
- Eating off of table or seatback tray tables
- Not responsive to owner/handler’s commands
- Animals may not occupy a seat or sit on a table or tray table at any time.
- Animals may not obstruct the aisles or areas that must remain clear for emergency evacuation.
- Clipper reserves the right to charge a guest for damage caused by his or her service animal.
When traveling with a service animal, we recommend choosing a window seat when possible, so the service animal is safe from foot traffic.
Please note that you may be asked by Clipper staff or crew if the service animal is required because of a disability and if so, what work or task has the service animal been trained to perform? Clipper staff or crew may also require that the service animal demonstrate its task.
We do not currently accept service animal reservations in advance, but we do request that you reach out via email on our Contact Us form to let us know if you plan on bringing a service animal so that we may make a note in your reservation.
San Juan Clipper Vessel – Seattle to Friday Harbor, WA Service and Whale Watching
Our San Juan Clipper fast ferry can accommodate standard manual wheelchairs and has a standard manual wheelchair accessible restroom onboard. When booking online, please mark the box noting that a guest will require standard wheelchair assistance and contact us with any questions so that we may add a note to your reservation. Please note that we are unable to accommodate motorized wheelchairs on San Juan Clipper due to space and boarding constraints.
Victoria Clipper V Vessel – Seattle to Victoria, BC Service
The Victoria Clipper V can accommodate both standard and motorized wheelchairs on the main deck of the vessel. Tie-downs are located at the front of the vessel on both the left and right side and at the back of the ship on the left side. Our vessel also features one wheelchair accessible bathroom onboard.
Due to limited loading capabilities, motorized scooters are typically not allowed in the cabin and are instead stored on the outside deck. If you are traveling with a motorized chair, be sure to bring along a charger in case your chair runs out of power during your trip.
When booking online, please mark the box noting that a guest will require wheelchair assistance and contact us with any questions so that we may add a note to your reservation.
One of the great advantages of international travel with Clipper Vacations is that you can purchase* duty free liquor and cigarettes aboard the Victoria Clipper for up to 50% off the regularly taxed price!
Victoria Clipper Duty-Free Menu (sample menu, subject to change)
What Does Duty-Free Mean?
Duty free means that you are exempt from the steep taxes levied on certain commodities – typically alcohol and tobacco. Since these items are for consumption outside the country, the government does not collect taxes on these goods. Note, duty free purchases are only available on Clipper’s international ferry service.
You Must Declare Your Duty-Free Items
You must declare all purchases made in Canada at the US Customs counter. Returning to the US, passengers have a duty-free allowance of $400 per person, including one liter of alcohol if you have been out of the country for 48 hours or longer.
US residents gone less than 48 hours have a duty-free allowance of $200. If you are returning to Canada, the allowance is $50 if you have been out of country for less than 48 hours, $400 if greater than 48 hours and $750 if greater than seven days.
Onboard the Victoria Clipper purchases may be made with a Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover Card. We do not accept cash, checks or debit cards requiring a PIN number on board the Victoria Clipper.
Check out our list of frequently asked questions to help plan your travel.