Parksville : Vancouver Island – Sailing on the Horizons and Bidding Farewell to 2015

Having celebrated New Years with the fireworks at the Sydney Opera House and the Beaches in Southern Taiwan, I made it a point to do something special for new years when I am back home.  Granted I haven’t really done that since coming back but I decided to do it in 2015!

Below: Chasing the last sunset of 2015

It so happened that all air tickets to the most exciting cities for New Years were – as expected- horrifically expensive.  My friend suggested we go across the water and have a nice spa – and that was how we ended up in the small town of Parksville.

We found a deal on BC Ferries Vacation and got a 2 nights hotel deal at the Beach Resort & Hotel in Parksville.  It came to about $240 per person, including the ferry ride, which was $88 each way for car and 2 passenger and lunch.

Towards Horseshoe Bay

We left on the evening of New Years Eve because I had to work the full day.  So we sped to Horseshoe Bay Terminal to get on the first ferry out to Nanaimo.  We caught the 5 PM ferry and we were on our way to Nanaimo!

Sundeck View

On one side of the ferry is the town of Horseshoe Bay, while the other is towards the Vancouver Islands.

snow-capped hill

The ferry allows for walk on passengers and passengers with cars.  There is a limit for how many cars that can be on the ferry.  I am not sure the capacity but there is at least 3 levels for cars.

Night time in Horseshoe Bay

There are two indoor levels for passengers to relax and another sundeck for those willing to brave the cold wind to see the view.  I stood on the sun deck to watch the last sunset of 2015 (see above) before returning inside.

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Inside the Ferry

The ferry is a lot bigger than the ferry I took to Bowen Island.  The ride is also a bit longer, at 1 hour and 30 minutes.   There are a couple of restaurants, each on one end of the boat as well as a souvenir store.

New Years Eve Dinner

We really couldn’t decide what to eat for our final meal of 2015, so we decided to get the most luxurious one available – White Spot.  We bought a pirate pack; technically, it is for kids but if you add tomatoes and lettuce, it’s the same as the original burger combo AND you get a pudding.

Fast forward to getting off the ferry and then driving 30 minutes to the town of Parksville.  We found our hotel and were able to check-in without any problems. When I booked the hotel and ferry package, they offered the studio room, which still had two queen sized beds, mini fridge, and kitchen sink but had no view.  Therefore, I paid an extra $15 and upgraded to a room with a patio and ocean view.  The beach was literally a minute walk away from the patio.  However, at night, we weren’t able to see anything but the lady at the front desk promised the view would be nice.


At night, we watched the countdown from T.V., popped the bottle of champagne and bid 2015 farewell.  Travelling wise, it was a year of great adventures – going to Ixtapa Mexico in February, Maui in April, and Peru in November.  Good Bye 2015! 2016 is a new beginning, time to throw away the old and welcome the new 🙂

Day of travel : December 31 2015.


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