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todderz 22 Aug 2009 12:08

Vladivostok to Vancouver
I thought I'd share some notes on my experience of getting from Vlad to Vancouver with an XT600E. I know there's a lot of similar stuff on here, but this is at least current as of late August 2009. I rode from Vladivostok to Zarubino, took the Dong Chun ferry to Sokcho, South Korea, and sent the bike by air from Seoul to Vancouver BC.

There is a Dong Chun ferry ticket office in Vladivostok in the big white building behind the train station in Primorye, about 5 minutes walk from Hotel Vladivostok. The office is on the second floor. You can buy your passenger ticket and kick off the bike process with V5 etc, but don't actually buy a bike ticket.

I recommend buying a first class ticket as this means you share a cabin for 4 (my cabin was empty apart from me) but economy means sleeping on the floor in an open public area with about 20 others.

The ferry is currently running Wednesday and Saturday.

Vlad to Zarubino is an easy 4 hour ride with mostly good or ok tarmac and a few short sections of muddy gravel with bad potholes. From Vlad go north towards Ussirysk on the M60, turn left at Razdolnoye then follow the road to Khasan (XACAH).

Don't miss the only sign for a left turn to Zarubino at a fairly major junction.

The ferry port is hard to miss as you'll see it when you ride in. There is an office to the right of the main gate which doesn't open till 13:00. Be at the front of the queue before a coach load of Koreans arrives.

There is a fairly decent food shop nearby, and a bank in the same building as the port office.

At 13:00 enter the office, hand over your docs at the first window and pay 250 rubles. You get a ticket that allows you entrance to the port. Ride your bike in, bearing left and keeping left of the train tracks. Park up next to the big building and wait in the waiting room.

To the left of the front door (looking from inside) is a hut with two windows. The first opens at 2pm. Pay 700 rubles and go to the next window where you get a real ticket. Wait in the waiting area.

Someone will come for you and take you to the office where the bill of lading is being prepared. You fill in a customs declaration and pay 1500 rubles. Go and wait some more.

Eventually someone tells you to take the bike to the ferry. A soldier will look in your panniers etc, then you drive up the ramp. The crew tell you where to park and strap your bike down for you. Return to the waiting area.

Someone will bring you a completed bill of lading. Hold on to it.

At 16:30 the customs check opens. Stick your bags on the scanner. I wasn't asked to remove my jacket, nor were my pockets checked or scanned.

Pass through a brief immigration and passport check. There is a duty free shop with a small selection of booze and a bar of chocolate.

Go onto the boat, if you're in first class get your room key at the reception desk. Behind you are some forms you will need to complete before disembarking.

The ferry has a restaurant (but the food is korean), a shop, vending machines for drinks, and will exchange currency (rubles and dollars to korean won). The cabin has 4 bunk beds, a sink and a tv, and is quite comfortable. At midnight they switch 2 hours back to Korean time so breakfast will be 2 hours later than you think if you don't change your watch. Breakfast is korean and is not breakfast....

The ferry arrives about 11am. Leave on foot, go through customs, immigration and passport control, and look out for the Sokcho customs office at the end of the corridor. Immediately next door is the Dong Chun ferry office, but there's no sign just a grey door.

The dong chun staff (probably a Miss Choi) will take you round to unload the bike which you ride into the customs building.

Back in the office pay 323 US dollars for the bike shipment. Then go away and come back at 13:00.

The port building has an ATM which does not accept foregin cards. Foreign cards are only accepted in machines with a "global" sign on them.

Your mobile phone probably won't work in Korea.

If you are using Wendy Choi (which you should be) give her a call from the phone in the Dong Chun office.

I had the bike trucked to Seoul because I'm on a tight schedule. The truck arrives, you ride onto a pallet and are lifted by a fork lift onto the truck. Driver straps the bike down, you jump in the passenger seat and ride for about 3 hours to the crating company building near gimpo airport in Seoul.

The crating boys masure up and make the bottom part of the crate. Roll the bike on, put it on the centre stand, remove front wheel, then rear wheel, then drop it onto its belly, drop the bars down, remove mirrors, mudguards etc to get it as small as possible.

The craters strap the bike to the platform, then you can pile on your panniers and bike gear and bits and pieces, staying within the size of the platform. The craters will finsih the crate. Bugger off to your hotel, contact wendy, get an invoice, pay her (no credit cards, only cash) and that's it.

I'll add details of gettin out of Vancouver when I do it.

The total cost for the bike shipment was $2291. That's for an XT600E with panniers and quite a lot of kit from Seoul to Vancouver, including the costs for the flight, the crating and all other incidental charges, and the truck ride from Sokcho which came in at $350.

In fact here's a full breakdown, in us dollars. I don't know what some of these are but you have to pay them:-

Air freight 1485.90 (3.90 per kg)
fsc/ssc 91.44 (0.24/kg)
dangerous handling charge 52.00
crating 161.00
certification 50.00
customs 50.00
handling 50.00
trucking 350.00

Total 2290.34

Wendy is brilliant and made the whole thing totally effortless and stress free. I had to do practically nothing. The truck arrives, the craters do their thing, everything else happens while you're not there. It's so easy, as is the ferry where people come and tell you what to do next, it really is a breeze.

Total cost about 3000 dollars, but don't forget your own flight.

The big variable would be air freight. With a heavier bike, and if you can't pack it down as small, it will go up. I believe mine came in at 2.3 cubic metres. I don't really understand it but if the size goes above a certain level you get charged according to that size even though your weight is actually less. Or something.

Anyway, it was all very easy, especially with Wendy's help. I found it very difficult beforehand to get information on the likely cost or the procedure so I hope this heps someone. I forgot to get gps locations, but really you won't need them, it's all so easy.


BlackBeast 23 Aug 2009 16:36

Excellent post and write up. Thanks for taking the time for all the detail.

todderz 5 Sep 2009 04:55

Part 2 - Vancouver.

Pretty easy. Go to the Air Canada building at the cargo terminal, which is a 5 minute walk from the passenger terminal, and hand over your waybill number.

They will give you some paperwork which you take to the customs building just around the corner. You will have to show proof of insurance and proof of ID. I got insurance through motorcycleexpress.com

Motorcycle Express/Motorcycle Services
Phone (800) 245-8726 (within US/Canada)
Phone (516) 682-9220
Fax (516) 393-5996
Motorcycle Express - Ship Your Bike
Hours of Operation Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm EST
Our office is closed 12:30 to 1:30 pm during lunch.
Closed Saturday and Sunday

It cost about USD250 for two months.

The customs process took about 2 minutes. They stamp your paperwork and you return to the Air Canada office. There was a charge of $75 for their "services" - not sure exactly what that was - and then your crate is brought out by forklift.

Fortunately it was fairly easy to open and break apart the crate by hand (and foot). Then rebuild your bike and ride away. Easy. The warehouse staff helped lift the bike while I put the wheels back on. There were two members of staff who were bikers and were very interested and helpful.

One other staff member was grumbling about making me pay for removing the dismantled crate, but i think it was just bull. I was also told that "the system" wanted to charge me $500 for storage for the 3 days the bike was there before I was, but they kindly "let me off".

I think you'd be unlucky to be charged for storage, but it's something to check beforehand, just in case.

Anyway, in summary it was all very easy, thanks to Wendy, and worked out much cheaper than I thought.

PS if you need work on the bike and have a beemer or a yamaha, then try Pacific bmw and yamaha in Richmond, not far from the airport.

Pacific Yamaha BMW Motorsports Vancouver Motorcycles Scooter ATV SxS PWC Waverunner Richmond BC Canada


furious 8 Sep 2009 17:34

That's an amazing amount of very useful information! Thanks a lot, my friend. You helped us very much!

Happy Travels!

Sam I Am 8 Sep 2009 20:53

Great information - one question...
Wow, thanks for all the information. I will probably be doing much the same next year at this time. Just one question... Wendy Choi... who does she work for and how does one contact her? Sorry... I hadn't heard her name before.

LUC1 13 Sep 2009 23:04


Thanks for the detailed report so usefull in the planning stage. :thumbup1:

twowheels03 3 Jan 2010 17:00

We have been debating what we should do to make the same crossing - thanks very much for the info, helped us loads.

retep 5 Jan 2010 22:32

Thank you , mate,
As you can see, you have done a good job. First I thought I am the only wich wants from Japan to Vanvouver/Seatle 2010. Now I am interested to get even more informations. Does everyone knows the possibility to ship (some) bike by ferry ?

Mates, we should stay in contact looking for the best way.



Jontheroad2 2 Dec 2013 23:06

hi Todderz!
Today, do you think that it is possible to achieve this through? and similar price?
Should we take the Korean visa in advance? :confused1:
I really need your help and your experience!
thank you

seouljoe 3 Dec 2013 06:36

Korean visa

Originally Posted by Jontheroad2 (Post 445609)
hi Todderz!
Today, do you think that it is possible to achieve this through? and similar price?
Should we take the Korean visa in advance? :confused1:
I really need your help and your experience!
thank you

You don't need a visa for Korea ,,
i would say same shipping method applies ,, except the price would have gone up 2009 vs 2014.
Also check out Wallenius ro-ro from Vancouver to Korea.

Jontheroad2 3 Dec 2013 07:58

thank you very much for that!:D
I will inquire about Wallenius.
Do you think we should book transport well in advance?

Almaka1 14 Jan 2014 21:25

In July 2014 I like to ship my BMW bike from Vladivostok to Vancouver in a container or by airfright. However I do not have time to make the detour via Korea. Who likes to join with the container? Who knows a direct aircargo possibility from Vlad to Vancouver?
please contact: karl.freilinger@andritz.com

NEVIL 15 Jan 2014 00:07


I caught this ferry in July of 2013. It is no longer run by Dong Chun. It's operated by Stena instead but the route is the same.

Hi Seouljoe! :)


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seouljoe 15 Jan 2014 08:01

Vlad to Korea then to Vancouver

Originally Posted by NEVIL (Post 450407)

I caught this ferry in July of 2013. It is no longer run by Dong Chun. It's operated by Stena instead but the route is the same.

Hi Seouljoe! :)


Round the World 2013 on motorbikes
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Nevil | Nevil Stow | Travel Blog

Hey Nevil ,,
FYI ,,
Zarubino to Sok Cho, Korea is ,,

Vladivostok to Dong Hae, Korea is ,,

Then on http://www.2wglobal.com/www/wep/ to Tacoma Washington, from Pyung Taek or Masan, Korea,, then ride upto Vancouver ,, transit time is 10 days from Korea to Tacoma, Washington. Freight about USD 1,000 including fees,

Or air freight from Seoul to Vancouver on Air Canada for ca USD 1400.00 , including fees. Transit 2 - 4 days.

For shipping out of Korea ,, use wendychoi2(at)gmail.com our HUBB forwarder, to arrange the freight.
Good luck guys.

NEVIL 15 Jan 2014 19:21

Thanks for the clarification SeoulJoe
Someday I will get the chance to put a decent bottle of scotch in your direction :))

Kindest regards

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