the options I have are:
a. Fly out from San Francisco into Seattle and then catch the ferry into Victoria. I think this takes about 2 hrs flying time and then 5 hrs ferry time.
b. Fly into Vancouver and catch a ferry to Victoria. I don't know how long this takes.
Has anybody done this? What would you suggest?
A flight to Vancouver and then a bus from YVR Airport which takes you on the Ferry and then directly to downtown Victoria is your fastest option.
I just got back from BC, and I did excatly what Sam Salmon said, the whole trip takes around 3 hours - bus - ferry - bus, and it is quite confortable. The question is what you prefer to do? because the speed boat from seatlle arrives in downtown victoria too, and I think in the end might be faster for you as you will have to fly further to vancouver and the transfer takes longer from there too, but it might be a question of an hour or so more - the trasfer form YVR to victoria downtown is around $30 CAN, there is also an airport in victoria, you could fly there...
Take the high-speed ferry direct from downtown seattle to dt victoria=2 1/2 hrs.