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Any suggestions to get from Vancouver to Seattle?


Flydude1063
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Hi,

 

Four of us are taking the Discovery Princess from L.A. up the west coast terminating in Vancouver on May 4th, 2024. Airfares are WAY less going home from Seattle instead of Vancouver. Just wondering if anyone has some ideas of an inexpensive way to get from Vancouver to Seattle. I'm not finding a whole lot of options. 

 

Thanks for the help!

 

Rick

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The basic choices:

 

Quickcoach - $40 - $60 per person (depending on baggage) - roughly 5 1/2 hours.

 

Amtrak Cascades (train) - $30 - $50 per person depending on when booked.  4 1/2 hours to downtown Seattle, plus connection (public transportation or cab/Uber) to airport - $3 to $40 (for whole vehicle.)  Two trains daily, early morning and early evening.

 

Amtrak bus - same or a bit less than the train, several departures daily.  Also around 4 1/2 hours, also requires connection to airport

 

Fly - $170 - $200 (Air Canada or Alaska Airlines) - from YVR airport, 1 hr, numerous daily departures.

 

Rental car - Usually around $200, can be less if early in the season.  Around 3 1/2 hours depending on traffic and border delays.  

 

---

 

Regarding the train, the morning train departs too early to make same-day connections off arriving cruise ships, and the evening train arrives in Seattle too late for most flights out, making for either an extra night in Vancouver (to catch the next morning's train) or an extra night in Seattle before flying the next day.  So while the plane fare might be less, the total out of pocket might not be.

 

The Amtrak Cascades train route runs along the coast for much of the way and is reasonably scenic.   The Amtrak buses, Quickcoach, and any Greyhound buses travel along Interstate 5, which is not especially scenic.  

 

Flights and the train "pre-clear" US border controls (passport control, customs) before leaving Vancouver; the other modes require a stop at the border for inspection and clearance, adding anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more depending on the day.

 

With four, a rental car potentially offers a cost-effective ($50 per person) price, more flexibility, and, if desired, the ability to take an alternate route, potentially a more scenic one.   Google the places on this map for example - https://maps.app.goo.gl/tNYfJ7o2yKfbEtUJ7

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All good guidance. Obviously we all understand the OP's situation. But this also applies in reverse and these are all great ways to get TO your cruise departing from Vancouver. Last year (before the train had re-started post Covid), we took the Amtrak bus up for a single night stay in Vancouver, pre-cruise. Worked great.

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Just be aware you have to clear the border. I did this both ways and it took over an over each way even though no one was there. This was done as part of taking Amtrak from Vancouver to LA and back. However, from Vancouver to Seattle and vice versa was via bus. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/25/2023 at 2:32 AM, Flydude1063 said:

Hi,

 

Four of us are taking the Discovery Princess from L.A. up the west coast terminating in Vancouver on May 4th, 2024. Airfares are WAY less going home from Seattle instead of Vancouver. Just wondering if anyone has some ideas of an inexpensive way to get from Vancouver to Seattle. I'm not finding a whole lot of options. 

 

Thanks for the help!

 

Rick

 

Sorry about the prices out of YVR.  The USA puts a large amount of taxes on International arrivals, whereas it's free to cross the land border; putting YVR at a big disadvantage. 

You could also consider the BLI/Bellingham airport; just across the border, who do have direct flights to DEN on Southwest (although it's only a couple of days/week)

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

We are on a 14 day Holland America round trip Alaska out of Vancouver May 5, 2024 and found much better flights out of Seattle.  Holland offers a shuttle before and after the cruise to Seattle Airport.   The cost is $84 each way.  It is more money than the Quick Shuttle but it doesn’t have the extra stops that the Quick Shuttle shows on its schedule.   Maybe Princess offers a similar shuttle next year.   

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cheapest way would be to take the Amtrak Bus into seattle ( King Street), then take the Lite Rail from King Street ( Or Chinatown) right into Seatac.  Takes a long time ( bus trip is about 4 hours), train ride to SeaTac is about 20 min.  Walk from airport into terminal, about 10 min.

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47 minutes ago, 9tee2Sea said:

cheapest way would be to take the Amtrak Bus into seattle ( King Street), then take the Lite Rail from King Street ( Or Chinatown) right into Seatac.  Takes a long time ( bus trip is about 4 hours), train ride to SeaTac is about 20 min.  Walk from airport into terminal, about 10 min.

That sounds great for younger people in great health - but not an option for us as we are 2 senior citizens with back and knee issues.   For us it’s worth the extra cost to hand our bags over to the cruise line shuttle and not have to struggle with it.  Maybe this option will work for the original person that posted.    Thanks so much. 

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21 hours ago, maryandmarge said:

We are on a 14 day Holland America round trip Alaska out of Vancouver May 5, 2024 and found much better flights out of Seattle. Holland offers a shuttle before and after the cruise to Seattle Airport. The cost is $84 each way. It is more money than the Quick Shuttle but it doesn’t have the extra stops that the Quick Shuttle shows on its schedule.

Is there a particular concern with the coach stopping at intermediate points? Or is the real concern the amount of time elapsed while on the coach? The first trip operated by Quick Coach Lines, departing the port at 9:10 a.m., stops to pick-up additional passengers at the Holiday Inn in Vancouver, then drops off passengers at the airport in Bellingham and at the convention center in downtown Seattle, before arriving at the airport in Seattle. That's not a terribly slow schedule. If there are a large number of passengers boarding at the port in Vancouver, then Quick Coach Lines will add extra sections, one of which would likely go direct to the airport in Seattle without any intermediate stops at all.

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9 hours ago, GTJ said:

Is there a particular concern with the coach stopping at intermediate points? Or is the real concern the amount of time elapsed while on the coach? The first trip operated by Quick Coach Lines, departing the port at 9:10 a.m., stops to pick-up additional passengers at the Holiday Inn in Vancouver, then drops off passengers at the airport in Bellingham and at the convention center in downtown Seattle, before arriving at the airport in Seattle. That's not a terribly slow schedule. If there are a large number of passengers boarding at the port in Vancouver, then Quick Coach Lines will add extra sections, one of which would likely go direct to the airport in Seattle without any intermediate stops at all.

I guess for us it is more than one thing that made us decide to book with Holland.    The knowledge that if anything happens on the way to Vancouver the ship will wait or Holland will make arrangements for us to catch up with the ship.    Plus we like the convenience of not having the extra stops and time spent on the bus.    We have booked shuttles in the past with Holland without issues for the difference in the price wasn't an issue with us.   

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12 hours ago, maryandmarge said:

I guess for us it is more than one thing that made us decide to book with Holland. The knowledge that if anything happens on the way to Vancouver the ship will wait or Holland will make arrangements for us to catch up with the ship.

Do be wary of relying on general assertions that a cruise line will make arrangements to "catch up" with the vessel. For Holland America Line departures from Vancouver destined for Whittier, all of the down line ports are within the state of Alaska. Federal law, the Passenger Vessel Services Act, would prohibit the boarding of passengers at any down line port if destined for Whittier, and Holland America Line would refuse to make such arrangements, notwithstanding any promises it appeared to make to the contrary. If you miss the embarkation in Vancouver, you lose the entire cruise to Whittier.

 

On the other hand, if the departure from Vancouver is a round-trip, with an eventual disembarkation in Vancouver, then you would be permitted to "catch up" at a down line port, as the law permits boarding at a port within the state of Alaska if the ultimate destination is in Canada.

 

Hopefully, all pre-cruise travel will go well, and any concerns about missing embarkation will remain theoretical.

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