We are planning to do an Alaska cruise sailing from Vancouver. I have found that I can save over $400 in airfare by flying in to Seattle instead of Vancouver. Since we are leaving a couple of days before the cruise to visit Vancouver, I was wondering if anyone knew the best way to get to Vancouver from Seattle. Rent a car and drive? How long will it take to get to Vancouver if we drive? Are there any car rental agencies if downtown Vancouver to drop the car off? Go by Amtrak? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Mary K a few people suggested Amtrak to me. They say it is a lovely ride and there are also busses that go up there. People have also said they rent a car one way and then they don't have to pay parking fees and then just rent one coming back. We are going to Vancouver in Aug but are flying direct. When is your cruise. Ours is Aug 23 on Radiance. I think but I am not sure that Seattle to Vancouver by car is less than 2 hours.
We live in Seattle, and these days driving to Vancouver can be a bit of a hassle with the border crossing - very long lines. We really enjoy taking the train, although it only runs once in the morning there, and once in the evening for the return trip (I suppose that way Seattlites can go for just the day). All the other Amtrak trip times are via bus.
We'll be going on the Mercury out of Vancouver in May, and are planning on taking the train. It's a lovely ride, no border hassles, and only about a $5 cab ride from the train station to Canada Place (where the ships dock). We always upgrade to "Business Class," which adds about $22 per person to the fare. The seats are roomier, and you get to get on and off the train first.
I've looked into renting a car and dropping it off in Vancouver. Just wanted other alternatives. We will be staying at one of the hotels there in Canada Place, Fairmont or Pan Pacific so we want to be able drop the car off downtown.
We would love to take the train (not bus), but the train schedules don't coincide with flights. AARGH!
We are taking Quickshuttle from the downtown travellodge in seattle. I have also looked into all the ways to travel north but with 6 of us, the van rental was more and the train didn't work into our schedule either. So much to my dissappointment it looks like 4p.m. quickshuttle for me.
Thanks, you all. I've checked Avis and yes you can drop it off downtown but didn't know if the place was close to Canada Place. Looks like it's Avis for us. Wish we could go by train but the train schedule doesn't agree with our flight schedule. Only a litte over 5 months and we are off on our Alaska cruise! Can't wait.
Make sure you allow for time to get across the border!. Especially if it's a weekend. There are 2 crossings. Peace Arch is usually busier, take the truck crossing. And it WILL take more than 2 hours, allow for 3 plus a bit for the border crossing. Any questions on that let me know.
The Avis office on Hornby is not a mile and very walkable without luggage. I have rented from Avis, Budget and National, be sure to have Seatac pick up and downtown Vancouver drop off when making your reservations. I have also taken Quick Shuttle which had good service and comfortable buses, but allow at least another hour since they make several stops. I most alway cross at Lynden- never much of a wait compared to Blaine. If taking the train- add $25+ if a cab is needed from Seatac.
For anyone who has taken Amtrak from Seattle to Vancouver, which is the better side of the train to sit on in terms of a decent view of the passing scenery? Any other tidbits about the train ride would be most helpful.
When we took the train up to Vancouver last September, we sat in business class. The car we were in had a row of single seats on the left side of the car, and a row of double seats on the right side of the car, and a large aisle between the two rows. We sat on the right (as we were a couple travelling). I don't think there really is a "less desirable" side to sit on, as the windows are quite large and easy to see out of. My hubby did get up a couple of times to go to the right side to take a couple of pictures though.