We're sailing on the Mercury in June from Vancouver but plan to fly to Seattle to save on airfare. We're going a couple of days early to have time to sightsee......would appreciate advice on the transportation options we have going from Seattle to Vancouver (and back!) There will be four of us....may consider renting a car - for at least one way so we'll have some flexibility. I looked at the Amtrak schedule...train departs VCR at 9:15 am. Would we have time to make this on the morning we depart the ship? We plan on staying in VCR two nights before the cruise and one night in Seattle on our return trip. Thanks in advance for any advise!
We have used Amtrak and also used Quick Shuttle. Quick Shuttle is a bus service. They have several pickup points in Seattle and Vancouver. The length of the ride by bus depends on how heavy the traffic is of course. They have multiple times leaving each city everyday. I believe the price was $70. roundtrip per person this past year.
We took the Amtrak Cascades "Business Class" (only a few dollars more) from Vancouver to Seattle after returning from the Alaska cruise on the Galaxy in May 1999. It is a beautiful train ride and at the time Amtrak had a 2 for 1 deal and was less than $30.00 for the two of us. Don't know if they still have those kinds of deals but it is a nice ride and the upgrade is worth it.
I am flying out Vancouver after a Hawaii and Alaska cruise in May. We are flying first class except for the flight home from Vancouver to Florida. I was told by AA that they had no first class flights from Vancouver and only had business . She said business was really the same as first class. I hope so as we used airmiles for first class all the way.
Laura, the car will probably be the cheapest alternative, but not all agencies allow their cars to be dropped in another country. Those that do will typically put a big daily surcharge on the rental cost, e.g., Avis goes from $20 a day to around $70 a day, in lieu of a drop fee. Still, with 4 of you, it will probably still be cheaper and certainly more convenient.
At the present the border delays northbound are minimal, but the southbound delays can last 2 or more hours, due to increased US security. So you might consider renting a car northbound, then using the shuttle or the train southbound.
For those who asked, the cruise ship dock(s) are in the city center, around 10 miles (no freeway) from the airport. The routes through the city are pretty trafficky, so figure a good half hour minimum, maybe more, maybe less.