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Seattle to Vancouver - Getting from Seattle to Vancouver

How to Get from Seattle to Vancouver by Train, Car, Bus or Ferry


Young woman on train reading a book
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Getting to Vancouver from Seattle by Train

For many, the best way to get from Seattle to Vancouver is by train. The price is beyond reasonable, the views sensational, comfortable seats with power outlets at each and the border crossing painless. Amtrak Cascades operates two trains daily between Seattle and Vancouver (although back to one at 7:40 am once the Olympics are over). The trip takes 4 hours. Amtrak arrives at Pacific Central Station in Vancouver where passengers can pick up a train to either the airport or to the heart of downtown Vancouver. A disadvantage to taking the train from Seattle to Vancouver is no duty free shopping and, as of Jan 2010 when this article was written, no WiFi.

Getting to Vancouver from Seattle by Ferry

There is no direct ferry service between Seattle and Vancouver; however, Clipper Vacations offers ferry service from Seattle to Victoria on Vancouver Island. From Victoria, people can then either fly by plane or helicopter or take BC Ferries (note that the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver actually leaves from Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay, which is an hour and a half away). This is a good option for anyone wanting to make a stopover in Victoria for a visit, but certainly a more expensive way to get from Seattle to Vancouver. There is duty free shopping aboard Clipper ferries.

Getting to Vancouver from Seattle by Car

Driving from Seattle to Vancouver takes three to three and a half hours under normal conditions in reasonable traffic and no excessive lineups at the border. The main artery to Vancouver is the I-5. There are several border crossing options. Watch for signage or tune in to the posted radio station as you approach the border to find out which border crossing is the best at that time.

Getting to Vancouver from Seattle by Bus

Greyhound buses take passengers from Seattle to Vancouver. Greyhound is slightly faster and cheaper than by train; however, the views aren't as good and fewer amenities like power outlets at each seat. Buses arrive at a terminal in downtown Vancouver with convenient access to public transit.
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