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Old August 8th, 2012, 12:54 AM
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Default travel to Vancouver - direct or via Seattle?

I've seen folks write that they flew to Seattle, then used land transport to get to Vancouver. Is that definitely the way to go? What are the trade offs?
Are some cruise lines good at handling this, vs. others?

From a naive view, it would seem that this option would take longer but might be simpler about Customs. Is cheaper / more expensive?


I hope I'm not asking too many questions. Thanks for all the informations!
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Old August 8th, 2012, 08:34 AM
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I know the air fare to Vancouver is usually more over landing in Seattle. I think you'd have to figure in the cost of getting from Seattle to Vancouver and is time an issue?? For me, it was simplier and cost saving to just fly to Vancouver and take a cab to the port.
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Old August 9th, 2012, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Donna View Post
I know the air fare to Vancouver is usually more over landing in Seattle. I think you'd have to figure in the cost of getting from Seattle to Vancouver and is time an issue?? For me, it was simplier and cost saving to just fly to Vancouver and take a cab to the port.
The logistics of Seattle vs. Vancouver are complicated. We have done it several ways.

The basic issue is that choice of flights to Vancouver is very limited compared to Seattle. Fares can also be much better flying in to Seattle. That is why many people do their research, compare the options, and wind up flying to Seattle.

From there you have several choices. The cruise line will probably offer a bus transfer. This works well and is convenient. It usually involves a lot of sitting around waiting. Our DD and SIL took the train. It was easy, comfortable and scenic. On one trip we rented a car. This is a nice easy scenic drive but you spend from one to two hours waiting at the border crossing. There are some scenic options and some great oyster restaurants to try on the way home.

Check out our trip reports and pictures at
http://www.bully4.us/alaska2010.html -- disembark Seattle, post cruise tour
http://www.bully4.us/alaska2010.html -- disembark Anchorage, take train in
Cruising to Alaska on HAL Zuiderdam -- round trip Vancouver with air in Seattle, rental car
Sapphire Princess Cruise Review -- round trip Seattle, transfer in a Town Car
Sun Princess Review -- round trip Seattle, using ship's transfers

At the risk of getting slammed for repeating myself, this is a complex question with a lot of choices. The best advice I can give is find a good local Travel Agent who is a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor (look for the agent's diploma on the wall, not just an agency sticker). Ask your friends and co-workers for a recommendation. The service is entirely free to you. ACC's are trained to find the very best cruise for you, after learning your personal situation and preferences, and work hard to get you the very best rate.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
I know the air fare to Vancouver is usually more over landing in Seattle. I think you'd have to figure in the cost of getting from Seattle to Vancouver and is time an issue?? For me, it was simpler and cost saving to just fly to Vancouver and take a cab to the port.
Hi Donna,
It's much cheaper to fly to Seattle via Vancouver,then to fly direct to Vancouver.I suggest you might just go on to Seattle, visit that nice city as well, and rent a car to drive to Vancouver.

Thanks.

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***Edited to remove commercial reference***

Last edited by Donna; October 2nd, 2012 at 06:27 AM. Reason: removed hyper link
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 09:39 AM
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I wouldn't drive here from Seattle. The drop fee would eat up any air savings unless you're a large family. Go to Kayak and price the air either way, from LA area it shouldn't be too bad to come straight into Vancouver. Seattle is a three hour drive south of the border so will add considerable time to you journey.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 12:30 PM
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I wouldn't drive here from Seattle. The drop fee would eat up any air savings unless you're a large family. Go to Kayak and price the air either way, from LA area it shouldn't be too bad to come straight into Vancouver. Seattle is a three hour drive south of the border so will add considerable time to you journey.
Agree...fly into Vancouver if possible.

Did you see my recent review Tracky? We loved Vancouver.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 01:38 PM
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As everyone else has already stated, you really need to look at the various methods, consider the pricing, consider the time, and consider the trouble involved in each one.

Unless I missed something, I didn't see two other options; train or bus. Both are available from Seattle to Vancouver. Also, cruise lines provide their own transfers, which can be more expensive than doing it yourself, but are easy and hassle-free.

Flying directly into Vancouver may cost more, but can be less hassle. So it's a personal choice.

We love flying into Vancouver because they have a great way of handling cruise passengers with their US Direct service for those who purchase the cruise line's transfers and are flying in the day of the cruise. We check our baggage at Dulles Airport and don't see them again until they arrive in our cabin on the ship. Very quick & easy. Of course, if you're flying in a day or two before the cruise, then this will not apply. And if you've never been to Vancouver, I definitely suggest spending at least a day or two sightseeing. It's a beautiful city with great people.

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Old October 3rd, 2012, 12:00 AM
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Agree...fly into Vancouver if possible.

Did you see my recent review Tracky? We loved Vancouver.
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Great review. I see you ate well while you were here . I'm at Black and Blue's sister restaurant for lunch tomorrow (Italian kitchen). Glad you enjoyed my wonderful city and your cruise
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Old October 25th, 2012, 04:29 PM
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We are planning an Alaska trip next year and noticed that Princess offers a Seattle airport to Vancouver pier transfer for $49 one way. Has anyone used this and is it a good option?

Thanks
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Old October 25th, 2012, 06:17 PM
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We are planning an Alaska trip next year and noticed that Princess offers a Seattle airport to Vancouver pier transfer for $49 one way. Has anyone used this and is it a good option?

Thanks
We've had clients who have done it and were happy. Figuring it's $100 per person roundtrip, take a look at flying directly into Vancouver. If it's considerably more, then the transfers offered by Princess is a good deal for you.

While taking the cruise line's shuttle is easy and not too expensive, consider that you may have to wait a while. The shuttles only run every so often and if you just missed one, you may wait an hour or two for the next one - depends on how fast they fill up the bus.

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Old October 25th, 2012, 06:42 PM
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The best way to go from Seattle and Vancouver is the train. The second is the shuttle from SeaTac to Vancouver. The shuttle link is attached

Vancouver, Seattle Bus Transportation

They currently only have there winter schedule posted.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 07:02 PM
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It may be a good idea to fly into Seattle the day before, to allow for the tranfer/travel time to Vancouver. When I was looking into this, it actually turned out cheaper to just spend the extra to fly direct to Vancouver. After you spend the extra dollars on Hotel/meals, etc. and then the travel, it adds up quickly. If you have the time, on the other hand, may make a nice pre-cruise trip.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 12:08 PM
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Thanks for all the help and suggestions. After figuring all costs, we've decided to use Princess's Seattle Air Advantage. It will cost a little more, but we had free air for the R/T Seattle portion from Ohio. Flying into Vancouver would have been more convenient, but the money we save can go toward excursions.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 01:02 PM
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Thanks for all the help and suggestions. After figuring all costs, we've decided to use Princess's Seattle Air Advantage. It will cost a little more, but we had free air for the R/T Seattle portion from Ohio. Flying into Vancouver would have been more convenient, but the money we save can go toward excursions.
Can't say as I blame you. We just booked our flights for Hawaii, $316 pp out of the US or $630 pp out of Vancouver. Crazy difference.
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