Getting from Seattle to Vancouver

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HenryK

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I'd like to plan a 2022 vacation, Chicago to Seattle on the Builder, thence Seattle to Vancouver, thence Vancouver to Alaska via cruise ship.

What's the best way to get from Seattle to Vancouver? Bus? Ferry? I understand Amtrak is not crossing the border yet.
 

Trogdor

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The best way will be whatever happens to be running when your trip occurs. There’s a decent-ish chance Amtrak will be running by next summer (assuming your cruise is in the summer). A ferry, if it is running (I think the Clipper resumed recently) would take you to Victoria, and then you’d have to connect to another bus/ferry/bus combo to get to Vancouver.
 

NS VIA Fan

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Although Greyhound Canada has ceased operations.....US Greyhound has said they will still serve the Seattle <> Vancouver run once the border fully reopens. And I don't think there will be any cruises until the border is fully open and that will probably around the same time Amtrak resumes operation too
 
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NW cannonball

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Yup. Nobody knows what trains, buses, airplanes will be running in 2022.
Try the Builder, and if there's a refundable fare on the Canadian, consider that also.
Now, at latest info, to cross the Canada border to Vancouver, you need proof of vaccination and a negative PCR Covid test .
 

WWW

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You are leaving out two other options - AIR and BUS*** -
*** The Amtrak train service is supplemented by motor coach
If you are planning this in conjunction with a cruise plan to arrive a day or two before that cruise
Do not try and do this in the same time day and have a mental connection melt down

When cross border service resumes the train is the best option

Other options - Fly to Calgary - Edmonton - Winnipeg and VIA rail to Vancouver
(perhaps something in conjunction with the RockyMountaineer train ?)

But there is always that cross border issue - until then ! ? ! ? !
 

zephyr17

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Booking is open on the Cascades starting in January 2022. I am booked in March EVR-VAC to connect with the Canadian. @Triley has said here that Amtrak/Washington state are in discussions with Canada on how to restart the service, especially given Canada's random testing requirements. Maybe she has an update for us?

None of the bus services are running. Amtrak's Thruway only runs to Bellingham, neither Greyhound, MegaBus, nor QuickCoach are running across the border as of now. There is no ferry service directly between Seattle and Vancouver, both being on the mainland and well connected by highway and rail. You can always take the Victoria Clipper, which is operating to Victoria, then BC Ferries to Vancouver. There is a bus that uses the ferry that can take you from downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver, though I don't recall the name offhand. That is the long way around, though.

The only public transportation that appear to be operating directly between Seattle and Vancouver right now are flights SEA-YVR.

I am fairly confident that the Cascades will be back by my trip in March. I imagine at least some of the bus services will resume by then as well. One of the big kickers is when the US reopens its land borders to non-citizens/permanent residents. The logic of keeping the land border closed when non-citizens can legally fly in escapes me.
 

Cal

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You are leaving out two other options - AIR and BUS*** -
*** The Amtrak train service is supplemented by motor coach
If you are planning this in conjunction with a cruise plan to arrive a day or two before that cruise
Do not try and do this in the same time day and have a mental connection melt down

When cross border service resumes the train is the best option

Other options - Fly to Calgary - Edmonton - Winnipeg and VIA rail to Vancouver
(perhaps something in conjunction with the RockyMountaineer train ?)

But there is always that cross border issue - until then ! ? ! ? !
Well if we're suggesting more things to do on the trip, I suggest trying to see if you can link the Alaska Railroad with your cruise. I really don't know much about it, other than it was possible Pre-COVID.
 

BCL

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Maybe look into what the cruise company has for connecting bus services.

Scheduled bus service seems to be near impossible to find now.
 

WWW

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Well if we're suggesting more things to do on the trip, I suggest trying to see if you can link the Alaska Railroad with your cruise. I really don't know much about it, other than it was possible Pre-COVID.
There were rail cruise land packages before this virus thing and no doubt will be back after a resolution of vaccination masking requirements.
Holland-American and Princess cruise lines have their own private rail cars pulled by the Alaska RR -
Rail service is from the ports of Whittier and Seward to Anchorage and to Fairbanks on the end of the line
Flights are available to Anchorage from major cities in the lower 48 - Fairbanks is seasonal with lower 48 access - cruise trips not required
 
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jebr

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Flights are available to Anchorage from major cities in the lower 48 - Fairbanks is seasonal with lower 48 access - cruise trips not required
Definitely - and if going via air is an acceptable option, there's probably no better time than now (or next summer) to go to Alaska as far as airfare is concerned. With all the border restrictions, Alaska became a prime vacation option for US travelers (since there's no testing requirements either direction) and airfares became extremely competitive as all the airlines added capacity to Alaska. I saw airfares for around $200 RT from MSP to Alaska, and I was able to use a small amount of Delta points to do the flight (the average RT to Atlanta uses more points than what we paid for the Alaska RT!)
 

Triley

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Although Greyhound Canada has ceased operations.....US Greyhound has said they will still serve the Seattle <> Vancouver run once the border fully reopens. And I don't think there will be any cruises until the border is fully open and that will probably around the same time Amtrak resumes operation too
Canada initially prohibited all cruises until March of 2022, but then rolled it back to November 2021.

Other options - Fly to Calgary - Edmonton - Winnipeg and VIA rail to Vancouver
(perhaps something in conjunction with the RockyMountaineer train ?)

But there is always that cross border issue - until then ! ? ! ? !
I would be leary of using VIA as the last leg prior to boarding a cruise. With only changing between only weekly service and 2 or 3 trains a week, they have been known to drastically change the scheduled departure days. This could leave OP in a tough position.

There is absolutely no “issue” crossing the border, as long as you follow the entry requirements such as using the ArriveCAN app, have a vaccine card, and a negative Covid test.

Booking is open on the Cascades starting in January 2022. I am booked in March EVR-VAC to connect with the Canadian. @Triley has said here that Amtrak/Washington state are in discussions with Canada on how to restart the service, especially given Canada's random testing requirements. Maybe she has an update for us?

None of the bus services are running. Amtrak's Thruway only runs to Bellingham, neither Greyhound, MegaBus, nor QuickCoach are running across the border as of now. There is no ferry service directly between Seattle and Vancouver, both being on the mainland and well connected by highway and rail. You can always take the Victoria Clipper, which is operating to Victoria, then BC Ferries to Vancouver. There is a bus that uses the ferry that can take you from downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver, though I don't recall the name offhand. That is the long way around, though.
*he ;)

Unfortunately I still have no updates. And believe me, I’m asking my local management, CBSA, and CBP, if they’ve heard any updates. Flying between Vancouver and Seattle is extremely expensive given the flight length, and I can’t wait to go back to commuting via Cascades or the thruways.

The bus you’re thinking of is “BC Ferries Connector”. You can also use public transit to get from downtown Victoria to the ferry, then from the ferry to a bus terminal/SkyTrain stop, and then anywhere in the SkyTrain network. This is how I get to/from Victoria, as I live less than a 10 minute walk to the bus terminal/SkyTrain stop. It’s also over $45 less than the direct bus from downtown to downtown, and provides much greater flexibility in scheduling.
 
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happycamper

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I used the Amtrak bus Vancouver to Seattle after a cruise. Paid a bit more for it over other bus options but it drops off in Seattle (and picks up) at the train station. The train station and airport are not together so be aware when booking a bus that you will need it to pick up at the train station and if your train is late etc etc - I really liked the motor coach service Amtrak provided and after our cruise we got to the station in Vancouver earlier than we thought and they were announcing the earlier bus to leave and I was able to change my ticket and get the earlier bus. :) Just remember customs at the border will have you take ALL your luggage off the bus and stand in line and go through customs. This was a pain but it is on all buses. Now there is a train from Seattle to Vancouver that you do customs before you get on but it didn't line up with our cruise in timing as we wanted to get to Seattle early enough to run around the city. :) :)
 

happycamper

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Here is a picture inside the bus. Not sure I got one of the outside of the bus as we had to hurry to get it when we changed our tickets... Then I fell asleep after customs...
 

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Everydaymatters

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You might find leaving from Seattle on your cruise easier.

HAL has several departing SEA next year. Including some that also arrive back in Vancouver if you still need your Talgo fix.
I have cruised from both Seattle and Vancouver on the same Celebrity ship, going to the same destination. On the Vancouver cruise, I met only one other American and was surprised by the rudeness of passengers from some of the other countries. The Seattle cruise was much more enjoyable.
 
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As Kai Ryssdal regularly reminds us about the economy, "The virus is in control." Make your plans for travel to Vancouver with the understanding that they may be completely upended depending on what happens by then. Traveler's insurance might be a good idea.
 

Willbridge

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WWW

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Buses - but NO trains !
The train still beats the plane in this market (or did) -
YES the flight time is way shorter than the total train trip -
BUT compare city center to city center -
All the TSA early check-in {Customs} ATC delays etc.
Give me the comfort of the train - wide seat 4 across the width instead of 6
or scrunched up seating on a small barbie commuter jet baggage restrictions.
Why two countries with a close relationship of two cities on either side of a border
can't freely move people between each other is ridiculous to the Nth degree !
 
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