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Last Minute Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria Logistic Help

Last Minute Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria Logistic Help

Jul 2nd, 2019, 07:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 51
Last Minute Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria Logistic Help

I just booked a flight to Seattle yesterday. We are flying there because it was considerably cheaper. Our basic plan is to take the train to Vancouver, the ferry to Victoria, and then back. We will spend a couple days in each location. I am not sure exactly how we will divide the days. We were not planning on renting a car. Our trip is Tuesday, July 30th - Tuesday, August 6th. Our flight is scheduled to arrive at 8:50 am. I am debating about taking the train that same day. I sent an email to Amtrak and so far crickets.

I am shocked how expensive hotels are in Vancouver, so I want to develop a plan and start bidding on priceline. My original idea was to stay on the Downtown Coal Harbor side because we would be able to walk to restaurants and along the harbor. Would you recommend bidding Downtown shopping district too? Since we will not have a car location is important. Of course we are planning on relying on public transportation to get to tourist locations.
We enjoy trying new restaurants, breweries, and just exploring new places on foot. I am looking forward to going to the market and running along the seawall in Vancouver. In Victoria I want to do afternoon tea and check out the gardens. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Sorry this is all over the place. Despite the last minute planning, we have dreamed of going to Vancouver and Victoria for a long time.
Kailee13 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2019, 10:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,261
My favorite budget lodging is one of the 2 HI Hostels in Vancouver. DW and I stayed in a private room that had a television in it. The bathrooms and showers were "down the hall".
There is an early morning train from Seattle King St. station to Vancouver and several Amtrak buses as well. The last train of the day gets into Vancouver after 11PM which is not good IMO.
It is much easier to contact Amtrak by calling 1 800 USA RAIL. Just ask Julie for an 'agent'.
tomfuller is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 05:32 AM
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Here is my draft itinerary:
Tuesday, July 30th: Arrive in Seattle at 8:50 am
Option A: Take the 10: 45 train to Vancouver with arrival at 2:15 pm
Option B: Travel to Vancouver at 1:45 pm and arrive at 5:15 pm
Option C: Spend the day exploring Seattle. Then we would leave in the morning at 7:45 am and arrive at 11:45 am. We have been to Seattle once, but it would be nice to have time to explore.

Wednesday, July 31st: Vancouver

Thursday, August 1st: Vancouver

Friday, August 2nd: travel to Victoria. I am thinking 7 am ferry. Maybe stop at The Buchart Garden. The ferry trips seems long and stressful. We will being using public transportation, so I am guessing around 4 hours

Saturday, August 3rd: Victoria: I love afternoon tea. White Heather Tea Room or another more casual place is where I was thinking. I am guessing travel back to Vancouver on a later ferry. We would spend the night in Vancouver.

Sunday, August 4th Travel back to Seattle

Monday, August 5th Seattle

Tuesday, August 7th: Fly out bright and early at 6:30 am.

I know we could use more time, but the flight is booked and vacation time is limited. The challenge is trying to make the most of it. Thanks for the feedback!
Kailee13 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 113
I think you are doing too much travelling in a short time. How about starting with the ferry from Seattle to Victoria and work from there.
emmajm is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I agree with emmajm - the Seattle to Victoria Clipper ferry might be just perfect for this trip. Here's the website: https://www.clippervacations.com/sea...ictoria-ferry/

The other ferry travel - for us (we've always had a car, not possible on the Clipper), it is long but not stressful. The logistics of connecting with other transportation in your case might be a bit challenging, although I have not ever done it.

For Priceline bidding - yes, bid on both downtown areas. I suggest confining this to 4-star, though.

Since this is cruise high season, you'll find nosebleed lodging prices in both Seattle and Vancouver.
sludick is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 08:36 AM
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This is a more expensive way, but it would save on time and frustration. This sounds like a good idea. Would it make sense to only go one way on the ferry and take Amtrak back? Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver, and then the train back.
Kailee13 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 09:32 AM
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Sure, you could do that. For the train, you'll need to get to the station plenty early to go through the customs process. If you can, ask for seats on the right-hand side, so you'll be at the oceanside window. In the area near the border, you'll be seeing lots of eagles mingling with seaguls along the shore.
sludick is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 11:00 AM
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A couple of things.

First, the 10:45 "train" is actually a bus operated by Amtrak, as is the 1:45 PM departure.. The only actual trains leave Seattle at 7:45 AM and 7 PM, all the other Amtrak departures are on buses, and it's not a very scenic ride. And if you think Vancouver hotels are expensive, have a look at Seattle prices, and sit down before you do.


1. Quick Shuttle (or Quickcoach) runs buses directly from Seatac to downtown Vancouver. There's a departure from the airport at 10:00 AM, arriving in downtown Vancouver around 2:50 PM, and costs $59 one way. Vancouver, Seattle Bus Transportation
2. You can fly one way on Air Canada or Alaska Airlines for $100; there are flights departing at 10:05 AM, 11:25 AM and 12:45 PM. The flight takes around 45 minutes vs. 4 1/2 hours on a bus, and frankly to me that's good value.

Re the Clipper. The only departure on the 30th is at 7:30 AM, before your flight arrives, so you'd have to spend the night in Seattle anyway. Plus, getting from the airport to the Clipper dock is time consuming and expensive. On the other hand, the one-way plane fare from Seatac to Victoria is $109 with several departure times that would work for you, plus the Clipper is more expensive ($119 cheapest.)

So my recommendation goes like this: fly to Victoria, ferry to Vancouver, train to Seattle. The ferry ride from Swartz Bay (BC) to Tsawwassen is very scenic, and the train ride (as opposed to a bus masquerading) is also nice.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jul 4th, 2019, 08:53 AM
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You'll be going at the peak of evvvvvvvvvvverything, so good Priceline scores will be challenging, yet not impossible.

And while I might not fret waiting until LAST minute to make Priceline bids while on a driving vacation, one can't really risk that so much when getting around in strange areas without a car.

Once again, the whole Victoria notion, with the ferry, gets in the way of evvvvvvvvvvverything.

Were this just Seattle and Vancouver the logistics would be much more simple.

I just... can't give you optimism about what you can expect from Priceline in Seattle or Vancouver during the first week of August.

NorthwestMale is offline  
Jul 4th, 2019, 01:58 PM
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>>So my recommendation goes like this: fly to Victoria, ferry to Vancouver, train to Seattle.<<

That would be my first choice as well. I'd try very hard to avoid the bus trip Seattle > Vancouver.
janisj is online now  
Jul 4th, 2019, 03:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,286
I took the ferry from Seattle to Victoria, but the times were better. I also took a coach, that took the ferry, from Victoria to Vancouver, it wasn't all that long and not at all difficult, but it looks like that may no longer be possible.

In Vancouver I have stayed twice here: https://www.ywcavan.org/hotel

For my time in Victoria see: https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...very-victoria/
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 4th, 2019, 04:11 PM
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I stayed here in Victoria and loved the place, a little quirky but super friendly staff and wonderful breakfasts.

janisj is online now  
Jul 6th, 2019, 07:53 AM
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I made several trips to Victoria last summer and stayed at the Chateau Victoria each time. Loved it! Great rooms etc and also a great location as it is basically right behind the Empress.
mms is offline  
Jul 7th, 2019, 04:24 AM
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Thanks for all the advice! My husband hates to fly, so we are doing the Clipper with a discounted rate from Expedia. Then on our way back we are taking the real train from Vancouver to Seattle. Good thing we are morning people.
Do I need to book the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver in advance? If so how far out?
Kailee13 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2019, 04:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,694
If you are not bringing a car on the ferry, then I don't think that advance reservations are absolutely needed. If you have a car, then yes, absolutely. But it's summer, so it wouldn't hurt. And without a car, you'll need to make arrangements for transportation to/from the ferry terminals at both ends (neither Victoria nor Vancouver terminals are actually in town).

Here's the link to BC Ferries:

sludick is offline  
Jul 7th, 2019, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,286
Google maps gives several public tranport options to/from the ferry terminals. It seems it is no longer possible to take a coach the whole way.
thursdaysd is offline  
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