Holland America Inner Passage- Alaska

Old Oct 8th, 2022, 01:58 PM
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Holland America Inner Passage- Alaska

We have a departure cruise date of June 11, 2023. We would like to fly from the Western slope of Colorado (our home base) to Seattle. I have checked on flights to Vancouver and they are expensive. I could save $900 for the 2 of us.
I looked up departing from Salt Lake City but their flight times are not in sink with our schedule. I have no problems flying from our hometown--Montrose, CO to Seattle, cost $706 verses $1,437 to Vancouver. The dilemma is a hotel that Holland America is associated with that would send a bus to our motel to travel 4-5 hours to the port in Vancouver. I cannot find any information on this subject on the Holland American website. I did see a Seattle-Vancouver coach for 79.00 on the website but no other detail.
I am confident that someone knows the ins & outs of this subject. I would appreciate any input and even other options. P.S. I have called Holland America and their representatives would receive an "F" in my grade book.

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Old Oct 8th, 2022, 02:24 PM
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When we did that cruise we flew into SEATAC for some of the same reasons you have, and flew to Vancouver on our own dime - there were other options but that worked out fine for us. Took the ship's bus from YVR to the cruise terminal.
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Old Oct 10th, 2022, 07:14 AM
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Flights from US cities to Seattle are generally cheaper than those to Vancouver (supply and demand) but you need to look at the whole picture if your cruise departs from Vancouver.

First is the time issue. By bus, road or rail Vancouver is roughly 3 to 4 1/2 hours from Seattle, and this could be longer by bus or car depending on the wait at the Canadian border. Depending on when your flight(s) arrive at Seattle, this could make for a very long day, and in many cases will require an overnight stay in the Seattle area. So add an additional night's lodging cost to the airfare.

If you choose the train between the two cities, then you have to get from the airport to the train station in downtown Seattle (around $40 or $50 for a cab or Uber) and then add the train fare (around $45 per person one way) on top of that. BUT there is only one train and three Amtrak bus trips daily, the train departing in the early morning and the last bus in the early evening, so again, if the timing of your flights doesn't work, you're faced with a night's stay in Seattle. And if you haven't looked, be prepared for sticker shock at Seattle hotel prices during the cruise season.

If you choose a bus/coach connection, either arranged through the cruise line or independently, then many of the same timing issues arise, depending on your flight details.

It's possible, and sometimes cost-effective, to book a one-way rental car and drive from Seatac airport to downtown Vancouver. This typically costs between $150 and $200 for a 24-hour rental, which can be competitive with some of the cruise line bus charters or with flying from SEA to YVR (around $100 per person each way.) Obviously flying is the fastest option; there are numerous daily flights.

So not trying to complicate things unnecessarily, but you need to do the math and think about the details of logistics if price is your main concern.
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Old Oct 10th, 2022, 09:51 AM
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To clarify -- we flew up from Medford to SEA in the early morning and then to YVR around noon. It worked out well and was cheaper including a hotel at Medford than flying directly to YVR.

Our itinerary was slightly complicated because my cousin lives 250 miles away in far northern California and no matter what we chose would have involved a really really long travel day if we hadn't broken the journey. In the end I drove up to Mt Shasta, picked up my cousin, we drove to Medford, stayed the night at the Courtyard at MFR, flew up to SEA the next morning then flew to YVR, took the HA bus to the cruise terminal, and boarded the ship around 1:30 or 2PM.
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Old Oct 11th, 2022, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Flights from US cities to Seattle are generally cheaper than those to Vancouver (supply and demand) but you need to look at the whole picture if your cruise departs from Vancouver.

First is the time issue. By bus, road or rail Vancouver is roughly 3 to 4 1/2 hours from Seattle, and this could be longer by bus or car depending on the wait at the Canadian border. Depending on when your flight(s) arrive at Seattle, this could make for a very long day, and in many cases will require an overnight stay in the Seattle area. So add an additional night's lodging cost to the airfare.

If you choose the train between the two cities, then you have to get from the airport to the train station in downtown Seattle (around $40 or $50 for a cab or Uber) and then add the train fare (around $45 per person one way) on top of that. BUT there is only one train and three Amtrak bus trips daily, the train departing in the early morning and the last bus in the early evening, so again, if the timing of your flights doesn't work, you're faced with a night's stay in Seattle. And if you haven't looked, be prepared for sticker shock at Seattle hotel prices during the cruise season.

If you choose a bus/coach connection, either arranged through the cruise line or independently, then many of the same timing issues arise, depending on your flight details.

It's possible, and sometimes cost-effective, to book a one-way rental car and drive from Seatac airport to downtown Vancouver. This typically costs between $150 and $200 for a 24-hour rental, which can be competitive with some of the cruise line bus charters or with flying from SEA to YVR (around $100 per person each way.) Obviously flying is the fastest option; there are numerous daily flights.

So not trying to complicate things unnecessarily, but you need to do the math and think about the details of logistics if price is your main concern.
Thank you for your input, very helpful.
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Old Oct 11th, 2022, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
To clarify -- we flew up from Medford to SEA in the early morning and then to YVR around noon. It worked out well and was cheaper including a hotel at Medford than flying directly to YVR.

Our itinerary was slightly complicated because my cousin lives 250 miles away in far northern California and no matter what we chose would have involved a really really long travel day if we hadn't broken the journey. In the end I drove up to Mt Shasta, picked up my cousin, we drove to Medford, stayed the night at the Courtyard at MFR, flew up to SEA the next morning then flew to YVR, took the HA bus to the cruise terminal, and boarded the ship around 1:30 or 2PM.
Great information to contemplate on. I now know of my numerous options. Thank you!
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Old Oct 12th, 2022, 08:09 AM
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If you have to spend the night in Vancouver, be prepared for even bigger sticker shock! BTW you can take the Vancouver light rail between the airport and cruise port if able to wrangle your own luggage and walk a short distance with it. Have done it a few times with wheelie bags.

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 12th, 2022 at 08:18 AM.
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Old Oct 14th, 2022, 06:50 PM
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I know this is odd but check it out. Pre-pandemic we flew to Vancouver to catch a cruise to Alaska. We found the cheapest flight was a one-way tickets from Denver to Vancouver and one-way back to Denver. This was on United and it was cheaper than our son who flew to Seattle and took the train. Ever since then we always checked one way tickets and on a couple of occasions have found two one-way being cheaper than a round trip ticket. Cannot explain it but wonder if we are just catching a computer error.

Last edited by fmpden; Oct 14th, 2022 at 06:53 PM.
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Old Oct 14th, 2022, 08:01 PM
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Is it worth looking at a cheap Southwest flight from DEN to LAX and then LAX to YVR?
I think it is living dangerously to fly in to the cruise port on the day of departure. So plan to throw up when you price Vancouver hotels.
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