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Seattle, WA and Victoria, BC

Old Apr 10th, 2006, 10:14 AM
  #1  
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Seattle, WA and Victoria, BC

I plan on taking my boyfriend to Seattle for his birthday. I want to spend two days in Seattle and two days in Victoria. My issue is what is the best way to travel from Seattle to Victoria:

We will have luggage so I'm not sure if taking a passenger-only ferry is wise or should we rent a car and take a ferry that allows cars. I'd like to take a ferry that is in Seattle or a neighboring city close by, any recommendations? We will return from Victoria to Seattle on a weekday and I'll book our flight around 4pm to give us time to get to the airport. I'm not sure if the ferry is a reliable source to rely on to get us back to Seattle on time. I welcome any suggestions any of you may have. Thanks.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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If you are concerned about the ferrys reliability- consider Kenmore Air- float plane service- leaves Lake Union in downtown Seattle and lands in the inner harbor in Victoria - I have done it and worked great plus something different and fun
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 10:41 AM
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Kenmore Air is an excellent suggestion if your budget can take it and if your bags don't weigh very much - quite restricted on their floatplanes. Actually, regular airline service from Seattle to Victoria is not all that costly; you might look at it as a no-car alternative too.

By car, Seattle to Victoria is less an issue than the return. Virtually any car ferry route from Victoria to the mainland will make connecting to a 4 PM departure from Seattle airport pretty dicey, or at a minimum will require a very early start from Victoria. Using the Swartz Bay - Tsawwassen ferry (bcferries.com) you'd need to make the 8 AM sailing at the very latest, thus making for a 7 AM exit from downtown; allowing (conservative is best) time for border congestion, that would get you to Sea-Tac sometime around 1:30 - 2 PM, then car return, check in etc. - you'd make it but rather uncomfortably IMO. Any later sailing and you're probably sunk. Neither the Victoria-Port Angeles nor the Sydney-Anacortes ferries would work for a 4 PM flight.

Why not make it easier on yourselves and set up an open-jaw? Fly to Seattle, rent a car and take it to Victoria, then drop it at Vancouver Airport (just a short drive from the Tsawwassen dock) and fly home from YVR? There will be a surcharge on the car rental, and your flights might cost slightly more, but it would be far less strenuous on your system.

The other approach would be to reverse your trip - fly in to SEA and drive immediately to some logical ferry point, visit Victoria, ferry back to the mainland, drive to Seattle for your two overnights. Then you don't have to play beat the clock with boats and planes when it's time to leave.

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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 10:43 AM
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Your best bet might be the Victoria Clipper, which leaves from the Seattle waterfront (www.victoriaclipper.com).

There is also a ferry between Port Angeles and Victoria.

For an extra special birthday treat, how about traveling via float plane? Check
www.kenmoreair.com
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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I second the votes for Victoria Clipper or Kenmore air. You don't need a car in Victoria, unless you plan to explore more remote parts of Vancouver Island. What you save by dumping the rental car can finance other nice parts of the trip. The Clipper is a very fast ferry, it leaves from downtown, and luggage shouldn't be an issue. Very simple, plus great scenery. Float planes are more expensive, but very fun. Kenmore leaves from Lake Union, near downtown Seattle, so it's a bit more trouble to get to if you're staying downtown.

If you are thinking you want to take a car ferry, time of year will make a difference. Waits can be long in the summer.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 12:24 PM
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je
 
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If I'm not mistake, the Clipper is a passenger only ferry that goes from Seattle to Vancouver, not Victoria on the island where I assume you want to go. Gardyloo has a great suggestion to reverse your trip and save Seattle visit to the end. We've driven into Canada to get to the ferry for Victoria and the border wait was long. I can't imagine what it's like getting back into the US via auto and ading to the stress to get to Seatac. The traffic around Seattle can be heavy.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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Last time I rode it, the Clipper took me to Victoria.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 12:43 PM
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I don't think the Clipper would get them back to Seattle in time to make a 4PM flight. Their best bet in that case would be to fly on Alaska/Horizon from Victoria airport to Sea-Tac directly; several flights a day, cost around $175 one way.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Is Seattle and Victoria option the only one you are considering?
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:12 PM
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je
 
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I stand corrected, SeaSkye I guass I was thinking of some other high speed ferry from Seattle to Vancouver.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:54 PM
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I say float plane or take the Victoria Clipper. Can you add an extra day to make the schedule work?
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 03:12 PM
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<<Can you add an extra day to make the schedule work?>>

Or just do one night in Victoria. The Victoria Clipper website has a couple all-inclusive one night packages.

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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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There is no high speed ferry between Vancouver and Seattle, nor has there been, as far as I'm aware. There are ferries between Vancouver and Victoria though, and a high speed catamaran between Vancouver and Nanaimo (on Vancouver Island).
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 11:24 AM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. Unfortunately we can't extend our visit an extra day so I'll ponder the suggestions given and I'll decide the best method of getting to Victoria. Again, thank you all for your suggestions I sincerely appreciate your responses.
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