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How to get from Seattle to Vancouver

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Searching for the best way to go from Seattle to Vancouver BC? Here we give you travel options to reach Vancouver if coming from Seattle.

Given the close proximity between these two cities, many travellers hit the roads to enjoy a quick change in scenery.

You often find these two travel destinations in West Coast itineraries.

The good transport system servicing Seattle, Vancouver and other nearby cities make it possible for people to travel with ease.

How far is Seattle from Vancouver?

The distance between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia is 119 miles or 192 kilometers.

Getting from Seattle to Vancouver

How to get from Seattle to Vancouver

1. Getting on a flight 

It may well as be the least recommended mode of travel in this case, but if you are keen on flying to your destination, there are Seattle to Vancouver flights available daily.

Airlines such as Air Canada, Delta, Alaska Airlines and WestJet offer direct flights coming from Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

The cost to fly directly between these destinations ranges from 85 USD to 262 USD.

To get to Vancouver BC from Seattle, Washington by airplane, it will only take about an hour.

Factor in your time of travel to the airport and all the other formalities that need to be met prior to boarding – that means an additional two hours, at least.

Flying to Vancouver, therefore, is not the most time-efficient option out there.

2. Travelling by bus 

Boltbus, in partnership with Greyhound, offers express buses servicing Seattle to Vancouver.

The standard bus comes with onboard Wifi, personal power outlets, ample legroom and comfortable seats. It’s definitely a far cry from the transit stories you often associate with bus travel.

Boltbus travels through multiple stops all throughout the day. In Seattle, you can catch the Boltbus at 5th Avenue South and King Street. In Vancouver, it stops at the Gate 4 of 1150 Station Street.

The bus company uses a boarding system which allows you book a guaranteed seat. Two small and one large luggages are permitted per passenger.

To aid you in your bus travel, download the Boltbus application. You can purchase your ticket, get bus updates and accumulate reward points through this application.

A regular-priced Vancouver to Seattle bus fare costs 18 USD. Alternatively, you can also pay for your bus fare directly to the bus driver.

This, however, excludes you from getting promotional fares that can go as low as 1 USD. 

The bus trip from Seattle to Vancouver lasts for four hours and fifteen minutes.


3. Riding the train

The Amtrak Cascades train from Vancouver to Seattle is a popular choice for travellers.

The route is scenic and the whole experience is, in general, more comfortable than the other options. 

In booking a train ride to Seattle WA with Amtrak, you can choose among the different ticket options available:

  • Saver – You have the cheapest option refundable within 24 hours. 
  • Value – Enjoy a ticket refundable eight days before your trip. A 25% fee applies should you cancel.
  • Flexible – Your ticket is fully refundable and cancellable at no cost.
  • Business – Book seats with extra legroom and complimentary non-alcoholic drinks. Your ticket is fully refundable and cancellable at no cost.

The train fare from Vancouver to Seattle ranges from 27 USD to 48 USD. It all depends which option you choose. Your fare is subject to discounts set by Amtrak.

At Amtrak, seniors, military personnel and persons with disability (PWD) including their companions are given ten percent discount on fares.

Children ages two to twelve years old enjoy 50 percent discount while infants ride for free. Military children and children with disability are given 60 percent discount in total. 

The train from Seattle WA to Vancouver BC runs for three hours.

4. Driving a Car

One of the easiest ways to reach Vancouver BC in Canada from Seattle is by driving. Whether you are bringing your own car or renting one, this option gives you many advantages.

The benefits of driving your way to Vancouver include setting your own departure and travel pace, stopping by scenic destinations as you go and enjoying a cheaper ride in general (if the car is yours.)

Make sure to bring with you a valid ID, your driver’s license, the vehicle registration and insurance papers.

Most people take the I-5 North as this is the direct route. There are four different borders which you can cross to reach Vancouver from Seattle.

These are the Peace Arch, the Pacific Highway or Truck Crossing, Lynden / Aldengrove and Sumas / Abbotsford. 

In order to determine which border is the most efficient choice for you, check the border wait times at the website beforehand. Alternatively, there are sign boards on the road telling you which ones are congested and which ones aren’t.

If you don’t plan on bringing your own vehicle, you can rent a car in Seattle and drive to Vancouver.

The cost for this option ranges from 52 USD to 81 USD. This rate entails that you drop off the rental car at the pick-up location. 

In total, it takes three and a half hours to drive from Seattle to Vancouver.

One major point which will make your trip longer is the possible long wait at the border crossing. 


5. Riding a Shared Shuttle

A shared shuttle gives you the convenience of being picked up in the most common Seattle locations nearest to your hotel or directly from the airport to selected Vancouver stops.

Quick Coach Lines is the leading transport provider of this option. 

There will be no stops in between destinations except for the designated pick-up and drop-off points. Make sure to have all proper documentation needed for border crossing.

A one-way trip from downtown Seattle to downtown Vancouver costs 43 USD to 59 USD. Seniors, military personnel, students and children are given discounted fares.

All tickets are nonrefundable. These can be purchased over the hotline, through travel agents or directly from the coach driver.  

The whole shuttle coach ride lasts for four hours and 30 minutes. 

Vancouver is one of my favorite cities, mainly because it offers so many outdoor activities. You can find here the BEST THINGS TO DO IN VANCOUVER.

To help you plan your trip to Vancouver I put together a list with the BEST LUXURY HOTELS IN VANCOUVER and the BEST TOURS IN VANCOUVER. Read here more about the BEST TIME TO VISIT VANCOUVER.

I highly recommend a trip to Vancouver Island. Check out these post about VANCOUVER TO VANCOUVER ISLAND FERRY and BEST THINGS TO DO ON VANCOUVER ISLAND.

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