We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best OPTION from Vancouver to Seattle by way of Victoria

Which Vancouver hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Phoenix, Arizona...
Level Contributor
4 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Best OPTION from Vancouver to Seattle by way of Victoria

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! We are headed to Vancouver and Seattle for a family of 6 (4 kids ages 4-9) vacation in late July. Here's our itinerary ...

Tues - fly into Vancouver

Wed-Thurs - explore VAN

Fri - visit Victoria for the day - ferry to Seattle

Sat - Tues visit SEA

I'm stuck on the best way to travel from VAN to VICTORIA to SEATTLE in one day. I think my options are 1) take a rental car onto a ferry, return it in Victoria and then take passenger ferry to Seattle OR 2) take a shuttle from VAN to VICTORIA and then ferry to SEA. What do I do with all of our luggage? Because we are traveling with our 4 kids (ages 4-9), we will not be traveling light.

Any tips on luggage storage or services to get our luggage to Seattle Ferry while we tour Victoria. Any other ideas.

Thank you, Melissa

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
25,484 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best OPTION from Vancouver to Seattle by way of Victoria

Skip Victoria all together, you simply do not have the time to make it worthwhile. It is about a 4 hour trip by road just to get to Victoria. Not sure what your travel time is on the Clipper, but I think its over 2 hours, so you are looking at 6 hours just in travel time. With the little bit of time you have left, what would you be able to see anyway?

If you are determined to squeeze Victoria into this itinerary, make it an overnight or FLY point to point (Vancouver to Victoria, then Victoria to Seattle).

seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
18,892 posts
108 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Best OPTION from Vancouver to Seattle by way of Victoria

The best way to get to Seattle is always by train. its very scenic the kids would like it and you avoid all the Border hassle.

Amtrak.com

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
Level Contributor
11,573 posts
138 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best OPTION from Vancouver to Seattle by way of Victoria

Except you can't get to Seattle by train from Victoria! I think David misread part of your post. Are you flying out of Seattle? Agree with Vancouverite. Skip Victoria. You will have no time to see anything. If you try to drop rental car there from Vancouver you will have a huge drop fee. Visit Vancouver. Take train to Seattle Visit Seattle. 2 days isn't enough for Vancouver as it is

Edited: 2:31 am, May 13, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
56,957 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best OPTION from Vancouver to Seattle by way of Victoria

You could leave on public transit Vancouver at ~5h15 am to catch the 7 am ferry to Victoria, arriving there about 9h30/9h45. Then the last Clipper leaves at 6h45 pm and you have to be there by 5h45 pm for US Customs pre-clearance. Others have asked about storing luggage and the answer comes back every time, nowhere. I think one poster ended up renting a car in Victoria, putting their luggage in the trunk and parking in a parking garage that had on site security monitoring the garage.

So what could you do between 9h30 and 5h30, 8 hours. Quite a lot actually. You could browse the shops up and down Government Street, 1 hour. You could spend time on the causeway at the Inner Harbour to see the artisans, the buskers and entertainers, 1 hour. You could have lunch on the Inner Harbour at Milestones, 1 hour. You could visit Miniature World in the side entrance of the Empress, 1 hour. You could visit Bug Zoo, 1 hour. Heading off south, you could walk into and through Beacon Hill Park to Dallas Road and the ocean, then visit the Beacon Hill petting farm, 2 hours. Heading off northwest, you could take the #7 or #27 bus from Douglas and Belleville Streets for a 7 minute ride and then a 7 minute walk to Craigdarroch Castle, ~15 min each way on the bus, 1 hour at the castle = 1.5 hours. That's a total of 8.5 hours.

If you decided on leaving Vancouver at 7h30 am to catch the 9 ferry, you would obviously have 6 hours at your disposal.

Reality check: all of that would really have to be done by one way rental car but you could keep your luggage in the trunk for safe keeping. Public transit: The website is not cooperating right now, but IIRC you would take Canada Line from downtown Vancouver at ~5h15 to Bridgeport Station and transfer to the #620 bus just before the top of the hour to Tsawwassen terminal, arriving about 20 min in advance of sailing to walk on the 7 am ferry. On the other side you then take the #70 bus into Victoria for an hour's time. (How are the kids doing so far?) A taxi on either side would run you about $70-80 each. Pacific Coach: first coach departs downtown Vancouver at 7h30 am and arrives in downtown Victoria at 11:20 am. This coach is by far the most convenient after a rental car. Luggage goes in the hold for the duration, you sit back on the bus, go up on deck on the ferry and then carry on south into downtown Victoria.

The ferries will be running almost every hour at the end of July, Pacific Coach runs every two hours and catches the odd hour ferry. Late July could mean BC Day long weekend on the first Monday in August and car reservations on the ferries would be a must.

Would I do this with 4 kids under age 9? I don't think so. I would make a decision. Either add a leg onto my airline ticket to change planes at YVR and carry on for a 23 minute flight to Victoria for 3 nights, then on Friday take the Clipper down to Seattle for the remainder of the time. Or I would stay in Vancouver for 4 nights and then on Saturday take Amtrak Cascades down to Seattle for the remainder of the time.

To enquire about storing luggage while you visit Victoria without a car, you might email the Tourist Information Bureau about where you might be able to do that.

www.tourismvictoria.com/plan/visitor-centre/

Edited: 3:40 am, May 13, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
25,484 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Best OPTION from Vancouver to Seattle by way of Victoria

Two adults on their own, maybe. With kids aged 4-9....well, that's just a version of hell that I would personally prefer to avoid.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
12,507 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Best OPTION from Vancouver to Seattle by way of Victoria

With all due respect to our friends in the Emerald City....you should look at reversing your days and spend 4 days in Vancouver and 2 in Seattle. There is much more to do / see in Vancouver than in Seattle.

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
Level Contributor
11,573 posts
138 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Best OPTION from Vancouver to Seattle by way of Victoria

Actually I'd split 4 and 3 . Seattle is lots of fun with a wide variety of things to do.

Edited: 6:32 pm, May 13, 2013
8. Re: Best OPTION from Vancouver to Seattle by way of Victoria

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 2:17 am, May 15, 2014