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a harbour air seaplane in the skies with vancouver skyline in background

Taking a Seaplane from Seattle to Vancouver: Is it Worth it?

Taking a seaplane from Seattle to Vancouver is the quickest way to travel between these two jewels of the Pacific, no doubt.

Business travellers swear by it for convenience, but is it right for prospective Vancouver visitors?

Follow me as I break down the specifics to see if the Seattle to Vancouver seaplane is right for you.

Travelling from Seattle to Vancouver by Seaplane

If you’ve found this article, you’ve likely already ruled out taking a car or bus.

Excuse me for being presumptuous, but I’m also assuming you’re out for premium convenience – and maybe a once-in-a-lifetime experience to boot.

So, I’ll start with the obvious comparison between the Seattle Vancouver seaplane and typical jet travel between YVR and SEA.

It’s clear the floatplane from Seattle to Vancouver offers everything that normal flights do not:

  • ‘Door-to-door’ service from downtown Seattle to downtown Vancouver (convenience)
  • Short border waits due to the seaplane-specific customs lane in Vancouver (time saved)
  • No annoying 90-minute advanced check-in (time saved)
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before the flight (flexibility)
  • Stunning scenery from the low flight path (unique experiences)
  • A maximum of 14 passengers (comfort)

Naturally, any traveller planning a visit should at least consider taking the seaplane to Vancouver.

You’ll receive incredible views of Seattle along the way as well. You’ll even do a fly-by of the legendary Space Needle and Gasworks Park on your way to Vancouver. Then, you’ll sneak a birds-eye view of Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge before descending into Coal Harbour.

Here’s a sneak preview of the flight to give you a better idea:

Seaplane flight video

How Long Does the Sea Plane from Seattle to Vancouver Take?

Firstly, it departs from Kenmore Air-Lake Union, near downtown Seattle. You’ll land at the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre in the heart of downtown in just 60 minutes. You’ll find yourself just steps from the best hotels in Vancouver and in striking distance of Vancouver’s best tourist attractions.

The whole point here is spending more time there than getting there.

But is it actually faster than conventional jet travel between the two cities? Let’s take a look:

  • Seattle to Vancouver sea plane: 2 hours 20 minutes (60-minute flight, 60-minute advance check-in time, 20 minutes at border control)
  • Normal SEA to YVR flights: around 4 hours (60-minute flight, 90-minute advance check-in, up to an hour border control, 25 minutes from YVR Airport to downtown)

So there you have it. The convenience and streamlined check-in procedure will lead to significant time savings. Not to mention, the flight experience itself is unparalleled.

⚠️ Warning ⚠️ – We’re now in high season and seaplane tickets are in incredibly low supply (max 12 seats per flight). Make sure you lock in your free cancellation seats ASAP booking your seaplane tickets in advance.

seattle to vancouver seaplane doing a pass-by of stanley park

Seattle to Vancouver Seaplane Cost

A one-way ticket currently costs $387.00 CAD.

Free cancellation Vancouver seaplane tickets can be booked using the orange button below:

Is Seattle to Vancouver Seaplane Service Worth it?

The average commercial jet base fare is around $300.00, though these prices can touch $500.00 if you’re visiting Vancouver in summer.

Yes, jet prices can be cheaper than flying by floatplane.

That said, if you factor in the price of getting to Sea-Tac Airport ($40.00 USD taxi, $18.00 for a shuttle) and then getting to downtown Vancouver from YVR ($36.00 CAD, $7.75 by transit), the figure starts to add up.

Also, with Seattle Vancouver seaplanes you’ll receive free checked luggage, free cancellation, and free changes.

Try finding that on a budget airline! Trust me, you’ll end up paying a premium for these services:

Seaplanes can be cheaper or more expensive depending on circumstances – without factoring in the value of saving an hour or two and the once-in-a-lifetime experience flight.

Are prices looking a bit high? Check out our other Seattle to Vancouver transport methods, or consider a Seattle to Vancouver day trip package for just $230.35.

How to Book Vancouver Seaplane Tickets from Seattle

Note: Each flight to Seattle caps out at 14 passengers. To ensure your preferred dates, I recommend securing your tickets as soon as possible (with options for free cancellation and no upfront payment) via the links provided in this article.

Booking a seaplane flight from Seattle to Vancouver BC is as easy as buying something on Amazon.

Follow these steps for a hassle-free booking:

Open the Seaplane Ticket Link

  • Open up the Seattle-Vancouver seaplane booking link.
  • With this link, you’re dealing with Viator, a member of the Tripadvisor group.
  • This option offers free cancellation, up to 24 hours before departure.
  • Additionally, you can book with no money down to help with budgeting.

Choose Your Seaplane Departure Time

  • Find and click the ‘Check Availability’ button on the seaplane booking page.
  • Choose the seaplane flight time (9:25, 9:50, or 2:05)
  • Specify the number of passengers and hit ‘Apply.’
  • Click ‘Book Now.’

The flexibility of these Vancouver seaplane tickets is unparalleled: free cancellation is available right up to the day before departure.

This is also the only booking option that allows you to reserve a seat without any payment upfront, eliminating any booking risk.

Should your plans change, you can cancel with no penalty, no questions asked.

Vancouver to Seattle Seaplane Schedule

Seattle departures are offered at 9:25 am, 9:50 am, and 2:05 pm.

Booking at least two weeks in advance is recommended to ensure you receive your departure of choice. After all, there are only 14 passengers per flight.

Vancouver Seaplane to Seattle FAQ

Is there a seaplane from Seattle to Vancouver?

Yes, there is a seaplane from Seattle to Vancouver, and it is operated by Harbour Air Seaplanes.

How much does a seaplane from Seattle to Vancouver cost?

The sea plane from Seattle to Vancouver costs $387.00 CAD.

What is the Seattle Vancouver seaplane schedule?

The Seattle Vancouver seaplane runs three times daily: at 9:25 am, 9:50 am, and 2:05 pm.

Where is the Seattle Seaplane terminal?

The Seattle seaplane terminal is at 950 Westlake Ave N. along Lake Union, just north of downtown.

It’s essentially in the shadows of the Space Needle and right out in front of the Museum of History and Industry. This puts it in easy reach of most hotels and residential areas via transit or rideshare.

Where does the Seattle to Vancouver seaplane land?

The Seattle to Vancouver seaplane lands at Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre located at 1055 Canada Place.

This places you a short walk from the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Cruise Terminal, Stanley Park, Gastown, and the Central Business District. It’s in the downtown neighbourhood of Coal Harbour. 

How does customs work for the Seattle to Vancouver seaplane flight?

Border control is at the Vancouver Seaplane Terminal, specifically for passengers of seaplanes. Especially on weekends and holidays, it’s a lot shorter than crossing via the extremely busy Peace Arch Border or at either airport.

With Seattle Vancouver seaplanes you can expect to save an hour or two just in the border procedures.

Ready for a Seaplane Trip from Seattle to Vancouver?

I hope I’ve answered all your questions about the most exciting method of transport between the northwest’s two largest cities.

My name’s Ash! Nice to meet you. I’m trying to put together the greatest Vancouver tourism resource going, so if something is missing, please write me in the comments below.

Enjoy your trip aboard the Seattle to Vancouver seaplane 🙂

Photo credits: Harbour Air

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