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vancouver to seattle seaplane getting ready to take off in front of the vancouver convention centre

Seaplane from Vancouver to Seattle: Is it Worth it?

Taking a seaplane from Vancouver to Seattle is the fastest way to travel between the two cities, hands down.

The once in a lifetime flight sells itself but what’s the difference in price and travel time compared to other options, and is it worth it for you?

Let’s break down the Vancouver to Seattle seaplane service and try to find out.

How to Get a Seaplane From Vancouver to Seattle 

The obvious comparison here is traditional flights – but when taking a step back and looking at the particulars it almost doesn’t seem fair.

In short, the Vancouver seaplane to Seattle is everything a normal flight between YVR and SEA is not:

  • The ability to go ‘door to door’ from downtown Vancouver to downtown Seattle (convenience)
  • Stunning scenery from the low flight path (unique experiences)
  • No annoying 90 minute advanced check in (time saved)
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before the flight and hourly departures (flexibility)
  • A maximum of 14 passengers (comfort)
  • Seaplane-specific border control with tiny crowds (time saved)

The added value here is that these seaplane trips are popular tourist attractions in their own right.

Naturally, any traveler planning a Vancouver itinerary with a bit of extra time should consider squeezing in a day trip to Seattle.

Here’s a sneak preview of what’s in store on the seaplane flight between Vancouver and Seattle:

Related: Seattle to Vancouver Seaplane

How Long is the Sea Plane Flight from Vancouver to Seattle?

As mentioned, the seaplane goes straight from downtown Vancouver to downtown Seattle in only 60 minutes – bringing you straight to Seattle’s best tourist attractions.

The idea? Spend more time there than getting there.

Let’s do a quick comparison of seaplanes and normal jet flights:

  • Vancouver to Seattle sea plane: 2 hours 20 minutes (60 minute flight, 60 minute advance check in time, 20 minutes border control)
  • Normal YVR to SEA flights: around 4 hours (60 minute flight, 90 minute advance check in, up to an hour border control, 38 minutes from SEA to downtown Seattle)

Also, if you’re living downtown or have booked one of Vancouver’s best hotels (all downtown) you’re forgoing about 30 minutes getting to Vancouver Airport, which is basically in Richmond.

You’ll grab your Seattle seaplane flight from Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre:just steps from the Vancouver Convention Centre, Canada Place, Vancouver Cruise Terminal, and Jack Poole Plaza

This is a huge time saver for busy business travellers and locals without a car. 

a vancouver to victoria seaplane flying over downtown vancouver with stanley park

Cost of Seaplanes from Vancouver to Seattle

The price of a single seaplane trip from Vancouver to Seattle is $399.79 CAD.

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

Book My Vancouver to Seattle Seaplane Tickets

Is Vancouver to Seattle seaplane service worth it?

The average commercial jet base fare is around $300.00, though these prices can touch $450.00 in Vancouver in summer.

Jet prices can be cheaper, for sure.

That said, if you factor in the price of a Vancouver taxi to YVR ($30.00) and transit to get central in Seattle the gap closes.

Also, with the seaplane you’re getting free checked luggage, free cancellation, and free changes.

With jets you’ll pay a premium for these services:

In all, seaplanes are about the same price or slightly cheaper for the same service – without even factoring the value saving an hour or two and the once in a lifetime experience flight.

Prices a bit steep? Check out our other Vancouver to Seattle transport methods or consider taking a Vancouver to Seattle day trip package at just $127.40.

Related: Vancouver to Seattle Bus

Vancouver to Seattle Seaplane Schedule

In peak season you’ll find Vancouver to Seattle water plane departures at 7:35 am, 8:25 am, and 1:55 pm.

To ensure you get the right time it’s recommended to book at least a month in advance, as there are only 14 passengers per flight.

Vancouver Seaplane to Seattle FAQ

What is the customs procedure for the Vancouver to Seattle seaplane flight?

Border control is at the Seattle Seaplane Terminal and is specifically for seaplane passengers. It is naturally much shorter than crossing via the extremely busy Peace Arch Border crossing (Hwy 99/I-5), so especially on busy weekends hours of time can be saved.

How much is a seaplane from Vancouver to Seattle?

One way seaplane tickets from Vancouver to Seattle cost $399.79 CAD.

Is the harbour plane ride scary?

If you’re a comfortable flier on jets you should have no problem here. In fact, many guests even remark that they don’t even feel seaplane water landings.

Where is the Vancouver seaplane terminal?

The seaplane terminal is just a short walk from Canada Place, the Cruise Terminal, Stanley Park, Gastown, and the Central Business District at the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre. It’s in the downtown neighbourhood of Coal Harbour. 

Where does the Vancouver to Seattle seaplane land?

Seattle’s Seaplane terminal is located on Lake Union right at the south of the city’s downtown core – it’s right in the shadow of the famous Space Needle and in front of the Museum of History and Industry. The second you land you can be ready to explore Seattle’s top sights.

Related: How to Spend One Day in Vancouver

Ready for a Seaplane Trip from Vancouver to Seattle?

I hope I’ve answered all your questions on taking seaplane flights from Vancouver to Seattle.

But it doesn’t have to end there.

If you’ve got any more specific questions about this trip or anything else related to Vancouver, hit me up in the comments below!

Related: Vancouver to Seattle Train


I've lived in 5 countries and created content for travel websites like eDreams and Amex Essentials, but here I finally get to work my passion project - my hometown, Vancouver!

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