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The Seattle skyline at dusk

Vancouver to Seattle: 7 Best Ways to Get There

If you’re inquiring about how to get from Vancouver to Seattle, there are seven ways available.

In this guide, I’ll elaborate on each of them and share some travel hacks (I’ve been making the trip since I was 17) to help you discover the best way for your budget and time constraints.

Let’s explore the optimal ways to get to Seattle from Vancouver, organized by convenience.

  1. Vancouver to Seattle
  2. Driving
  3. Floatplanes
  4. Train
  5. Bus
  6. Flights
  7. Seattle Ferry
  8. Cruise Shuttle
  9. Seattle Washington
  10. FAQs

How to Get from Vancouver to Seattle

The view of Seattle from Puget Sound

So, how do you get from Vancouver to Seattle?

The distance between Vancouver and Seattle is 192 kilometres (or 119 miles).

In other words, the Emerald City can be reached in about 2.5 hours, depending on traffic at the border.

For this reason, visitors to the Pacific Northwest region often pair the two cities together on the same itinerary, a choice which we highly recommend.

Let’s take a look at the best ways to get to Seattle from Vancouver:

Driving from Vancouver to Seattle

A woman takes a picture from a moving vehicle

With a driving distance of only 225 kilometres (140 miles), the simplest method to get between Vancouver and Seattle is simply to take your own vehicle.

Depending on traffic and the wait at the border, the trip should only take you about 3-3.5 hours.

Driving provides the highest degree of flexibility, comfort and convenience. You can leave whenever you want and are free to stop anywhere you want during the trip.

Furthermore, the cost of car rental compares favourably with a return trip on the train or bus, particularly for groups and families.

Looking for an Emerald City itinerary? Check out our guide on things to do when visiting Seattle from Vancouver.

Vancouver to Seattle Car Rental

A man receives his rental vehicle

From a logistics standpoint, renting a vehicle from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) makes the most sense, though it’s a breeze from downtown as well.

For starters, all of the major car rental companies are located on the ground floor of the YVR parkade. This provides for a high degree of competition and the best rates.

Couple that with the accessibility offered by YVR’s transportation infrastructure and close proximity to HWY-99, and it’s a no-brainer.

Looking to rent a car? Rentalcars.com is the most reliable online booking platform and has a low price guarantee.

You can search for your car with your travel dates using the button below:

How to Drive from Vancouver to Seattle

Once you’ve finally got your vehicle, the drive from Vancouver to Seattle is a very simple process.

For custom directions, simply insert your departure and destination points into Google Maps.

Vancouver to Seattle Floatplane

A Harbour Air floatplane sits in Vancouver Harbour

The floatplane from Vancouver to Seattle is the most convenient, most scenic, most unforgettable way to travel between the two cities.

I’m ranking this the #2 Vancouver to Seattle transport option because when you factor in time, taxis to the airport, and luggage, there isn’t much difference in price between this and regular flights.

Except seaplanes take just just 55 minutes – about the time you’ll spend going through security at YVR.

They also fly you right into the seaplane terminal in downtown Seattle (Seattle’s airport meanwhile is 40 minutes away and not well connected).

Beyond all this, you get breathtaking views of the Pacific Coast all the way down, as well as an aerial tour of the two cities. This is a tourist attraction in itself.

For more information on benefits and prices, click the orange button below:

Vancouver to Seattle Train

The Amtrak Cascades travels alongside the coast
Instagram: @amtrak

Avoid the lengthy border delays and the notorious traffic of Seattle’s I-5 as you enjoy spectacular coastal views aboard the Amtrak Cascades.

Convenient, affordable and efficient, the Vancouver to Seattle train operates twice daily, connecting Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station with King Street Station in Downtown Seattle.

One trip daily continues all the way to Portland, Oregon.

You can expect to arrive in Seattle in 4.5 hours, with an extra 3 hours required to go on to Portland.

Here are a few pros:

  • Free Wifi 
  • Wide reclining seats
  • Personal power outlets at your feet
  • Bistro car (Car 2/3) offering regional cuisine, craft beer, wine and Seattle’s Best Coffee
  • 2 bag allowance for a total of 50 lbs
capilano suspension bridge and grouse mountain tour banner for 2024

Vancouver to Seattle Train Price

Fares fluctuate according to demand, but generally, the earlier you book, the more you’ll save.

Adult rates can vary widely, but for a one-way fare from Pacific Central, you can expect to pay:

  1. Seattle (King Station) – $33.00 – $108.00 CAD
  2. Portland (Union Station) – $67.00 – $215.00 CAD

*Children 2-12 travel for half price while infants travel free

**Seniors 65+ receive a 10% discount

***Discounts of 25% are offered for booking 14 days in advance

Vancouver to Seattle Train Schedule

Service from Vancouver to Seattle is offered twice daily, with departures in the morning and the evening.

Only the morning trip continues onto Portland.

There are an additional five stops between Vancouver and Seattle, with 6 more falling between Seattle and Portland.

For a complete schedule and list of stops, visit the Vancouver to Seattle train time finder.

Vancouver to Seattle Bus

A Boltbus drives down the highway
Instagram: @boltbusofficial

The Vancouver to Seattle bus provides coach service to Seattle from Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station and select downtown hotels.

While the price does vary considerably by carrier and time, the coach is generally the cheapest way to get from Vancouver to Seattle. Furthermore, in most cases, it is even faster than the train.

The breadth of competition provided by the four different providers means that there is a wide array of departure times available, making it the most flexible transport option available, short of renting a vehicle.

You can compare prices using our fare finder below:

Which one should I pick?

All companies provide a comparable level of service, with free Wi-Fi, device chargers, and air conditioning.

Since there is little differentiation based on service, we recommend that most travellers should go with the cheapest and fastest option, which is usually Boltbus.

However, Quickshuttle can be a better choice for certain travellers, particularly:

  • Cruise ship passengers
  • Those staying in downtown Vancouver hotels who are willing to pay a premium for the convenience of a complimentary shuttle to the Holiday Inn departure point.

Either way – you can compare the prices with Busbud using the button below:

Vancouver to Seattle Flights

Planes sit on the tarmac at YVR

Due to the relatively close proximity between the two cities, many people are surprised to learn about the wide availability of flights between Vancouver and Seattle.

There are numerous carriers offering service between Vancouver International (YVR) and Seatac (SEA), including:

  • Air Canada
  • WestJet
  • Delta
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • ANA
  • Korean Air
  • Air New Zealand

But are they viable options for tourists travelling between the two cities? Consider the following:

The main reason for the wide range of flight options is the sheer number of Pacific Northwest residents who are connecting to other destinations in the United States, Canada and Asia.

Flights Between Vancouver and Seattle are often bundled onto flights to other destinations at a minimal cost and are rarely purchased as a stand-alone option.

Consequently, the overwhelming majority of passengers travelling between YVR and SEA are business travellers or local residents connecting to more distant locations.


You can expect to pay upwards of $217 for a one-way flight to Seattle from YVR. It’s up to you whether you’re willing to pay this much for a 50-minute flight that fails to reach reach cruising altitude.

To take a closer look at the flight options on offer, visit Skyscanner.net.


If you do decide to book a flight to Seattle, be cognizant of the following:

  1. It’ll likely take 30 minutes to get from Downtown Vancouver to YVR.
  2. You’re expected to arrive 2 hours prior to departure in order to clear US customs.
  3. It’ll take an additional 40 minutes to get from SeaTac Airport to Downtown Seattle via the Linkrail.
vancouver whale tour banner

Due to these factors, all of your time savings will have gone up in smoke.

Couple this with the stark realization that you’re likely to pay up to four times the cost of other transportation options and we can’t confidently recommend this option for anyone other than business travelers.

But before you completely discount flying as an option, let’s take a look at a newly launched service that has a prototypically Pacific North West feel.

Vancouver to Seattle Ferry (Via Victoria)

a ferry painted on white, red, and blue color sailing through the sea from vancouver to seattle with a calm weather

Not in a hurry? Opt for a leisurely journey by taking the ferry from either Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay across the Strait of Georgia to Victoria, and then catch a second ferry to make your way down to Seattle.

This option is perfect for those who appreciate a more relaxed pace – the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria takes approximately an hour and a half, while the second leg from Victoria to Seattle lasts around 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Keep in mind, though, that this doesn’t include the time it takes to reach the ferry terminal from Vancouver (both Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay require a bit of driving).

Additionally, you’ll need to factor in the time to arrive at the ferry terminal well ahead of the departure time. Adding a layer of complexity, the Victoria-Seattle ferry departs from a different terminal in downtown Victoria.

Admittedly, it’s not the quickest route, but it offers breathtaking scenery. If you’re contemplating a side trip to spend a few days in Victoria, this might just be the ideal way to savour the beauty of the West Coast.

If you’ve already reached your destination and find yourself considering a return trip from Seattle to Victoria ferry after a few days, this route is still a great option.

Vancouver to Seattle Ferry Price

Ticket prices vary based on demand and season, but as a rule of thumb, the earlier you make your reservation, the greater your potential savings will be.

Adult rates can vary widely, but for a one-way fare from Clipper Vacations, you can expect to pay:

  1. (Victoria) Economy Class$104
  2. (Victoria) Vista Class$119
  3. (Victoria) Comfort Class$134 

*All prices are in USD and include tax. Victoria fares are subject to a fuel surcharge. A valid Passport, Passport Card, or Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) is required when crossing an international border.

**Advance Fare must be bought at least 2 days before the travel date and is non-refundable.

***Standard Fare is fully refundable if cancellations are made 2 or more days before the travel date, but it becomes non-refundable within 48 hours of the travel date.

Vancouver to Seattle Ferry Schedule

The schedule adjusts to the seasons each month. It’s like choosing the best time for a smooth ride – easy and convenient for your travel plans.

For a complete schedule list, visit the Clipper Vacations website.

Vancouver to Seattle Cruise Shuttle

Aerial view of pier 66 where you can ride a cruise shuttle from seattle to vancouver that shows the roads, other boats, and buildings
Courtesy: Quickcoach

The Vancouver to Seattle Cruise Shuttle provides a convenient and comfortable transportation option between these two iconic cities.

This shuttle service offers a seamless journey, eliminating the need for self-driving and potential border-crossing hassles.

You can also do it vice versa from Seattle Airport to Vancouver Cruise Terminal.

Passengers can enjoy the scenic route in a stress-free environment while leaving the navigation to the shuttle service.

Vancouver to Seattle Cruise Shuttle Price

The shuttle operates on two routes, one departing from Pier 91 in Seattle and the other from Pier 66.

Adult rates can vary widely, but for a one-way fare going to Seattle Tacoma Airport through Ridebooker, you can expect to pay:

  1. (Waterfront Station)- $114.19 CAD

*You can provide special instructions for the pick-up point if you will book with Ridebooker.

Vancouver to Seattle Cruise Shuttle Schedule

The timetable changes every month to match the seasons.

To check availability of schedule, visit Ridebooker website.

Seattle Washington

The Pike Place Market at night

Now that you’ve mastered how to get to Seattle from Vancouver, let’s break down Washington’s best city.

Popularly known as the Emerald City, Seattle currently has 744,955 residents and a metropolitan area of 3.94 million people. This makes it the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region and the 15th largest in the United States.

Buoyed by a burgeoning tech sector, a vibrant arts and culture scene and stunning natural beauty, this flourishing Puget Sound municipality is the fastest-growing city in America and a popular tourist attraction.

  • Pike Place Market
  • The Space Needle
  • Pioneer Square
  • The Seattle Great Wheel
  • The Museum of Popular Culture

Seattle CityPASS

If you plan on going from Vancouver to Seattle, we highly recommend purchasing the Seattle CityPASS, which provides you with prepaid access to 5 of the city’s best attractions and up to 50% off admission to several others.

For more info on this tremendous deal, visit the Seattle CityPASS page.

To help you further, check out this guide to a perfect day trip to Vancouver from Seattle.

How to Travel from Vancouver to Seattle FAQ

How far is it from Vancouver to Seattle?

The distance from Vancouver to Seattle is 192 kilometres (or 119 miles).

How long is it from Vancouver to Seattle?

The trip from Vancouver to Seattle typically takes about 2.5 to 3 hours, covering a distance of approximately 140 miles (225 kilometres), depending on traffic and border wait times.

How to get from Vancouver to Seattle?

To get from Vancouver to Seattle, you can use various transportation options, including train, bus, plane, and floatplane, in addition to driving.

How do you cross from Vancouver into Washington State?

To cross from Vancouver into Washington State, take the Interstate 5 (I-5) southbound, crossing the international border at the Peace Arch Border Crossing, approximately 25 miles south of Vancouver.

Do you need a passport from Vancouver to Seattle?

For air travel, a passport is required when flying from Vancouver to Seattle. However, for land travel, such as driving or taking a train or bus, a passport may not be required, but a valid ID is recommended.

Can you take a ferry from Vancouver to Seattle?

No direct ferry exists between Vancouver and Seattle. However, you can take a ferry from nearby Victoria or the San Juan Islands to Seattle.

Can I drive to Seattle from Vancouver?

Yes, you can drive from Vancouver to Seattle. The journey typically takes around 2.5 to 3 hours, covering a distance of approximately 140 miles (225 kilometres).

Can I rent a car from Vancouver to Seattle?

Yes, you can rent a car in Vancouver for a trip to Seattle – both one-way and return. That said, check with rental agencies for full cross-border policies.

Is it worth driving from Vancouver to Seattle?

Yes, it is worth driving from Vancouver to Seattle because of the scenic journey, flexibility, and potential stops along the way.

Consider the time, preferences, and convenience of driving versus other transportation options.

Still Wondering How to Get to Seattle from Vancouver?

If you have questions, whether about how to get to Seattle from Vancouver or any other topic, feel free to reach out in the comments or on the Vancouver Planner Facebook page.

I’ll make every effort to get back to you ASAP.

Enjoy your trip from Vancouver to Seattle! 🙂

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