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I'm looking at heading to Seattle, well, a few times this year, and I'm wondering :

  • is there a ferry from Vancouver to Seattle? I can't find any on bcferries or victoriaclipper, but may be missing. Might have to connect a ferry or two?
  • how long would it take by ferry?
  • could it be done easily enough as a weekend trip - ie leave Vancouver Friday evening, back Sunday evening? Or if it's a long ferry, overnight Friday, and overnight Sunday, so that I have time to get to work on the Monday?
  • how much this would cost?
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Why would there be a ferry between Vancouver and Seattle? There's a straight highway between them. 1hr drive. At least northbound, that I took. –  littleadv May 4 '12 at 6:54
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some of us don't have cars, and get a little tired of Greyhound. Given the coastline, it'd be incredibly scenic. I've established there's a ferry to Victoria, and a ferry from Victoria to Vancouver, so it's possible, I'm just hoping for a direct one. –  Mark Mayo May 4 '12 at 7:05
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And I'm curious about the 1 hour - I've not done it myself, but the bus is closer to 3.5 hours, and even Google maps says 2.5-3. –  Mark Mayo May 4 '12 at 7:06
    
Now that I think of it, our hotel was north of Seattle because we were visiting Boeing, so it might be a little longer. But 2.5-3 is certainly exaggerated, I don't know how they calculated it. –  littleadv May 4 '12 at 9:43
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Have you looked at the train? That's supposed to have great views –  Gagravarr May 4 '12 at 9:58

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The BC Ferries website FAQ suggests that there aren't any scheduled ones running at the moment:

Q: Do you have a ferry that travels between Seattle and Vancouver?

A: BC Ferries does not provide service between Seattle and Vancouver, and we are unaware of any companies that do at this time.

I think the issue is that it wouldn't be popular enough for a direct service. Most people wanting to travel that route direct will do one of drive, take the bus, or take the Amtrak Cascades Train (which is supposed to have great views).

What there are is quite a lot of people in either Seattle or Vancouver who want to visit Victoria and the rest of Vancouver Island. I think your only option is to change ferries there. It's supposed to be a very nice spot to visit, so you could maybe even stop off for a day on your way. You've even got the option to take the ferry to one part of the island, make your way along, then continue from a different port. There seems to be a good map of the ferries on the Vancouver Island website. If you're feeling really keen, you could even stop off on both Vancouver Island, and one of the San Juan Islands. (I've visited the latter, which was nice AND we can got to see whales on the trip! I've not yet been to Vancouver Island, so I can't comment on that yet, will hopefully update this bit in late June when I have!)

Oh, and just so you don't get false hope, Clipper Vacations (who run ferries between Seattle, the San Juan Islands and Victoria) will sell you tickets between Seattle and Vancouver, but these are actually for the train or the bus, not a boat

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It has been a while, but I have done the that trip multiple times by connecting at Friday Harbor. First take the ferry from Tsawassen to Swartz Bay. Then take the Washington State Ferries from Sidney to Friday Harbor and a connecting ferry from Friday Harbor to Anacortes. I don't remember if there is a direct ferry connection between Sidney and Anacortes. I took a bus or a lift from Anacortes to Seattle.

It is more efficient to just take a direct bus connection from Vancouver to Seattle, but I have really good memories of the above described trip. The views are breath takening and once I even saw a minke whale.

I don't remember the "Clipper Vacations" mentioned by Gagravarr, but on their website I noticed that they offered connections between Seattle and Friday Harbor. That way you might use BC ferries to Victoria Island. Washington State Ferries to Friday Harbor and Clipper Vacations to Seattle.

My trips were some time ago, so I am not a reliable source regarding pricing.

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Friday harbor to Seattle: $42.50 clippervacations.com/schedules-fares Victoria to Seattle is $92. Not cheap, when you add up the Vancouver to Sidney ($16). Sidney to Anacortes on WSDOT is a deal at $19 but only leaves twice per day (6am and noon). –  Armstrongest Aug 5 at 19:12

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