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Vancouver, BC Itinerary Help

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Looking for some suggestions from anyone who has cruised out of Vancouver, BC. The cruise will go out in September and we will pick a hotel near the cruise port.

With that in mind, if we went into Vancouver 3-4 days in advance what sites would be the best to see taking advantage of that timeframe?

Also, I have a sister that lives in Seattle and will likely fly into Seattle to visit first for a few days. What would be the best way to get from Seattle to Vancouver - car? train (where would train arrive relative to cruise port)? Border crossing a pain with Canada?


Just looking for some suggestions for an itinerary to research and then can decide relative to budget and time. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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If you fly to Seattle, I would recommend that you take the Amtrac Cascades Train. My parents LOVED this as the scenery was stunning.


We stayed at the Pan Pacific, so embarkation was a breeze. The hotel is beautiful, well situated and offers great views. The restaurant is great too.


We walked all around the area, Gastown and Stanley Park were easy walks. The area felt safe and had a lot to offer. If you have the time, a trip over the island would be fantastic. Buchart Gardens are beautiful and a photographers dream. You could also arrange to go to Whistler, which is more beauty. Vancouver is a more than a cruise port destination in my opinion, and offers many different options. I could easily spend well over a week there and not be bored.


Have a great trip!

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In 2014 we flew to Seattle. I found it was significantly cheaper to fly into/out of Seattle compared to Vancouver. Of course the difference was spent on hotels in Seattle., LOL.


After we were done visiting Seattle we took AMTRAK to Vancouver, early AM departure. I thought it was great. Stunning scenery and very relaxing. We booked the business class (?) instead of the regular fare and found it worth while for better seating and less standing in line.


The Vancouver train station is a quick taxi ride to downtown Vancouver (I don't remember the fare but it wasn't bad). Pan American is the place to stay pre-cruise. We found the hop on hop off bus a good way to see and explore part of the city.


After the cruise we we boarded a bus (in the cruise terminal) that took us to SEATAC, it was about a 3 hour trip. Easy customs at the border. I think it was Quick Shuttle.


Worked very well for us and would do it again.

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I live in Vancouver. The Amtrack train is very scenic but there are only two trains a day and it is a taxi ride to any hotel. There is a shuttle bus that is awesome. It picks you up at the airport and drops you off right at most major downtown hotels.




I would not rent a car because parking downtown is expensive and you could wait at the border for up to three hours during a busy day.


Most downtown hotels are walking distance to the pier. The Pan Pacific is right at the pier and the Fairmont Waterfront is right across the street. You can stay in Richmond by the airport and use Translink/Skytrain to go downtown. Hotels are cheaper there and it's only 20 minutes by train.


Whatever you do, this is a gorgeous city so enjoy!

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Wagges has given some good suggestions. With 3 or 4 days you have lots of options of things to see.


You could rent a car and drive up I-5, then you could go to Vancouver Island as has been suggested.


You can also go from Seattle by Bolt bus or Quick Shuttle




The train is very scenic but only goes twice/day.



Yes, Pan Pacific is wonderful being right at the pier but it is expensive. Marriott Pinnacle is nearby and the Fairmont Waterfront is across the street from the pier. I would google for hotels in Vancouver as you know your budget.


Don't miss Granville Island. It is a market with shops all around also and street entertainment in the summer. A great place to snack or just sit and have coffee and people watch. Stanley park is wonderful but I wouldn't want to walk around it because it is very big. The seawall is delightful in the summer.


Capilano Suspension Bridgeand the Fish hatchery nearby is another place people love to go, also Grouse Mtn skyride.


Chinatown might interest you and there are some great restaurants there.


We cross the border once or twice/week and the falling Cdn $ has really shortened the time to cross. Not so many any more. Of course, that could change by next Sept. I would think it would not be 3 hours to cross in Sept esp if you cross on a weekday.


Others will help with suggestions. You will not be bored in Vancouver.

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If you can make the train work for you, in my experience it is far easier crossing the border on the train than at the airport. No standing around in long lines or anything. They just come on the train, walk through the cars and look at everyone's passports. Painless.


I would highly suggest a day trip to Whistler. The scenery on the trip is absolutely stunning.

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