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lks1165

how far is airport to dock in Vancouver, Canada

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How long of a drive is it from the airport to the dock?  We are sailing RCL.

Thanks

 

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40-45 minutes.

 

Is that really what you want to know?  Are you planning on taking a taxi directly from the airport to the cruise ship terminal?

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It took us about 40 minutes as well. Traffic seemed heavy and I'm not sure we took the shortest route.  Only too about 25 minutes from the dock to the airport.

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17 minutes ago, Another_Critic said:

 

If you are going directly from the airport to the cruise port, you may want to take the Sky Train vs. taxi.

 

https://www.translink.ca/Schedules-and-Maps/SkyTrain.aspx

If you don't have a lot of luggage the sky train is not difficult to use. You will have a couple of blocks to walk once you get off the final stop downtown. If I remember correctly it's about $9 Canadian/pp

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I was born, raised and spent the better part of my adult life in Vancouver.  I have done the drive from YVR to Canada place, where the cruise ship docks, untold numbers of times. The length of time is entirely dependent on the time and day of travel .  If it is a Friday cruise departure I would anticipate 1:15 to 1:30.  If it is a Sunday departure :30 to 40 minutes.  Skytrain could be a good option. It takes you from the airport to within walking distance of the cruise terminal.  It's about 300 yards walk around a corner and down a single sidewalk.  You don't even have to cross the road.  If you are traveling on Sunday, Skytrain will not be busy at all and I wouldn't hesitate to do it this way. If you are traveling on Friday you will have a lot more folks on Skytrain and navigating luggage around on train might be problematic.  Not undoable but challenging.  It just depends on how much luggage and how fit you are.  Skytrain has no ability to store luggage like you will find on a traditional train.

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8 minutes ago, Tree_skier said:

I was born, raised and spent the better part of my adult life in Vancouver.  I have done the drive from YVR to Canada place, where the cruise ship docks, untold numbers of times. The length of time is entirely dependent on the time and day of travel .  If it is a Friday cruise departure I would anticipate 1:15 to 1:30.  If it is a Sunday departure :30 to 40 minutes.  Skytrain could be a good option. It takes you from the airport to within walking distance of the cruise terminal.  It's about 300 yards walk around a corner and down a single sidewalk.  You don't even have to cross the road.  If you are traveling on Sunday, Skytrain will not be busy at all and I wouldn't hesitate to do it this way. If you are traveling on Friday you will have a lot more folks on Skytrain and navigating luggage around on train might be problematic.  Not undoable but challenging.  It just depends on how much luggage and how fit you are.  Skytrain has no ability to store luggage like you will find on a traditional train.

Excellent advice.  Short walk from baggage claim to light rail platform.  Relatively short trip into Vancouver (You want to go to Waterfront Station).  Very short walk to Canada Place.  There is signage for entrance to cruise check-in but it's not necessarily the best.  Just ask.  If you're arriving the day before your cruise there are many hotels in that area.  A little pricier but there's a lot to do in that part of Vancouver and Gastown is not that far.  Alternately, you can stay near the airport and take light rail into the city on your departure day.

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Thank you so much.  This is very helpful.  Our plane lands at 12:40pm.  The cruise departs at 5- should make it..

🙂

 

 

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What time is all aboard?  3:30 or 4?

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On 2/7/2020 at 4:08 AM, lks1165 said:

Thank you so much.  This is very helpful.  Our plane lands at 12:40pm.  The cruise departs at 5- should make it..

🙂

This is a very risky flight I'm afraid, unless it involves a short domestic Canadian final leg. Basically even if you get lucky and no other flights touch down within an hour of yours (unlikely), your best case immigration/customs/travel time will get you to the pier about 2pm, so at most you have only about 90mins of padding in this schedule. I'd change it if you can - reasons why laid out below in detail:

 

All-aboard is 90mins beforehand at embarkation, because you will need prescreened by CBP at the pier and they demand a full passenger manifest at that point, so the 'hard cutoff' is going to be 3:30pm - arrive after that and no cruise for you! Further, if this is a one-way cruise to Alaska you will not be allowed to fly on to another port and board there as all further ports downstream are in the US, and it's illegal to carry pax between US ports on a foreign-flag vessel.

 

If your flight is booked through the cruiseline, sometimes in exceptional circumstances (when a whole bunch of cruisers are all on the same delayed flight, and the reason for the delay is acceptable to CBP as totally beyond reasonable control of the airline and cruiseline) they will break the law and fly people onward, taking the fine levied by CBP and claiming an exemption to get it voided - but if you booked independently you've got basically zero chance of them doing that for you. If your cruise is right at the start or end of the season, when odd routings tend to occur to get ships repoed legally, you MIGHT be lucky enough to have a second Canadian port after Vancouver - if that's the case then the US immigration problem goes away, and your worst-case becomes missing the first day of the cruise you paid for and cost to get you to the next Canadian port. Likewise if it's an RT cruise that returns to Vancouver - flying on to a US port means you're then on a one-way cruise to Canada, which is legal. But in past years RCL generally had just a single ship doing B2B one-ways, so unless you have a B2B booked you're almost certainly losing your entire cruise if you don't make it to the pier by 3:30pm...

 

Given your anticipated flight arrival time your biggest usual concern should be any delay in that flight! You need to clear Canadian immigration on arrival (unless you're flying in on a domestic Canadian flight) - it's sensible to allow an hour for that unless you have NEXUS. Whether you take SkyTrain or cab, you can assume you will arrive at the pier likely some time around 75-120mins after touchdown on a normal day. You have no control over immigration delays (and given the new coronavirus situation, and vast number of flights from China to YVR which tend to arrive in clumps of wide-body aircraft close together and so even without additional medical checks can make for up to three hour immigration queues - nobody knows what sort of extra screening delays checking temperatures on pax etc. could happen).

 

If you don't change your flight, pre-program your phone with contact numbers for your cruiseline and start calling as soon as any delay becomes apparent. If you're lucky (a bunch of cruiseline-booked flights are on the same plane as you, and the tides allow for it) the ship might be able to delay departure for a while. Hopefully your specific flight has a high % on-time and a short average delay - but you've given us no details of routing, airline, connections or non-stop, so it's impossible to say how high your risk is.

 

If you live in a border state I'd suggest looking into NEXUS - you may have time for the application and interview before your cruise. NEXUS is like Global Entry but better - it gives all GE and TSA Pre benefits, but also adds short queues entering Canada (and dedicated land border lanes, which are an absolute godsend if you ever drive across the border). Plus, despite being the best of the Trusted Traveler programs it's also the cheapest - just $50 for five years. The downside is your first application ALWAYS needs an interview with both CBP and CBSA, and the sites you can do that are limited if you can't conveniently get to a major Canadian airport.

 

Assuming you do make it on time and have a choice of how to get to the pier, I'd also go SkyTrain unless you have a LOT of luggage. SkyTrain from the airport DOES have luggage room. Even before the contractor was selected to supply the new trains, the plans required that this line (Canada Line) have a totally-different format of rolling stock than the commuter lines - specifically because it was going to the airport and folks coming & going tend to have luggage. Every seat has space underneath, and extra legroom. At 6'1" and 250lbs, I can fit myself, a 28" suitcase and a backpack or carry-on in 'my space' without spilling into the aisle. And since the airport is one terminus and Waterfront the other, you almost never need to worry about not getting a seat - unless you are incredibly unlucky and ton of people all walk up to SkyTrain at the same time as you do, the carriages usually only fill about half the seats at YVR.

 

Since travel time is consistent (automated trains) at 26mins end-to-end, SkyTrain usually beats cabs unless there's very little traffic - and on cruise days there is ALWAYS traffic near the pier as there is only one street. Good news is that if you are running really close to the limit, everyone else should already be onboard so the pier bottleneck traffic disappears - and since commuter traffic is overwhelmingly away from downtown, a cab at 3pm stands a solid chance of making it to the pier by 3:30pm even if this is a Friday when folks tend to start leaving work a but earlier (and of course parents start clogging the streets on the school run every week day 2:30-3:30ish).

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On 2/7/2020 at 10:08 PM, lks1165 said:

Thank you so much.  This is very helpful.  Our plane lands at 12:40pm.  The cruise departs at 5- should make it..

🙂

 

 

I would rebook that flight to arrive much earlier, you probably won’t make it

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Um, I've done airport to port many times. Flight gets in at 1230. Out of the airport and on a train by 1315 latest, hit port stop 1345. 15 min walk at most to port.

 

check in by 1400 - 1430

 

your golden.

 

have a great trip!

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Can you still change your flight to arrive a bit earlier?

OP, do you have a plan B?...if your flight's delayed?

How many luggages do you have?

We took the Skytrain from YVR to the Waterfront Station...about 30 minutes.

Pretty easy to use the Skytrain even for old farts like us...we had one rolling luggage each and small backpacks.  The Skytrain had plenty of room...it was nice, clean, and direct.

When you walk out of the Waterfront Station, the cruise terminal (Canada Place) is only a couple of blocks.

(It was nice to find a lady wearing a vest "Information" outside the Waterfront Station.  She could tell we were turned around exiting the train station.)

Happy Sailing!

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This is the earliest flight that day.  

 

Now you all have me worried...:(

 

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On 2/6/2020 at 7:21 PM, ILCTCRUISER said:

Excellent advice.  Short walk from baggage claim to light rail platform.  Relatively short trip into Vancouver (You want to go to Waterfront Station).  Very short walk to Canada Place.  There is signage for entrance to cruise check-in but it's not necessarily the best.  Just ask.  If you're arriving the day before your cruise there are many hotels in that area.  A little pricier but there's a lot to do in that part of Vancouver and Gastown is not that far.  Alternately, you can stay near the airport and take light rail into the city on your departure day.

we have ressies at Pan Pacific Hotel for the day before embarkation.     would you recommend taking the Sky train  there as well?  I understand it is  located right at the pier so the directions should be the same.  we are staying there the night of return as well so we can enjoy a little of the city before returning home.  

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45 minutes ago, spookwife said:

 would you recommend taking the Sky train  there as well?

If you don't mind the walk from the station to the hotel, by all means.  Saves some money, reduces environmental impact, gives you a way to stretch your legs after being cooped up in a metal tube for your flights.

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3 hours ago, spookwife said:

we have ressies at Pan Pacific Hotel for the day before embarkation.     would you recommend taking the Sky train  there as well?  I understand it is  located right at the pier so the directions should be the same.  we are staying there the night of return as well so we can enjoy a little of the city before returning home.  

The Canada Line works well in your case.  Other posts do caution everyone who will arrive same day as departure (flight arrival time), and that's true no matter the port.   Canada Line is easy to access at YVR.  There are self-pay kiosks and if you have any questions about their use, there tends to be an attendant on the platform.   You want to get to the Waterfront station.  Once there, the exit brings you to the intersection of Hastings and Granville and you're about 3-4 short blocks from the Pan Pacific.  As @hallux has stated, there are some strong positives for taking the Canada Line into Vancouver.  The service is very inexpensive.

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18 hours ago, lks1165 said:

This is the earliest flight that day.  

 

Now you all have me worried...:(

To be frank, you are right to be worried and you need to do some research to see what your risks actually are. Decide how much 'extra insurance' the cost of a flight change, maybe even a hotel you would be happy to pay, versus the total sunk costs of your vacation which you stand to potentially lose all of unless your insurance is exceptional - plus the emotional disappointment of missing this cruise even if you could be refunded for the cost. Will your spouse blame you for booking this flight and make life miserable for months?

 

First, check your flight (all of them if it's not a non-stop) on sites like   FlightStats (free tracking of both on-time %, cause of delays, and average duration of delays when they happen - I've linked to an example of a bad flight for you!) It is very easy to use: just search for your flight number and then click the 'on time stats' button on the page that opens. Even without a paid membership you get a decent length of data, the last 2 months, plus at the bottom of the page really simple 5* 'how reliable is this flight' ratings.

 

If your flights are 4* or better across the board, you have minimal worries - but if there's a leg with a 50% delay chance? Or a low chance of delay at 90% on-time, but average delays of 2 hours when they do happen? How much tolerance for risk you have, only you know OP - but bear in mind that unless you have very generous Cancel For Any Reason insurance (and of course assuming that you are not stuck in the air, unable to reach anyone, at the time the cruise is meant to be departing becasue you'll get diddly-squat refunded if you call AFTER the boat leaves), you probably still won't actually get paid out because of how tight this flight is.

 

4 hours padding, 6 hours padding, 8 hours padding - limits on flight arrival time for vacation insurance are common. Check your insurance policy, as unless your flight is scheduled to arrive before any limitation period is reached, this  means no payout in the event of missing the cruise. If you can take extra time off, consider rebooking for the day before - or look at less-convenient routings that arrive earlier like a redeye leaving late the previous day if you can't get off work.

 

Folks reporting being at the pier by 2pm, great, good for them, and that's exactly what I would hope for if everything goes smoothly (and for a flight with typical delays of 30mins or less should be pretty safe) - but if the first leg of a flight fails to connect to the second, overall your flight was delayed just 90mins, immigration queues were up at the 2+ hour mark (which DOES happen at YVR - NEXUS is an absolute godsend when your flight touches down at a busy time) or any combination of shorter delays that adds up to 90+mins... you would be standing at the dock complaining as the ship sailed off without you.

 

All I can tell you is that I know this city, airport, and pier pretty well - and even though I have expedited access to every single queue in the process thanks to NEXUS I would not have booked a flight arriving that time unless it was a short non-stop with high reliability. I'd happily delay downtown having lunch within walking distance of the pier until super-close to the cutoff, and do to avoid the long queues of earlier boarding - but that risk is very low and under my control. Even without some really  unlikely disaster like a traffic accident on a key bridge, a SkyTrain breakdown, a power outage or computer failure at YVR, horrible weather in a normally-pleasant time: there are all sorts of common problems that could add bits of time here and there, add up to too much time in total and stop you boarding.

 

All of these factors are no doubt the things that made @d9704011ask you whether you were asking the right question - like them, I don't think you were! Sorry if this all sounds scary, and I certainly hope that you will arrive in time and say 'Dang, that martincath is a prophet of doom!' if you do decide to stick to what you have booked. But I'm telling you exactly what I'd tell anyone in my family or friends who asked about this - you have a risk of your entire vacation imploding that can be almost completely mitigated by changing your flight. I have no clue where you're flying from, how many flight legs, how good your insurance is, how risk tolerant you (and the rest of the folks traveling with you) are, or what your total financial and emotional repercussions might end up being if things do go pear-shaped, so unfortunately that stuff is on you to figure out... all I can do is point out that you are taking a risk with your current booking.

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If you look at the OP’s posting history, he/she typically poses questions or makes short statements that can be answered yes or no or maybe but just beg for context.

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