|Subject: Re: Seattle-Victoria-Vancouver...help!
Note up front - this info is from 1998!
I took the Quick Shuttle from Vancouver to Seattle in 1998 as I was then taking a flight to NYC. It was relatively painless - I met at a particular hotel in Vancouver which was the pickup point and away we went. My only hassle was at the border because I had been told by a travel agent in Aus that I didn't need any paperwork except for my passport to go into the USA but the border didn't agree! Joined a new queue, got the paperwork, paid the money, the bus waited, and away we went. They stop at both Seattle Airport as well as downtown. http://www.quickcoach.com/ Their schedules are online and you can purchase tickets online too.
After returning to Seattle from NYC, I took the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria. http://www.clippervacations.com/seattle_to_victoria_bc They too have schedules online.
I had a friend who I then travelled with from Victoria to Nanaimo, then caught the ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver (Tsawwassen). You can however get a ferry from Victoria (Swartz Bay) to Vancouver (Tsawwassen). http://tinyurl.com/dtcw6 They have schedules online.
You can then take a bus from the ferry station into downtown Vancouver. http://tinyurl.com/74uxj On this page they have a Q&A about Bus Services: " Q: Are there any coach lines, bus or shuttle services available? A: The following coach/bus/shuttle companies can help you complete your trip with BC Ferries:
Vancouver-Victoria with Pacific Coach Lines Downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria, and Vancouver Airport to downtown Victoria by way of BC Ferries' Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay service. Information & reservations: Vancouver: (604) 662-8074, Victoria (250) 385-4411. From elsewhere in Canada, or from the United States, call toll-free: 1-800-661-1725. "
I don't remember having a problem getting the bus or even making advance plans so must have hopped off the ferry and onto the bus...
This was the first overseas trip I had planned almost entirely by myself on the internet and I travelled solo, and I found it easy so you'll have no hassles.
As far as things to do: In Seattle I really enjoyed the Seattle Aquarium - those sea otters are SO cute! And the Pike Place Market was great - little shops, watching them throw those big fish around! SeeSeattle has some sample itineraries. http://www.seeseattle.org/visitors/itineraries/
And in Vancouver - wow - so much to do, so little time. I loved the IMAX - I saw a couple of the movies. (Same in Victoria actually, at their museum - the whale one was just awesome on the big screen.) I hired a bike and did a ride around Stanley Park and out to Kitsilano Beach. Stanley Park has its own aquarium too. And Kitsilano Beach was so different to the beaches I am used to, but lovely. Granville Market is just a tram ride from downtown Vancouver and has the big market. There is also a Science Museum which I didn't go to but was supposed to be fun for kids. You can easily use public transport to go out to the Capilano Suspension bridge if you like. And I also really enjoyed going to Grouse Mountain. I took public transport including the sea-bus and then the cable car up and then did the chair lift once up there. GasTown is a nice area in Vancouver to walk around. I had dinner a couple of times in a place called the Old Spaghetti Factory. Great prices, good food, lovely staff - extra helpful and accommodating for a solo female diner.
Even in my diary notes I've noticed that I've written how helpful and friendly everyone was when I needed help with getting on and off at the right stops and buying tickets and passes.
You'll have a ball - I *loved* Canada! :) Megan Brisbane, Australia