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Sailing from Vancouver

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Vancouver Harbour

Vancouver is one of the most beautiful ports in the world. With a mild climate year-round, it is a very green city with numerous parks, fountains and gardens and a wide variety of recreational activities. On a clear day, the sailout is magnificent!

Vancouver has been ranked in recent years:

  • Best city in the world to live in by the business branch of the Economist Group.
  • No. 1 Cruise Port in North America by Berlitz
  • Number 1 in the Americas by Condé Nast Traveler magazine.



Vancouver is served by numerous air lines from around the world. If you book early, you should be able to arrange flights directly to Vancouver. Vancouver airport has been named the best airport in North America for six years in a row by Skytrax. The airport also came in first as best airport in the world for the 10 to 20 million passenger category. There is free Wifi throughout the airport and excellent dining and shopping. It is a very modern airport with magnificent British Columbia Native art displays throughout, many with attractive water installations.

Cruise Lines sometimes fly passengers to Seattle and bring them by coach to Vancouver. The coach ride is 3 hours which can be long after your flight so talk with your cruise line or travel agent about an air deviation so you can fly directly into Vancouver.

The most scenic route to Vancouver is via the Rocky Mountains. Fly to Calgary then take the Rocky Mountaineer Rail journey through the Rockies to Vancouver. Rocky Mountaineer has a variety of tours to choose from to show you the grandeur of Alberta and British Columbia.

Arriving a day or two early to see Vancouver is a great idea and gives you a chance to recover from your journey before setting off on your cruise.


Quick Shuttle offers bus service between Seattle Tacoma Airport, Downtown Seattle, Bellingham Airport and Vancouver. Call 1-800-665-2122 or book online at

The Amtrak Cascades train between Seattle and Vancouver makes a very scenic run, and avoids long waits at the border. It leaves Seattle in the morning and arrives before noon in Vancouver. (It returns to Seattle from Vancouver in the evening.) Canada Place is about a 15-minute taxi ride from the station. Check for rates and times for 2015.


Pacific Coach Lines provides drop-offs and pick-ups at Canada Place, to and from Victoria during the cruise ship season from May to September. Visit their web site at

If you are driving onto the ferry in the summer be sure to book ahead. Lineups can be long and people frequently wait for more than one sailing. For schedules and fare see the BC Ferries web site at

This hotel is close to the ferry terminal: Best Western Plus Emerald Isle Hotel. or call Toll Free:1-800-315-3377.


Those renting car to drive to Vancouver can drop off at the rental office in Vancouver. Some companies offer a shuttle bus service to the pier from the car rental office. Alamo, Avis and National have kiosks at Canada Place but you need to pre-arrange pick up and drop off. Be sure to check with your car rental company for exact details re. drop off or pickup in downtown Vancouver or at the cruise pier as the situation can change from year to year.

Note that driving from Seattle is about a three hour drive but border crossing delays can be as long as three hours in the summer if security is on high alert. Especially on weekends, the border crossing can really delay you getting to your ship so be sure to drive up a day ahead so you don't miss the boat.

Canadian citizens renting a car to drive back to Canada from Seattle must have a car with Canadian licence plates to cross the border. Let your rental company know that you are Canadian when making a one-way rental. Avis was very accommodating on my recent one-way drive, Seattle to Vancouver and made sure we had a car with Canadian plates.

Secured parking facilities are available during your cruise through the following companies:

CANADA PLACE CRUISE TERMINAL VINCI PARK FACILITY, located at the North end of Howe Street at Canada Place Way, is the only Vancouver onsite parking facility for the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal. It is  accessible 24 hours per day from the Canada Place Way entrance.

With over 750 stalls, the VINCI Park facility is able to offer solutions for all your parking needs, from short term visitors to monthly parkers, hotel guests, event exhibitors and cruise ship guests.  The company offers cruise ship discounts. You will enjoy one of the many cruises knowing your vehicle is in a secured location. For more visit the Vinci Park Canada Place. .

Your Vancouver hotel may offer parking during your cruise. The Pan Pacific is at the Canada Place cruise terminal and has parking facilities under the terminal and other downtown hotels may allow you to leave your car in their parking lots for the duration of your cruise for a fee.


It is about a half an hour to 45 minute drive to your cruise terminal from Vancouver International Airport. You will be met by cruise line representatives in the arrivals area of the airport. They will answer any questions you may have, and deal with any problems. Coaches will take you to your ship.

If you do not have a cruise line transfer, you can often purchase one from the representative at the airport upon arrival.

  • Translink Skytrain Service to Downtown: This light rail service from the airport to downtown is convenient and easy to use with plenty of space on board for luggage. It takes around 20 minutes to get downtown. Get off at Waterfront Station for Canada Place. Fares are the same as the Translink service however there is a $5 AddFare for tickets purchased from a ticket vending machine at the three stations closest to the airport. The state of the art system has certainly enhanced airport transportation options and is a huge success. Get complete details.

  • Taxis For independent travellers not using the cruise line transfer, the taxi fare to your ship or downtown hotel is about $30.00. If you are staying in a downtown hotel before or after your cruise, the taxi fare is about $15.00 to Canada Place.

  • Limos are also waiting for you at the airport. This often works out better for families and those with a lot of luggage. The price is set for the trip into town and is not much more than a taxi.

  • Car Rentals are of course available at the airport. You can drop off your car at the downtown office or at the pier. Some companies have an office at Canada Place. Other companies offer a shuttle service for cruise passengers including Avis at the Hotel Vancouver (Hornby Street location). Check with your rental company for the current arrangements.

Canada Place


All cruise ships are scheduled to sail from Canada Place in downtown Vancouver.

Located downtown at 999 Canada Place, Canada Place was the Canada Pavilion at Expo'86. Today it is home to the Pan Pacific Hotel and the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre as well as being a cruise terminal. The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel is located directly across the road with excellent dining, shopping and attractions nearby.

See the Cruise Ship Schedule.

Photos of Sailing from Vancouver




  • Boarding commences between 11:00am and 2:00pm depending on the cruise line with lunch available onboard throughout the afternoon.
  • When you arrive at the ship, your luggage will be taken from you and delivered to your cabin.
  • You are then free to proceed through check in, immigration and security with just your hand luggage.
  • Keep your passport, ticket and credit card handy for check-in and be prepared for a wait at U.S. customs especially if the security alert is high.
  • Also be sure to have your smile ready for that "welcome aboard" photograph.
  • Remember, once you are through the boarding procedures you are free to unpack and enjoy your cruise!

** Cruise lines offer priority check-in for past passengers so be sure to ask about this if you don't see the separate kiosks for this purpose. Also be sure to ask a representative for assistance if you need a wheel chair, are unable to stand in a long queue or have other special needs.


PorterGenie is a new service offering luggage pick up, delivery and storage. Enjoy time in Vancouver without any worry about your luggage in any number of ways. Many passengers want to tour Vancouver for the day before flying home. PorterGenie picks up their luggage in the morning, holds it for the day, and delivers it to the airport later in the day. Thanks to this service, cruise passengers can enjoy Vancouver for a full day without the hassle of their luggage before their flight home. You don't have to store your luggage at a fixed facility only to come back to that location to retrieve it before heading to the airport. With this pick up and delivery service, you can take SkyTrain to the airport instead of a cab and find your luggage waiting for you at the airport. Check out this service at or call 1-888-411-5260.


Cruise lines charge a per person rate to book a hotel room so it is usually more economical to book a room yourself.

The Pan Pacific and Waterfront are luxury hotels offering packages for cruise passengers.

Click the hotel name for the web site. Hotels 1-5 blocks from Canada Place:
Pan Pacific Hotel
At Canada Place Cruise Terminal
300-999 Canada Place
Fairmont Waterfront
Across the street from Canada Place
900 Canada Place Way
Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown 1128 W. Hastings Street
Delta Vancouver Suite Hotel 550 W. Hastings
Days Inn Vancouver 921 W. Pender
Hyatt Regency Vancouver 655 Burrard Street
Hotel Le Soleil Suites 567 Hornby Street
Metropolitan Hotel 645 Howe Street
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver 900 West Georgia
Four Seasons Hotel 791 West Georgia
Hotels 6-8 blocks from Canada Place:
Shangrila Hotel Vancouver
Tallest building in Vancouver at 61 storeys
1128 Georgia Street West
Wedgewood Hotel & Spa
Boutique Hotel
845 Hornby
Sutton Place Hotel 845 Burrard Street
Sheraton Wall Centre 1088 Burrard Street
Century Plaza 1015 Burrard Street
Hotels 9-15 blocks from Canada Place:
The Westin Grand 433 Robson Homer
Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel 838 Hamilton St. & Robson
YWCA Hotel 733 Beatty Street
Best Western Sands By the Sea Hotel At Denman & Davie by English Bay in the West End
Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver Across the Harbour:
Lonsdale Quay Hotel
Across the harbour, right at the Sea Bus terminal and part of the Lonsdale Market.
Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver
Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier
Across the harbour, near the Sea Bus terminal.
138 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver.


Vancouver Transit Website -

A good first stop is the Vancouver Tourist Office at the foot of Burrard Street, across from Canada Place at the harbour. Here you will find an exhaustive resource of information for your visit including bus and ferry timetables and sample menus from local restaurants. A supply of pamphlets of places of interest can be found in hotels, malls, restaurants and car rental offices.

Getting around Vancouver is normally easy and a lot can be seen by walking the downtown area.

  • An excellent bus, SeaBus and SkyTrain service connects the lower mainland by Translink.

  • It costs $2.50, $1.75 for seniors and kids for one zone. (On weekdays from start of service to 6:30pm, the area is divided into 3 zones with a small surcharge for each zone which can be purchased as an add on fare at the self serve ticket kiosks or from your bus driver).

  • Day passes are a good option for visitors.

  • Maps of the zones and timbetables are located at bus stops and SeaBus and SkyTrain stations. Timetables can be picked up at the Tourist Office and are available at their website and by calling the number at bus stops on your cell.

  • Your transfer is good for 1 1/2 hours and can be used on buses, the SkyTrain and SeaBus.

  • A trip across the harbour on the SeaBus can give you an excellent view of the cruise ships in port for the day. The SeaBus leaves from Waterfront Station, the restored Canadian Pacific Station, a short walk from Canada Place on the edge of Gastown.

Hop-On-Off-Service is offered by the Vancouver Trolley Company. and Big They make over 20 stops at all major attractions and you can get on and off as you please. Reservations are not necessary. Tickets can be purchased online with a variety of options available.

Car rental offices are scattered downtown and most hotels have a rental office or pickup service. It can be difficult to rent in Vancouver in the high season so be sure to book ahead if you are sure you will need a car. Parking is expensive and can be awkward downtown so if you are not planning on going out of town, you will find it easier to walk or take transit.

Click on the attraction's name for the website.

    Vancouver Aquarium
The largest park & forest inside city limits in North America. The world class Aquarium features dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions, sea otters, tropical tanks, educational presentations, shows, indoor and outdoor displays and more. The park also has a totem pole display, kids' railway, nature trails, tennis courts, pitch and putt, swimming pool, beaches, extensive waterside seawall for walking, biking and roller blading and excellent vantage points for watching ships sail in and out of the harbour.
    Grouse Mountain
Take the skyride to the top for panoramic vistas, Theatre in the Sky, chair lift, helicopter rides, mountain bike tours, hiking, restaurants.

    Capilano Suspension Bridge
450 feet long and 230 feet high above the Capilano River. Totem poles, Story Centre and Living Forest exhibits.
A short walk East of Canada Place. Founded in 1867 Gastown was a rough frontier town in the days of its eccentric founder, Gassy Jack Deighton. Restored Victorian architecture, shops, restaurants, a steam clock and statue to Gassy Jack greet visitors today.
    Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden
The first authentic Chinese garden built outside of China.A place of serenity in the middle of the city. Located in Chinatown.
    Granville Island
Take a ferry across False Creek from the Aquatic Centre on Beach Street to this lively spot, site of 250 artistic, educational, industrial and commercial facilities including the famous European-style market and outstanding restaurants.
    Vancouver Museum
    Maritime Museum
    Space Center
Across the Burrard Street Bridge at Kits Point, the museums and planetarium are located. Kits Beach is nearby. Visit by water taxi from various spots on False Creek, take bus #22 or #2, or the hop-on-off trolley.

    Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Vancouver's annual open air Shakespeare Festival, across the Burrard Street Bridge at Kits Point. Visit by water taxi from various spots on False Creek, take bus #22 or #2, or the hop-on-off trolley.
    Granville Island
Take a ferry across False Creek from the Aquatic Centre on Beach Street to this lively spot, site of 250 artistic, educational, industrial and commercial facilities including the famous European-style market and outstanding restaurants.
    The Lookout at Harbour Centre
Spectacular 360º view from the observation level or revolving restaurant. Ticket allows you to return at night to see the lights Close to Canada Place. Sunday Brunch.
    Science World
This geodetic dome on False Creek was the BC Pavilion at Expo '86. 3D Laser Theatre & Omnimax films; special exhibits.
    Art Gallery
Right downtown at Robson Square on the block from Georgia to Robson, between Howe and Hornby. Former municipal building of architectural interest with a beautiful fountain facing Georgia Street. Permanent and touring exhibits. Extensive collection of works by B.C. artist, Emily Carr is frequently on display.
    Harbour & Day Cruises
Good selection of dinner cruises, harbour tours and English Bay Brunch cruise.