While it has long been a port city and has an active commerce relating to this, Vancouver is still somewhat new to the cruise ship industry and tourism in general. New to tourism or not, this beautiful metropolis has embraced the trade and has become a major embarking point for cruise ships each year. This is a wonderful place for visitors to spend a few days and relax, enjoying everything the city has to offer. Located in southwestern British Columbia, Vancouver is named after British explorer Captain George Vancouver. Vancouver’s history includes Spanish settlers back in the 1500’s, as well as the gold rush. The climate here tends to be mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging between 40-70F. It has rainy, but seldom snowy, winters. Accommodations in Vancouver are abundant, with shopping and restaurants all very accessible.
The downtown center of Vancouver is within walking distance of the Canada-Place cruise ship terminal, where most of the cruise ships dock. Visitors can easily stroll the few blocks into the historic Gastown district, named after settler “Gassy” Jack Deighton who built a saloon there in 1867. Other downtown sights include the Vancouver Lookout at Harbour Centre, which gives an amazing view of the city, as well as live theater sets at the Storyeum, where a walk through a rain forest, gold-rush town and steam train make for a delightful history lesson.
For a taste of the Far East, Vancouver’s historic Chinatown is an exotic and exciting venture. Originally settled by Chinese immigrants in the 1800’s, Chinatown remains an important part of the city and its history. Besides the overwhelming assortment of shops and restaurants, travelers will want to see the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and Archives, dedicated to the education and preservation of Chinese-Canadian history. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, offering guided tours throughout the summer, is a stunning example of the ancient Ming-dynasty style gardens.
Just south of downtown Vancouver, Granville Island is a charming little district with an artistic vibe. There are many gift shops and galleries, as well as the Granville Island Public Market, with stalls selling everything from produce to unique artisan crafts. For outdoor enthusiasts, Stanley Park is home to beaches, forests and garden paths. Stanley Park is also the location of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, where visitors can see marine life at play or walk through an Amazon rain-forest gallery.
Alaska cruises that depart from Vancouver BC:
Celebrity Cruise Line:
• Century, Millennium
Holland America Line:
• ms Amsterdam, ms Statendam, ms Volendam, ms Zaandam, ms Zuiderdam
• Coral Princess, Diamond Princess, Island Princess, Sapphire Princess
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line:
• Radiance of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas
Additional Vancouver BC cruise information:
• Tourism Vancouver
Official site for Tourism Vancouver. Extensive site on Vancouver BC including hotel specials, hotel reservations, business directory, photo bank, transportation information, things to do and local maps.