Consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world, Vancouver offers both outdoor adventure and urban comforts, as it sits nestled among majestic snow-capped mountains, sandy beaches, and a lush rainforest on the west coast of Canada. Before embarking on cruises from Vancouver, go hiking and biking in the mountains just outside of the city, or spend some time exploring Vancouver’s diverse culinary and arts scene. Known for its scenic landscapes and as a popular filming location for television shows and movies, the city’s cinematic backgrounds and cultural metropolis will leave a lasting impression.
Not only is Vancouver an incredible vacation destination, it’s also the departure port for unforgettable cruises to Alaska, jaunts along the Pacific Coast, and tropical vacations to Hawaii. Witness the splendor of Alaska’s striking glaciers and majestic wildlife. Laze on the paradisal beaches of the Aloha State. Hike through Pacific Northwest’s dense forests, or sail south to Los Angeles, sampling the state’s best wine along the way.
On an Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Hubbard Glacier, sail down the legendary Inside Passage on your way to discovering stunning Alaskan cities such as Sitka, Ketchikan, and Juneau. During your journey, you’ll also visit Hubbard Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in North America, and have the chance to witness one of its breathtaking calving displays.
Marvel at the Last Frontier’s rugged landscapes and fascinating wildlife during an exciting seven-night Alaska cruise from Vancouver. Spot humpback whales and brown bears in Icy Strait Point. Learn all about the Gold Rush in the charming town of Skagway. And discover the spectacular Kenai Fjords National Park in Seward.
Enjoy the sights of the Pacific Coast during a cruise that stops in a number of exciting destinations, including picturesque towns in British Columbia and vibrant cities in California. Stroll through the charming downtown area of Oregon’s Astoria. In Seattle, head up the famous Space Needle for unbeatable views of the city. Depending on your itinerary, you could also visit Victoria, a city filled with pristine parks and greenhouses; Monterey and its scenic cliffs and dazzling waterfront; beachy Santa Barbara; and world-famous San Francisco.
Spend a few serene days at sea before reaching the idyllic islands of Hawaii, where romantic shores and tropical oases await. Go hiking past spectacular waterfalls in Hilo. Try a freshly-brewed cup of the famous coffee of Kailua Kona. Fall in love with the beaches of Lahaina in Maui, and embrace all of the charms Hawaii has to offer in Honolulu.
On cruises from Vancouver, you’ll have the chance to experience this popular Canadian destination before embarking on an unforgettable vacation to Alaska, Hawaii, or along the Pacific Coast. Be thrilled by seeing a glacier from the comfort of your own private veranda or from Celebrity Eclipse’s Lawn Club. Pamper yourself with the newly redesigned accommodations of Celebrity Millennium, dine in reimagined restaurants, and end the evening in one of the ship’s luxuriously-updated lounges. Once you set sail, you’ll understand why Celebrity has been recognized as the Best Cruise Line in Alaska for two years in a row.
On a cruise from Vancouver, you’ll depart from the Canada Place cruise terminal, which is conveniently located in downtown Vancouver and is just a 30-minute drive from the Vancouver International Airport near many restaurants, attractions, and shopping. Transportation options to and from the port include public transit, shuttles, taxi service, limousines and car services. If you do have extra time to explore the city of Vancouver, you can take advantage of short-term luggage storage services available in the cruise terminal for your convenience.
The facilities in the Canada Place cruise terminal include Vancouver Convention Centre East, Port Metro Vancouver cruise ship terminal, VINCI Park parkade, FlyOver Canada, and World Trade Centre office tower.
Vancouver’s number one attraction, Stanley Park, was created in 1888 and still lands near the top of the list of best parks in the world. Here, you’ll find exciting experiences for all ages and interests, including historical landmarks, cultural hotspots, local wildlife, breathtaking beaches, hiking trails, delicious food, and even Canada’s largest aquarium.
Old-fashioned horse-drawn carriages can take you on a peaceful stroll through Stanley Park while you take in the stunning beauty of this world-renowned locale. Visit its lush rainforests and admire the stunning views of the park’s natural surroundings, including water, mountains, and majestic forests that line the park’s famous seawall.
Cross the nearly 140-meter suspension bridge that hangs 85 meters over the Capilano River. Originally built in 1889, the Capilano Suspension Bridge sits among many hiking trails in a lush green rainforest setting—perfect for the hiking enthusiast.
Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood is also its busiest. As the home to hip restaurants, chic shops, and lively bars, Gastown attracts its fair share of young locals and visiting tourists. You can easily spend an afternoon walking down its quaint, cobblestone streets, where you’ll find plenty of historic landmarks, boutique shops, and outdoor cafes to keep you entertained.
As the third-largest Chinatown (after San Francisco’s and New York’s), Vancouver’s Chinatown is an essential stop for any Chinese cuisine lover or shopaholic. Walk past the golden entrance of the Millennium Gate, squeeze in a lunch at one of the neighborhood’s award-winning restaurants, browse through antique stores, and see the world’s narrowest building, which measures only six feet wide.
Immerse yourself in Vancouver’s natural beauty at Shannon Falls Provincial Park, a national park just outside of the city, where you’ll find the third-tallest waterfall in British Columbia. Towering over 1,100 feet above sea level, Shannon Falls is a spectacular sight that can be admired from the boardwalk at the base or by hiking up to an overlook point, where you’ll be surrounded by the cool mist from the raging water.
Vancouver’s ethnically diverse culture shines through in its multicultural cuisine. A flavorful fusion of African/Indian, Greek/Italian, and Mediterranean/French, as well as fresh seafood, can be found on nearly every menu.
Chefs come to Vancouver from all around the globe, and each brings his or her own culinary heritage and tradition to the fresh seafood and bold flavors of Vancouver’s traditional West Coast cuisine, creating a uniquely flavorful blend that makes Vancouver cuisine renowned around the world.
Granville Island Public Market
At the Granville Island Public Market, you’ll find delightful delicacies of all kinds. Pick and choose delicious items from popular spots like Oyama Sausage Co, featuring mouthwatering salami and cheese selections; Terra Bread, with fresh-made baguettes; or doughnuts at Lee’s. Visit these delicious vendors and hand-select all your favorite items to create the ultimate waterfront picnic.
Head to eco-friendly Forage, which serves locally-farmed menu items and boasts a zero-landfill waste record. The sincere hospitality and top-notch service are noteworthy here. Try the Turtle Valley Bison sirloin or the Whittaker’s nettle farro grain risotto.
If you’re looking for fine dining in Vancouver, dress up and go to chef David Hawksworth’s white tablecloth and crystal chandelier restaurant, Hawksworth. Serving expertly and effortlessly delectable West Coast cuisine fused with Asian flavors and a modern twist, Hawksworth is a dining experience all on its own.
The city of Vancouver was first inhabited by several Native Canadian tribes. Around the late 1850s, Europeans started moving into the area after the establishment of the town of New Westminster. After gold was discovered in the banks of the Fraser River in 1858, tens of thousands of gold prospectors came to the area. It wasn’t until 1886 that the city of Vancouver was incorporated. It took its name from British explorer George Vancouver, who discovered the area back in 1792. Only a few weeks after its incorporation, the city of Vancouver was burnt down by a brush fire, but was immediately rebuilt.
With the introduction of the California Pacific Railway and the opening of the Panama Canal, Vancouver became a major exporter of grain and lumber and positioned itself as a major economic hub in Canada. It is one of the largest and most populous cities in the country and is known for its diverse community of immigrants. Many art and cultural festivals are held in the city throughout the year, including the Chinese New Year Parade, the Eastside Cultural Crawl, and the annual Jazz Festival. Today, Vancouver’s economy is mainly run by forestry, tourism, oil refining, and mining.
The Canada Place cruise ship terminal is located in Vancouver’s downtown area, where you’ll find the Pacific Centre Mall and Robson Street, which is full of stylish boutiques. It wouldn’t be a true visit to Canada without a stop in the local favorite department store, the Hudson’s Bay Company, where you’ll find everything from clothes and shoes to jewelry, make-up, home décor, and more. While in Gastown, you can look for unique and authentic pieces of Northwest Coast Native and Inuit art at the Inuit Gallery.
The currency in Vancouver is the Canadian dollar. Although there is no foreign exchange service at the cruise terminal, you will find several ATM machines. There are exchange services throughout downtown Vancouver, as well as ATMs in hotels, banks, drug stores, and other venues. Canadian restaurants seldom include gratuities in the bill, and it is customary to tip an additional 15% to 20% of the total bill before tax.
To explore further into Alaska and the Canadian Rockies, you can extend your cruise with a Cruisetour. This allows you to travel inland via motorcoach and railway exploring Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, Talkeetna, Girdwood (Alyeska) and Denali National Park, taking in the views of the highest mountain peak in North America. Cruisetours include the finest hotel accommodations, a local dedicated Alaskan/Canadian Tour Director, luxury transportation, and some activities.