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Vancouver Cruise Port & Nearby Activities

Vancouver Cruise Port

The capital of British Columbia is a cruiser's paradise. Not only was the three-berth cruise port terminal  built to service more than 800,000 cruisers coming through the city each year, but many of Vancouver's must-see attractions are within walking distance. Consistently lauded as one of the most livable cities in the world, Vancouver offers a blend of urban and natural attractions, catering to a variety of traveler types and interests. City slickers will love the port's prime location in the heart of downtown Vancouver, while history buffs will enjoy walking to Gastown, one of Canada's oldest neighborhoods, located about 1 mile southeast of port. Plus outdoor enthusiasts will rejoice at the selection of recreational activities available at the nearby 1,000-acre Stanley Park. And if you have more than a few hours to spare, unleash your inner foodie at the Granville Public Market, traverse the 230-foot high Capilano Suspension Bridge or take a daytrip to the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Here are the essentials you need to know to decide how to spend your time at the Vancouver port and whether Vancouver should be on your cruise itinerary.

What You Need to Know

  • Everything is close Many of Vancouver's biggest attractions, including Granville Island, Stanley Park and Kitsilano Beach are all within about a 3-mile radius of port. And with one bus, two train systems and a water bus, the city's public transit is efficient and hassle-free.
  • Ditch the electrical converter Canada uses the same voltage as the United States, so there's no need to pack a converter.
  • Visit during the fall Pleasant temperatures and reduced hotel rates aside, autumn affords spectacular scenery for cruisers. Embrace the great outdoors and crisp air at Stanley Park or check out one of the many festivals taking place at this time of year, without swarms of tourists by your side.

How to Spend Your Time in Vancouver

Things to Do Near the Port of Vancouver

  • Canada Place (<0.1 mile) Activities abound at Canada's largest port. Take a stroll along the Canadian Trail pier, hop on a virtual flight at FlyOver Canada or visit the Dream of Canada Photo Exhibit for a history lesson. If you're planning to cruise in the summer, be sure to check theport's schedule for seasonal events and activities, including Canada Day celebrations and movie nights.
  • Vancouver Lookout Tower (<0.5 mile) If the views from the waterfront prove insufficient, ride the glass elevator to this 553-foot tall observation deck. Commanding 360-degree views of the city, the Lookout Tower offers unique vantage points of historic Gastown, Coal Harbor, Stanley Park and more. Multilingual complimentary guided tours are offered for those interested in learning more about what they're seeing from above.
  • Gastown (<1 mile) This charming central neighborhood was once was Canada's third-largest city. Today, the area brims with shops, restaurants and art galleries, many of which are housed in the buildings of the old days.
  • Chinatown (<1 mile) The third-largest Chinatown in North America, right behind San Francisco and New York City, Vancouver's Chinatown offers a myriad of restaurants and shops to explore. Grab some authentic dim sum, take a stroll through the beautiful Vancouver Chinese Garden and visit Jimi Hendrix's childhood haunt on Union Street.
  • Stanley Park (<2 miles) You could spend a few hours exploring this sprawling 1,000-acre park. Stanley Park features beaches, gardens, wildlife, historical attractions, recreation trails, the Vancouver Aquarium and more. If you only have a few hours, walk along the 14-mile-long seawall or visit the First Nations art and totem poles.

Read On: Top Things to Do in Vancouver

Popular Tours in Vancouver

  • Vancouver Highlights Tour Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean offer shore excursions to major attractions such as Stanley Park and Gastown and Landsea Tours offers a wide range of tours that cater to versatile itineraries and interests. For those looking to explore the best of Vancouver for less, Tour Guys offers free daily walking tours of different parts of the city.
  • Vancouver Foodie Tour Vancouver offers a diverse international culinary scene. Vancouver Food Tours offers culinary-focused tours of specific neighborhoods including Gastown and Chinatown, while Vancouver Foodie Tours takes visitors through multiple areas of the city for tastings. Foodie tours and Tour Guys also offers guided jaunts through Granville Island Public Market, a bustling open-air market teeming with colorful food stalls.
  • Forbidden Vancouver Tour History buffs and horror film fans will delight in stories of Vancouver's dark past. Join the Lost Souls of Gastown or Prohibition City walking tours for a glimpse into a time when Vancouver's streets were defined by vice and organized crime.
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge If you're looking for a thrilling adventure and have more than a few hours to spare, head north to traverse this sprawling 450-foot-long bridge. Princess cruises offers a Capilano daytrip tour and WESTCOAST Sightseeing offers Capilano combination packages that include Vancouver City highlights or Grouse Mountain.
  • Whistler Olympics enthusiasts should make the trek to Whistler, the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Landsea Tours offers day excursions to the area, and West Trek Tours offers all-day, year-round tours and multiday tours during the winter.

Restaurants near the Port of Vancouver

As one of Canada's culinary capitals, Vancouver boasts world-renowned dining establishments and foodie enclaves. Chinatown — and all the dim sum it has to offer — sits within walking distance of port. Plus, you can easily make your way to the vibrant stalls of Granville Public Market, situated a little over 2½ miles southwest of Canada Place. Here are top recommended places to eat near Port Metro Vancouver:

Transportation:

Located about 10 miles north of Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and less than 2 miles from downtown Vancouver and top attractions such as Gastown and Stanley Park, Vancouver's cruise port is easily accessible by foot, public transportation, taxi or car.

Parking

Vinci Park is the only garage that offers on-site parking for cruisers embarking from Canada Place Pier. Parking is available within the terminals 750 stall 2 level parking garage.

  • Hours: The garage is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Cost: Standard vehicle parking costs $23 CAD (about $17 USD) per day; $184 CAD (about $140 USD) per week. Short-term parking costs $4 CAD (about $3 USD) for each half hour and $9 CAD (about $7 USD) for parking from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The garage also offers an early bird rate: Cruisers can pay $19 CAD (about $14 USD) to enter between 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and exit before 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday, excluding holidays.

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Taxi

Taxis are easy to come by at Canada Place with Yellow Cab, Vancouver Taxi, MacLure's Cabs and Black Top and Checker Cabs all servicing the port. The fare from the cruise port to Vancouver International Airport starts at $30 CAD (about $23 USD). Vancouver Shuttle offers a direct shuttle from the cruise port to Vancouver International Airport for $15 CAD (about $11 USD) for adults and $11 CAD (about $8 USD) for children between the ages of 6 and 14.

Public Transportation

If you're relying on public transportation from the airport, you can hop on the Canada Line for a $5 CAD fee (about $4 USD), and head toward Canada Place. The Canada Line on the SkyTrain is the most useful for visitors, as it transports passengers to Vancouver's city center, the popular Yaletown neighborhood and the airport. And thanks to Canada Place Pier's convenient location, less than 1 mile north of the Waterfront train station on West Cordova Street, you can easily take advantage of the extensive Translink system, which includes buses, the SeaBus ferry and the Sky Trains rail.

  • Hours: The SkyTrain and bus hours vary by line and station; the Canada Line runs every day from around 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.  
  • More information: Translink

Read more about Getting Around Vancouver»

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