Last Tuesday April 10th 2018 Vancouver welcomed its first Cruise ship of the season when the Cruise ship The Star Princess docked in at Canada Place – again the numbers are looking higher than last year with approximately 241 Vessels docking (up from 237 last year) and an expected 895,000 passengers to visit – each Ship creates $2 million towards the economy here.
Cruise ships dock early so we always expect a flood of guests quite literally fresh of the boat to arrive early and this means the room is likely not to be ready at the time of arrival – but never fear – we will happily look after your luggage and then help you with sightseeing options in the meantime.
We want to help you maximize your visit, we find that typically many of the visitors are only seeing Vancouver for a few days or so, so we figure we can help guide you with an itinerary that will make sure you see the very best this city has to offer on a day by day basis.
BIG BUS SIGHTSEEING TOUR AROUND THE CITY OF VANCOUVER
Big Bus is an excellent way of utilizing your time while you are waiting on the room or boarding the ship. You can purchase your tickets at the Front Desk and better still, the stop is just a few minutes walk away from the hotel where you can board the bus.
City Route (Blue line)
There are 2 routes to choose from and in fact both routes can be bundled into one so you can see the maximum amount of attractions the tours offer by chopping and changing the routes on the day depending on where you want to go and how much you wish to take in – we say take it all!!!!!!
The blue line includes 15 different stops and this route includes places such as Canada Place which is where you will find the Cruise Ships dock here. Art Gallery district which also traverses Robson St which is where the Shopping is to be done here. Davie Street which is the location of our Hotel in the gorgeous and quaint West End district of Vancouver. Then heading out a little further east the route will take you along to Science world which is a whole world of fun and adventure for the whole family to enjoy – beyond that we go through the Olympic Village which is where the Olympians were staying during the 2010 Winter Olympics, then the tour winds it way through to Chinatown and the Gastown districts, these areas are the oldest areas of the city and the Vancouver Chinatown the largest in Canada and is the 3rd largest in North America.
The duration of this particular tour without hopping off takes around 90 mins in full.
Park Route (Green Line)
This route is a little longer and includes highlights such as Canada Place, Robson Street – here you can shop shop shop! The gorgeous Stanley Park which is truly the jewel of the crown of city – we do highly recommend that you do Hop on Hop off around the Park as it is an area that is full of great wildlife incredible towering trees and a huge array of plant life to enjoy. It also includes Granville Island which is an area that you simply must see, it has a great Public Market – cool cute craft shops and a huge array of amazing eateries – it truly is the cultural hub of this gorgeous city with a vibrant and buzzing Art scene too.
Not only do they offer just City Tours – you can even bundle up the tours while adding some extras such as Vancouver/Victoria tours, Vancouver/Whistler combinations.
They also offer bundles that include the Vancouver Aquarium, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Victoria city tour including the world famous Butchart Gardens.
All of these can be purchased directly with us at the Front Desk – which we highly recommend doing as this way we can figure the very best options for you in real time so you know that your purchase will be satisfactory regarding which route that you choose
Granville Island http://granvilleisland.com/
Stanley Park http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/stanley-park-complete-guide/
Robson St – Shopping District http://www.robsonstreet.ca/
All of these areas mentioned are must see places to check out – so hop off and enjoy!
Before you do embark on some of our sightseeing suggestions we recommend not booking your tickets ahead of time as we have coupons behind the front desk that will give you a discount on some areas we are recommending – please ask any of the staff at the front desk for advice.
Granville island which is home to the great Granville Island Public Market is a must see area in the city, it is our own version of Seattle’s Pike Place market There are some amazing boutique shops to browse, the wonderful Granville Island Market is open daily from 9am till 7pm seven days a week. There are also some really excellent restaurants to choose from too, our top pick is to visit The Sandbar Restaurant, this really showcases the very best Vancouver style dishes, with plenty of Pacific Northwest cuisine, Seafood and an Asian infusion twist that includes great Sushi. This is the flavor of Vancouver!
Granville Island Website: http://granvilleisland.com/
Sandbar Restaurant: https://www.vancouverdine.com/sandbar/
CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE & GROUSE MOUNTAIN
The world famous Capilano Suspension Bridge is by far one of the most popular attractions in Vancouver after Granville Island and Stanley Park, here you will get to experience one of the worlds longest suspended bridge high above the Capilano river and canyon, there is also a daring cliff walk and glass paths for those brave enough to try and try it you should as you may surprise yourself at how brave you are– it is a stunning sight to be so high among the trees in this amazing rainforest canopy and you can easily immerse yourself here for a good few hours – do not forget the camera!
Capilano Suspension Bridge Website: http://www.capbridge.com
Grouse Mountain overlooks Vancouver and can be easily spotted as the middle of the three North Shore mountains that overlook the city, it is nestled in between Cypress Mountain to the West and Mount Seymour to the east. Grouse is excellent for the summer season as it has great hiking trails, with the famous Grouse Grind if you are up for a steep walking challenge, there is also entertainment at the top for all the family to enjoy, this includes a lumberjack show which is funny, there is also a Bird Sanctuary and a Grizzly Bear enclosure all topped off with breathtaking views of the city and the Georgia Strait.
Grouse Mountain – The Peak of Vancouver https://www.grousemountain.com
STANLEY PARK, BIKING THE SEAWALL with ENGLISH BAY BIKE RENTALS
Stanley Park is a gorgeous wooded forest and Park that completely dominates the centre of Vancouver. At 400 Hectares it is bigger than New Yorks Central park and is home to a vast array of incredible Gardens, Sporting facilities an outdoor pool, playparks for children and the natural Fauna and Flora that make the park come alive.
In the Summer time it is a great place to take your family to explore the dense forest and you can also check out the many beaches that can be found following the Seawall that encircles the outside perimeter.
Stanley Park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium which shows you the very best of the sea life that inhabits the waters off the Pacific Northwest, you can also spend a good few hours here with every one being wowed and entertained by this vast array of weird and wonderful underwater life.
Vancouver Aquarium http://www.vanaqua.org/
The Seawall itself is a great way to explore the majority of the city and along the way you will be able to come across some notable features of the city such as Granville Island, Science World, the Totem Poles of Stanley Park, the Inukshuk and the Vancouvers most popular beaches such as English Bay. The best way to explore the full 22km wall is by bike rentals. We really like the guys and girls at this shop, they have a vast array of amazing bikes that suites young and old and they are very good at repairing bikes and advice! Check them out.
English Bay Bike Rentals: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/
Leaving the Hotel for a Cruise? Here are some helpful Boarding tips!
Baggage can be checked upon arrival at the cruise terminal, starting between 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and taken directly to your cabin ready for boarding later in the day. So you can do any of the following before you board your cruise ship without having to worry about dragging your luggage around. We can also store luggage at the hotel for as long as you need too!
Further information for Cruise ship passengers: http://www.portvancouver.com/cruise/passenger-information/