Vancouver (Canada) Cruise Port Guide: Tips and Overview

Vancouver (Canada) Cruise Port Guide: Tips and Overview


Vancouver, Canada is a cruise port city that
has a ton to offer! Our Alaskan cruise in May of 2019 started
and ended in Vancouver, which allowed us to use the day before our cruise and the afternoon
and evening after disembarkation to explore several of the city’s top destinations with
our little JellyBean. To make our sightseeing easier, we rented
a car using the “Book it and Check it” technique we described in our video: “Top
3 Tips to Save Money on a Rental Car.” The car cost about C$60 — or about US$45
— each day. Stanley Park is located in the north end of
Vancouver city, about a 10-minute drive from the Canada Place cruise terminal in Downtown
Vancouver. We spent about two and a half hours exploring
the park the morning before our embarkation day. If you’re driving through the park, there
are EasyPark stations located throughout the park where you can purchase daily or hourly
parking passes. Near the entrance of Stanley Park, an Information
Center is available for you to grab a map and use the restroom before continuing. The park’s totem poles display is British
Columbia’s most visited tourist attraction, according to the City of Vancouver. Each of the totem poles tells a unique story,
but take note that most of them are replacements for the originals. A gift shop, cafe, and restrooms are available
nearby. Brockton Point Lighthouse is located at the
east end of Stanley Park and provides waterfront views of North Vancouver and Vancouver Harbor. As we enjoyed the views, we spotted a harbor
seal in the water and watched several seaplanes takeoff and land. Take note that the Canada Place cruise terminal
is easily visible from the Information Center, totem poles, and Brockton Point Lighthouse
areas. Prospect Point Lookout at the north end of
the park provides great views of Lions Gate Bridge and parts of Burrard Inlet. The lookout is quite high in elevation and
we didn’t realize how sheer the cliff was until we saw it from our cruise ship. There are a few nature paths near the lookout
that can make your walk from the parking lot and back a bit more enjoyable. The Hollow Tree is located near the west side
of Stanley Park and is a popular photo op for visitors. In decades past, visitors have posed inside
the tree with cars and even an elephant. In addition to the Stanley Park Drive loop
for vehicles, a walking path that circumnavigates the park is available along the seawall. According to the City of Vancouver, the walking
path is 13,123 steps long. Finally, a bike path is also available and
Mobi bike shares can be rented at a handful of stations throughout the park. During our visit, a 24-hour bike pass was
available for just C$12 — or about US$9. Lynn Canyon Park is located northeast of Vancouver
in North Vancouver, about a 30-minute drive from the Canada Place cruise terminal. We spent about an hour and a half exploring the
park the afternoon before our embarkation day. There is no fee to enter the 617-acre park,
which features hiking trails, swimming holes, and waterfalls, as well as a cafe and restrooms. The park’s main attraction is the 157-foot
suspension bridge that sways 164 feet above the canyon. If you can stomach the heights and movement
of the narrow bridge, you’ll see some spectacular views. After crossing the bridge, we made the roughly
20-minute leisurely hike to the Thirty Foot Pool, which is a popular swimming hole for
visitors. Due to its temperate rainforest landscape,
Lynn Canyon Park has been the filming location for several movies and television shows. Richmond Night Market is a festival of food,
shops, and fun located south of Vancouver, about a 35-minute drive from the Canada Place
cruise terminal. We spent about three hours at the market — trying
many new foods and having fun — the night before our embarkation day. For 2019, the Richmond Night Market was open
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights — as well as a few Monday nights — from May to
October and featured over 100 food vendors and over 200 retailers. During our visit, we tried Takoyaki, smoked quail eggs and other skewers, deep fried chicken skin, turon, mochi, chimney cakes, taiyaki, and more! The market was very crowded — especially
the food booths — but all of the lines seemed to move quickly and everybody was very friendly. General admission was C$4.75 — about US$4
— and the entire market was cash-only. Make sure you bring plenty of money to enjoy
everything you want! If you’re interested in public transportation,
you can take the city’s SkyTrain to the Bridgeport Station, which is about a 10-minute
walk from the market. Granville Island is a shopping district located
southwest of Downtown Vancouver, about a 15-minute drive from Canada Place cruise terminal. We spent about three hours exploring the area
the afternoon after disembarkation. Once an industrial area, Granville Island
is now home to more than 300 businesses including culinary destinations, local artisan shops,
boutiques, entertainment venues, and a kid’s market. The Public Market on Granville Island is an
indoor market that features numerous produce vendors, food shops, kiosks with handcrafted
products, restaurants, and more. With so many food options available, the Public
Market is a great place to stop for lunch — like we did — especially if everybody’s
in the mood for something different or you want to try several different things. Metered parking is available in many locations
throughout Granville Island, but you may have to drive around a bit to find an open spot. Creekside Park is a fun little public park
located next to Science World in southeast Downtown Vancouver, about a 10-minute drive
from Canada Place cruise terminal. We spent about an hour at the park — playing
with our little JellyBean and having fun — the afternoon after disembarkation. Hourly parking and portable toilets were available
at the park. The Gastown District — Vancouver’s oldest
neighborhood — is a trendy restaurant and shopping area located in northeast Downtown
Vancouver, just a 10-minute walk from Canada Place cruise terminal. We spent about two hours in the area — exploring,
shopping, and having dinner — the evening after disembarkation. The neighborhood features Victorian architecture,
cobblestone streets, and the world’s first steam powered clock. The antique-style clock is one of only a few
functioning steam clocks in the world. Finally, if you want to get to the cruise
terminal or Downtown Vancouver on your own, the Waterfront Station for the city’s TransLink
transportation system is located about a five-minute walk from the Canada Place cruise terminal. The station can be accessed by train, ferry,
bus, and the SkyTrain rapid transit system, which is available from Vancouver airport
and many other locations. Tickets for the SkyTrain can be purchased
from self-service vending machines and pricing is based on the time of day and how many zones
you travel through. Peak pricing during our visit was C$5.75 — about
US$4.50 — for a single, one-way, three-zone trip for adults. An unlimited DayPass was also available for
C$10.50 — or about US$8 for adults. Take note that the Vancouver International
Airport SkyTrain station is located near the parking garage, outside of the airport’s
building.

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