The centerpiece of Vancouver's gleaming downtown waterfront is made of graceful white "sails," which create a translucent pavilion above the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, gateway to the majestic glacier-carved fjords of the northern Pacific Coast. The city itself is stunning, a sparkling metropolis of glass spires and lush city parks atop the Burrard Peninsula, cradled in the snow-capped North Shore Mountains, just visible in the distance.
More than half a million passengers cruise through Vancouver Port each year, headed to Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Alaska, some of the most fantastic coastal scenery in the world. Yet many of these intrepid travelers soon realize, after spending only a day or two here in Vancouver, that this charming Canadian city is worth a second look.How to Get to Vancouver
The Port of Vancouver has two cruise ship terminals, Canada Place and Ballantyne Pier, and is served by public transportation, taxis and limousines, as well as rental car kiosks. Canada Place
is in the heart of downtown, surrounded by excellent hotels, restaurants and nightlife. Isolated Ballantyne Pier is located just east, behind the container terminal, with few services and no hotels. Walking from Ballentyne to Canada Place is possible but it is best to pay for a taxi. Some hotels and cruise lines run shuttles to downtown.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is about half an hour away from either terminal; metered taxis charge about C$40. From Canada Place, the Skytrain can be taken directly from the Fairmont Waterfront to YVR.One Day in Vancouver
Consider a pre-cruise tour
of the city, taking in the Stanley Park
totem poles, Gastown
and other iconic Vancouver locations; or the North Shore
for more natural attractions.
Day-trippers who want to see more of the city
should explore Vancouver's lush gardens
, or escape the urban environment with a visit to Grouse Mountain
, accessible by gondola. The stunning alpine ski resort of Whistler
, gorgeous year-round, is also an option, as is a wine tour of Fraser Valley
. All of these are fabulous ways to use your limited time in Vancouver.