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Cruising into Vancouver? Dock and Dash to these Fun Attractions



When docking at Vancouver’s Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, you'll find yourself right in the heart of the city's downtown core. Getting around is easy and attractions are within arm’s reach so no matter how much time you have here, you can fit some sightseeing in. Most of these attractions are within walking distance, otherwise there are buses and cabs readily available.

The first stop right outside your cruise ship is FlyOver Canada, the country’s only 4D flight simulation. Take in the sights, smells and sounds of Canada as you enjoy a virtual journey across Canada – it's breathtaking!

Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood, Gastown, is  a short walk away from the ship and there you will enjoy the cobbled streets, charming architecture, art galleries, cafes and trendy restaurants. The Steam Clock and statue of Gassy Jack are two popular monuments for a great photo opportunity.

The Seawall is one of the city's most iconic attractions and a great way to stretch those legs. Walk, bike or run along this beautiful paved path along the ocean's edge – the views are spectacular! Not to mention, it's literally right outside the ship.

The Seawall stretches around Stanley Park and it’s there that you can check out the Vancouver Aquarium, beaches, gardens and a horse-drawn carriage ride. Larger than New York City's Central Park, Stanley Park is chock-full of things to do and see.

 


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English Bay Beach


This popular West End beach is a favorite of swimmers and sunbathers. Located right at the end of Davie and Denman streets, English Bay Beach is easily accessible by bus, foot and Seawall. Driving may prove to be slightly challenging on busy days as it can be difficult to find a parking spot. The Seawall is a great way to get to and from English Bay Beach; you can walk, run, blade or ride your bike. Packing a picnic is one of the best ways to enjoy lunch at the beach, but if you don't have the time or resources, there are a number of cafes, take out restaurants and food stands either on or close to the beach.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: English Bay Beach may be the furthest out of the bunch, but shouldn't be missed to get a true taste of Vancouver.

Natasha's expert tip: If the weather is warm, make sure to catch the sunset from English Bay one evening. It's pure bliss!

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Escape rooms seem to be popping up all over the place, but there are a number of things that sets SmartyPantz apart from the rest. To start, SmartyPantz is located in three of Gastown's historic buildings that were built between 1892 to 1915; can you imagine the stories they could tell? In addition to the history guests can appreciate, each escape room has a different theme for you to take part in and let your imagination run wild and solve Unlike other escape rooms, you also won't find locked doors here (claustrophobics, rejoice!) You can leave the room at any time, but know that once you leave the room, you can't go back in. The escape rooms can accommodate between 4 and 15 people and you have 45 minutes to figure the game out. Times run throughout the day and into the evening so you've got options.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: SmartyPantz - Escape Rooms have a few different themed rooms that are fun for all ages and skill levels.

Natasha's expert tip: Having a tough time solving a riddle? You can get up to two hints to help you along the way, but it's really up to you to crack the code.

Read more about SmartyPantz Escape Rooms →




Look out! The Vancouver Lookout Harbour Centre Tower provides a stunning 360-degree view of the city and is equally impressive during the day and at night. Opened on August 13, 1977 by Neil Armstrong, who left behind his footprint in the concrete, the tower is home to Vancouver's only revolving restaurant. Don't worry, the revolving speed is at a leisurely rate and won't cause you to lose your appetite. If you're not staying for dinner, enjoy the views as far as the eye can see. Take in the views of the Burrard Inlet, North Shore mountains, the suburbs and even Mount Baker in Washington state!

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: Vancouver Lookout Harbour Centre Tower is the only place in the city where you can get 360-degree views.

Natasha's expert tip: Your ticket is good for the entire day and you can enjoy the views in the morning and come back later.

Read more about Vancouver Lookout Harbour Centre Tower →


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Vancouver Art Gallery


The Vancouver Art Gallery is the fifth largest art gallery in all of Canada. The VAG has rotating exhibitions, along with its permanent collection that boasts over 9,100 items. Art junkies will be impressed by the 200 major works by the Group of Seven, Emily Carr and Mark Chagall, which are all housed in the VAG. In 1931, when the VAG was founded, it started out at a different location. In 1983 it was moved to its current address, the old provincial courthouse on Robson St. and Hornby St. The Art Gallery Cafe is the perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon, grab a bite, sip on a glass of wine or tea and listen to the classical music that surrounds the umbrella-scattered patio.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: The Vancouver Art Gallery is the city's largest art gallery with an incredible collection of world renowned art.

Natasha's expert tip: Tuesday night is by donation, which makes it hard to resist visiting the Gallery. The cafe offers affordable meals, delicious desserts and freshly made coffee.

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Vancouver Police Museum


Dive into the underbelly of Vancouver's crime history at the Vancouver Police Museum, Canada's only museum of its kind. While at the museum you can learn about previous policing methods and check out the equipment and vehicles they used to use. The Vancouver Police Museum houses around 20,000 items, documents, pictures and other materials that explain the Vancouver Police's past. While in the museum, inspect counterfeit money, browse the firearms collection and take a peek at the confiscated weapons. If you're feeling adventurous, check out the coroner's forensic exhibit in the city's old morgue. Some say the museum is haunted, but you'll just have to go and see for yourself. Whether you're going for an educational experience, or to haunt yourself silly, the Vancouver Police Museum is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: The Vancouver Police Museum is uniquely Vancouver and the oldest police museum in North America.

Natasha's expert tip: There are a few a things that may not be for a very sensitive stomach, such as crime scene photos and preserved organs, but if you can handle it, they're very fascinating.

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Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden


Constructed in an authentic Ming Dynasty-style, the garden is renowned as being the first of its type built since the late 15th century. Traditional materials from Suzhou, the Garden City of the People's Republic, were used in the construction. It was built with only carefully arranged rocks, wood, plants and water, all without using screws, nails or power tools. The principles of yin and yang opposites, such as light and dark and rough and smooth, are a strong element in this garden's design. Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the place to be during Chinese New Year celebrations in Vancouver.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is where you will find a slice of zen in this busy city.

Natasha's expert tip: Chinatown is a great place to find all sorts of fun trinkets to bring home, so don't miss taking advantage of the shops close to the garden.

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Stretching 5.5-miles (8.8km) around Stanley Park, this lovely jaunt is perfect on a sunny day to bike, walk, run and blade around. Going around the Seawall is best enjoyed with a few stops here and there, and fortunately for you, there are benches, beaches, and scenic spots to stop along the way. Wherever you decide to stop, epic views are always within reach. If the sun is shining and the temperature's rising, pack your towel and swimsuit and take advantage of the sandy beaches and cool ocean waters. No matter what your skill level is, the Seawall is enjoyable for all ages and athletic abilities.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: Whether you're walking, running, biking or Rollerblading, the Seawall is one of the best routes to take around the city.

Natasha's expert tip: There are set paths for specific directions and different lanes for those walking or biking, so make sure to be in the correct lane and avoid getting in the way of oncoming traffic.

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Located in Stanley Park, this aquarium features the climate and habitats of animals, birds and vegetation from around the world. The Amazon Gallery includes sleepy Sloths, tropical birds, piranhas, and jungle plants. The enormous pools feature dolphins, beluga whales and sea otters. Look at the schedule on the website, or when you get to the aquarium to see what shows the animals will be putting on while you're there. Specimens from British Columbia and Canada's arctic underwater coast are also featured. The aquarium serves as Canada's largest Marine Mammal Rescue Rehabilitation Center. The Vancouver Aquarium founded the OceanWise program which plays an integral role in educating the public, restaurants and fishermen about sustainability for fish and our ocean.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: The Vancouver Aquarium is the only place in the city where you can get an underwater glimpse of the different regions in British Columbia.

Natasha's expert tip: They do scheduled shows with the animals and there's a listing inside the aquarium to let you know where and when they will be happening.

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Stanley Park


Located in downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park offers a green oasis to city dwellers that stretches over 1,000 acres of land. Lord Stanley of Preston opened the park in 1888; at the time it was a haven for gathering various material and food. Today, Stanley Park is home to half a million trees, the Vancouver Aquarium, the Malkin Bowl, carved totem poles, monuments, beaches, a lighthouse, and plenty of trails to take in the fresh air. During the summer months, the Malkin Bowl hosts a series of concerts that are the perfect way to spend a warm evening in the park. If hiking through forests isn't your thing, take advantage of the Seawall where you can run, walk, cycle or Rollerblade the 5.5 miles around Stanley Park. The lush greenery is a welcome escape from the busy city and though it's right downtown, you will feel miles away.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: Stanley Park is an iconic piece of Vancouver and is larger than New York City's Central Park.

Natasha's expert tip: There's a small water park along the Seawall and it's a great way to cool kids down on a hot day.

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Get your boarding pass, take your seat and prepare for a cross-country odyssey that will leave you wanderlust and ready for more! FlyOver Canada is Vancouver's only 4D attraction and the only one of its kind in Canada. Enjoy the smells, sights and sounds of Canada as some wind blows your hair. Located right beside the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, it's easily accessible. The pre-show and Canadian Trail add to the experience of this excellent adventure. Filming these spectacular shots is Sherpas Cinema, while Whistler's own Dave Mossop directed. If you've been to Disney, you may recognize this concept from the Soaring Over California ride. Not only is the concept very similar, but they hired Disney's Creative Director, Rick Rothschild, to assist in the project.

Recommended for Attractions near Cruise Port because: FlyOver Canada is the only 4D cross-Canada journey in all of North America!

Natasha's expert tip: You can purchase your ticket ahead of time online at FlyOver Canada's website.

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Meet Natasha John

Natasha is not born and raised in Vancouver, but is pretty certain it's her spirit hometown. After jumping around Canada, Texas, Arkansas and the UK, she has her feet firmly planted in...  More About Natasha

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