Within Walking Distance
You’ll step off your Carnival cruise to Vancouver, British Columbia right into Canada Place port, topped with soaring white sails. A walkway offers sweeping views of the busy harbor, with float planes taking off from the water and ferries chugging across to the Vancouver North Shore.
Lively Gastown, the city’s oldest neighborhood, borders the Canada Place cruise terminal. Restaurants, native and contemporary art galleries, and designer boutiques line this neighborhood’s cobblestone streets. Stop at the intersection of Water and Cambie streets to listen to the Steam Clock whistle the Westminster Chimes every 15 minutes. A few blocks inland from your Vancouver cruise is the Vancouver Art Gallery. The museum’s pride is its extensive collection of paintings by British Columbia artist Emily Carr. Her naturalist paintings of swirling colors depict totem poles, native symbols, and Canadian landscapes.
Beyond the Port Area
The Museum of Anthropology, on the campus of the University of British Columbia, holds one of the finest collection of First Nations crafts and artifacts in Canada. The glassed-in Great Hall displays intricately carved totem poles, while a dramatically-lit rotunda shows off Bill Reid’s stunning Raven and the First Men cedar carving. Take the cliffside trails that lead down from campus to the rocky beaches. Or head over to Kitsilano, the best beach strip for soaking up the sun and city views, and for people-watching on cruises to Vancouver, British Columbia.
For a taste of British Columbia’s wild backcountry, cross the rickety 450-ft.-long bridge that dangles 230 ft. above the rushing Capilano River at Capilano Suspension Bridge & Park. The bridge isn’t the park’s only hair-raising attraction. You can brave the Cliffwalk, cantilevered on a mountainside over the Capilano, and scramble between towering firs on the Treetops Adventure.
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is home to pink and white rhodendron blooms and a red and green pagoda reflected on a pond. Take a free guided tour to fully understand the principles of contrast and harmony that guide the garden’s intricate design.
Stanley Park, the city’s green heart, fills an entire peninsula at the edge of downtown. Cycle or walk the Seawall as it curves past beaches and the fir, spruce, and cedar forest of the park’s interior. Along the way is Brockton Point and the park’s collection of traditional totem poles.
Shopping in Vancouver
Hit Robson Street, straddling downtown and the fashionable West End, for the densest concentration of stylish boutiques in Vancouver, British Columbia. Granville Island features studios where you can watch artists at work and craft stores exclusively selling treasures by local craftsmen. The Granville Island Public Market is a colorful bounty of fruits and veggies, cheese, wine, chocolate, and fresh fish. Compile a picnic here to enjoy from the waterfront tables facing downtown’s thicket of glass skyscrapers.
Dining in Vancouver
Make your way to Yaletown and the West End from Vancouver cruises to sample the innovative Northwest take on contemporary cuisine—with a delicious emphasis on local seafood. An Okanagan Valley wine, from the British Columbia interior, is the perfect pair for a meal of fresh fish.