Vancouver is one of the world's most beautiful ports, and boasts a tremendous variety of things to do. Locals claim it is one of a few places where you can ski in the morning and windsurf in the afternoon. It's a very green city with rain forests, parks, fountains and gardens.
Like the rest of Canada, in Vancouver you'll get a lot for your dollars. The U.S. dollar is around 20% stronger than Canadian dollar, which means you can reduce the price of a hotel or restaurant.
In Vancouver, most cruise ships dock right downtown at Canada Place. The docking facilities are among the most modern and beautiful in the world. On a pre-cruise visit to the city there is nothing more delightful than watching ships sail out in the late afternoon, knowing your turn is coming soon. Canada Place has undergone an expansion to accommodate a third mega-ship and the viewing area has been increased by 800 feet. In the renovated cruise check-in area, Vancouver Tourism has opened an information center and several souvenir kiosks are operating. The IMAX theatre, the Pan Pacific Hotel and Vancouver Trade and Convention Center are also located in the Canada Place facility .
There are plenty of beaches in town and the water is pleasant. A visit to Sunset or Kits Beach, a five to ten minute taxi ride from your downtown hotel, is highly recommended for the view of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore mountains. The Maritime Museum, Vancouver Museum and planetarium are located nearby.
The hop-on-and-off trolley and double decker bus are a great help in getting to the city sites, including Stanley Park. They pick up at many hotels and all the main sites. Vancouver is so scenic-the drive alone is worth it. Ask at your hotel where the closest pick-up point is located for this service. Pay when you board.
The berthing plan announcing which pier the Alaska cruise ships will sail from is usually announced by the Port of Vancouver in March and it is posted on their web site.
Hotels offer a variety of packages which are often a better price than booking a room. Be sure to mention you are a cruise passenger at time of booking as some hotels offer special Alaska cruise packages. AAA auto club members also qualify for special rates at most hotels and there are Internet booking specials as well.
Contacts for Vancouver Bed and Breakfasts are also listed. This is a very popular type of accommodation on the West Coast and there are several located in the downtown area.
PAN PACIFIC HOTEL 300-999 Canada Place Canada: 800-663-1515 - USA: 800-937-1515 www.panpac.com/hotels Superior Rooms from CDN$299. Pre- & Post Alaska Cruise Packages from CDN$399.00 Cruise ships dock outside your window at this luxury hotel and you board your ship at the cruise terminal level, beneath the hotel. The Convention Centre and IMAX theatre are a part of the Canada Place complex, which offers several restaurants and a bar with a view of the harbor. It's connected underground to the Waterfront Centre, Seabus and Skytrain Station, and Sinclair Place shopping center shopping;.Alaska cruise package includes complimentary transportation to Ballantyne Pier, adjusted check in and check out times, breakfast for two, IMAX or Aquarium passes.
THE FAIRMONT WATERFRONT 900 Canada Place Way 1-800-257-7544 www.fairmont.com Summer room rates from around CDN$349.00 Connect With Your Cruise Ship Package from $299.00 Across the road from Canada Place, this deluxe property is operated by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Spectacular city and harbor views, connected underground to the SeaBus and SkyTrain station and Sinclair Place shopping center. There's a shopping and food court beneath the hotel. 15 minutes by taxi to Ballantyne Pier. Cruise package includes one night hotel, buffet breakfast, porterage to the cruise ship terminal across the street.
MARRIOTT VANCOUVER PINNACLE DOWNTOWN 1128 West Hastings Street 1-800-207-4150 www.marriott.com Summer suite rates from around CDN$259.00 Formerly the Delta Pinnacle, this luxury high-rise is three blocks from Canada Place in the heart of the business district. The 434 well appointed rooms feature a range of luxury items including duvet, bathrobe(s), complimentary in-room coffee/tea, private bar, umbrella, hair dryer, complimentary shoe shine, iron and ironing board. Junior and Presidential suites also available. A few minutes to Canada Place by taxi, 15 minutes to Ballantyne Pier.
RENAISSANCE VANCOUVER HOTEL HARBOURSIDE 1133 West Hastings 1-800-905-8582 www.marriott.com Summer room rates from around CDN$239. Across the street from the Pinnacle above, this is a beautiful property with great harbor views Located five blocks from Canada Place, a little west of downtown. Fine dining and a piano lounge and revolving restaurant with superb harbor views. A few minutes to Canada Place by taxi, 15 minutes to Ballantyne Pier.
DELTA VANCOUVER SUITE HOTEL 550 West Hastings Street 1-877-814-7706 www.deltahotels.com Summer suite rates from around CDN$229.00 This all-suite hotel is located three blocks from Canada Place, across the street from the Vancouver Lookout tower. 226 deluxe, full service, two room suites. A few minutes to Canada Place by taxi, 15 minutes to Ballantyne Pier.
DAYS INN 921 West Pender Street 1-800-329-7466 www.daysinn.com Summer room rates from CDN$139. A popular budget property just 3 short blocks from Canada Place; Restaurant and Bar, with discounts for seniors and auto club members. A few minutes to Canada Place by taxi, 15 minutes to Ballantyne Pier.
BED AND BREAKFASTS B&Bs are very popular and there are many in the downtown area. Visit the "B.C. Bed and Breakfasts only" site at www.pixsell.bc.ca/bcbbd.htm.