Emily Carr, one of British Columbia’s most beloved artists, once said, “There is something bigger than fact: the underlying spirit, all it stands for, the mood, the vastness, the wildness.” Like so many others, Carr was inspired by Vancouver’s sweeping views and tangible sense of spirit. There really is no place like Vancouver, and for active seniors, it reignites a sense of exploration and adventure that few other places do.
The following itinerary represents a loose three-week guide to Vancouver’s most popular activities for active seniors. All offer a unique way to tap into the heart of Vancouver and its neighbouring regions, whether they are by water, by land or by air. Some offer longer periods of travel, while others can be done in a day. Pick your favorites and build your own itinerary.
Week 1: Water, Water, Everywhere
Heading North: Vancouver Cruises
If you’ve toured Mexico and the Caribbean, it’s time to witness the majesty of the legendary Vancouver-Alaska route, dubbed the “Inside Passage.” From May to October, you can join the many active seniors who board cruise lines from Canada Place and head to some of the world’s most famous ports — Juneau, Skagway and Glacier Bay. It’s the perfect opportunity to see once-in-a-lifetime views of ice-blue fjords and snow-capped mountains.
Hit the Seas: Whale Watching in Vancouver
One of Vancouver’s favorite pastimes is also on the water, and active seniors have expressed that whale watching is an awe-inspiring experience. Several tour companies offer whale-watching trips and boast high success rates for sightings.
Week 2: Land Bound
Ride the Rails: Vancouver Train Travel
If you don't have sea legs, don’t worry. Another great way to see Vancouver is to ride the rails. Hop on a train and soak up a classic Vancouver experience. Many active seniors choose Whistler Mountaineer and Rocky Mountaineer, two world-class lines that transport passengers through lush forest and sparkling waters. All you have to do is sit back, relax and take in the views.
Hit the Links: Golfing in Vancouver
Nothing is quite like golfing in an area where water meets the mountains. Not to brag, but that’s Vancouver. Spectacular courses are a dime a dozen here, and public courses offer visiting active seniors some of the best scenery around.
Week 3: Air It Out
Bird’s Eye View: Floatplane Sightseeing
For those who want an extra bit of adventure, floatplanes are the way to go. The tiny engine roars as you soar above the city and its neighbors, taking you on a tour of the land from a bird’s eye view. Flight-seeing tours typically cover Vancouver’s top sights, such as Bowen Island, Canada Place, Stanley Park and more.
Tower Above: Visiting Vancouver Lookout
Even if planes aren’t your thing, you can still see Vancouver from up high. Just head to the Harbour Center and hop in one of the glass elevators. Some 40 seconds later, you’ll find yourself at Vancouver Lookout — 167 metres (430 feet) above the city. The 360-degree views are breathtaking, whether you’re looking out on a sunny day or watching the twinkling lights in the evening.
Up in the Sky: Grouse Mountain Gondola Ride
Grouse Mountain’s SkyRide climbs 1,100 metres (3,700 feet) above the city, providing views of the Gulf Islands and the pristine Pacific Ocean. While you’re on the top of the mountain, visit the famous grizzly bears at the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife. Dine at The Observatory to savor the views and toast to a wonderful trip in Vancouver.