Photo credit: Ann Hung / Flickr
Vancouver By Water
Many visitors associate the mountains with Vancouver. Look at any postcard and you’ll see the peaks of the North Shore mountains looming large over the city skyline. And heading up to Grouse, Cypress or Mount Seymour will yield magnificent views at any time of year. But what really defines Vancouver is its location right on the waters of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a way of getting around the city, a source of adventure and exercise, a portal to nature, and of course, a great backdrop for your vacation memories!
Cute little Aquabus and False Creek Ferries vessels shaped like mini-tugboats traverse False Creek taking passengers between stops such as Granville Island, Olympic Village, Science World and Yaletown. If you’re visiting attractions on the North Shore (yes, like those mountains!), consider taking the SeaBus, which crosses Burrard Inlet between downtown’s Waterfront Station and the North Shore’s Lonsdale Quay, and is part of the public transit system.
Taking in the sights around Vancouver by water is as easy as taking a boat trip. Aquabus offers 25-minute mini cruises of False Creek, but for something longer, join Harbour Cruises for an hour-long sightseeing tour of the city’s harbour, or combine a cruise up the spectacular Indian Arm fjord with lunch. For a more action-packed option, get your heart racing with a Sea Vancouver 90-minute tour blasting around the harbour aboard a Zodiac! Or hit the water for some wildlife watching: head up Howe Sound on a Sewell’s Marina Sea Safari, or out to sea with one of Vancouver’s whale watching companies.
Vancouverites love getting out on the water during the summer months. Whether it’s an after-work dip in English Bay or a weekend paddling trip through the Gulf Islands, locals make the most of living on the coast, getting in some exercise with their adventure. There are two main areas to explore: the urban inlet that surrounds downtown, and the tranquil waters of the North Shore. In the city, take an urban kayak tour of False Creek, looking up at the glass-covered city skyline as you paddle, or try stand-up paddle boarding on the calm waters of Burrard Inlet, just off either English Bay or Kitsilano Beach. For a paddle among the wilderness, head up to the North Shore’s Deep Cove where you’ll be surrounded by nature along the world’s southernmost fjord, Indian Arm. The experienced paddler can rent a kayak or board and explore by themselves, but beginners will benefit from a lesson or a guided tour. For those looking for an extra challenge, stand up paddle board yoga combines the tranquil surroundings with inner balance.
Relaxing On The Water
For many people, boarding a vessel means one just thing: relaxing, and that’s OK too! Rent a yacht for the day to live the high life, cruising the harbour, dropping anchor for a sumptuous lunch, or sipping Champagne while you enjoy the sunset from the water. Or charter a fishing vessel to take you and your friends out for a day of angling and your chance to catch salmon, trout, Dungeness crab and spot prawns. If you’d rather progress straight to the feast, Joe’s BBQ Boat offers a unique sea-faring dining experience – the round, electric-powered vessels are much like a floating diner booth with a barbecue in the middle, surrounded by a bench that seats up to eight passengers.