Vancouver Cruise Port Guide: Terminal, Facilities, What’s Nearby

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Vancouver Cruise Port, also known as Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, is a modern and exciting cruise port that is one of the main gateways to the breathtaking natural wonders of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. 

Located directly near the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia, this vibrant port welcomes an ever-growing number of cruise ship passengers each year and serves as an ideal departure point for cruise adventures. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will help you prepare for your own visit by diving into everything you need to know about the Vancouver Cruise Port. From port facilities and directions to nearby attractions, dining recommendations, and essential travel tips, we are going to cover it all!

Vancouver Cruise Port Location and Description

Cruise ships arrive and depart from the Canada Place port complex, which is located in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown. 

Situated in an ideal location along the coastal city’s waterfront near the trendy Gastown neighborhood, visitors can access numerous hotels and restaurants by walking a short distance from the port.

With the picturesque city’s skyscrapers acting as a backdrop and the Pacific Ocean as the front-facing view, it is easy why many consider it one of the most beautiful cruise ports in the world.

Vancouver Cruise Terminal Location
Vancouver Cruise Terminal Location

Beyond the views, the cruise port features truly unique architecture. Characterized by distinctive white sails, it certainly catches the attention of visitors, and it has even grown to become a symbolic landmark of the city. 

Not only does the close proximity to the city provide cruise ship passengers with stunning views, but it also means that visitors arrive within close proximity of downtown Vancouver, ensuring straightforward accessibility to the famous city’s wide variety of attractions and amenities. 

Vancouver Cruise Port Address:

In terms of the port’s specific location, you can find it can be found at the following address: Canada Place Cruise Terminal, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6C T4 

Number of Piers and Berths

While the port features a single-pier design, this large pier offers three cruise ship berths. There is also a much smaller fourth berth that can accommodate smaller vessels when required.

Cruise Ships Docked in Vancouver
Cruise Ships Docked in Vancouver (Photo Credit: Macklin Holloway)

Typically, the Port of Vancouver’s Canada Place Cruise Terminal services three full-sized cruise ships at any given time, especially during the summer months when Alaska-bound itineraries are at their most popular.

Getting to the Port from the Airport

If your cruise departs from Vancouver and you are arriving by air, you will be relieved to learn that it is roughly 16 miles (25.7 km) from Vancouver International Airport (YVR). While traffic can certainly be a concern in one of Canada’s most populous cities, most find that they can reach the port in 45 minutes by car or taxi.

Vancouver International Airport
Vancouver International Airport (Photo Credit: oasisamuel)

If you have chosen to rent a vehicle and drive from Vancouver Airport, you can arrive at Canada Place Cruise Terminal by following these directions:

  • Exit the airport by following signs for Oak Street, then proceed North to Park Drive.
  • Turn left onto Park Drive, followed by a right turn onto Granville Street.
  • Continue over the Granville Street Bridge, then take the Seymour Street exit.
  • Head North along Seymour Street until you reach Cordova Street. Turn left onto Cordova Street, then right onto Howe Street.
  • Follow Howe Street until you reach the ramp that leads to Canada Place Pier. You will see numerous signs directing you to the cruise port on your way.

Worth Reading: How to Get From Vancouver Airport to Cruise Port

If you plan to reach the port by flying into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), which can be cheaper for airfare, you will need to undergo a roughly four-hour, 162-mile drive. Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to arrive before departure. We would recommend getting a hotel the night before. 

Canada Place Cruise Terminal Facilities and Amenities

As mentioned, Canada Place Cruise Terminal is a very modern cruise port, especially when compared to what you might expect to see in the Caribbean.

The entire port was designed to enhance the passenger experience and showcase everything the city, province, and country has to offer visitors. With beautiful murals and a well-organized and inviting atmosphere, navigating the port is both enjoyable and straightforward.

Canada Place Cruise Terminal
Canada Place Cruise Terminal (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks)

Port facilities and amenities include:

  • Parking: Vinci Park Canada Place provides abundant short-term and overnight parking options. Reservations can be made online ahead of time for an even smoother parking experience.
  • Baggage Storage: Baggage can be checked and stored between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. on the same day you depart. Checked and stored bags are then delivered directly to your cabin. If you need storage beyond your day of travel, you can store your bags through Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing for a fee. They have a clearly marked booth within the port itself.
  • Wi-Fi Access: The port offers complimentary Wi-Fi access to cruise ship passengers.
  • Restroom Facilities: Modern and well-maintained restrooms are located throughout the interior and exterior of the terminal building.
  • Tourist Information: The port boasts a dedicated Welcome Centre located directly in the port’s main plaza. It is well-marked with a giant maple leaf. Here, you will find numerous tourist information booths with friendly operators offering services in numerous languages. 

Port Accessibility

The entire cruise terminal adheres to the highest standards for accessibility, with wheelchairs and mobility scooters available for use before and during each passenger’s cruise. The port even features several relief stations for service animals. 

Cruise Lines that Operate Out of Vancouver Cruise Port

As Canada’s busiest cruise port and a pivotal hub for Alaskan cruises, it is no surprise that Canada Place Cruise Terminal hosts many different cruise lines.

Cruise Ships in Vancouver
Cruise Ships in Vancouver (Photo Credit: dvlcom)

The following are just some of the many prominent cruise lines that operate out of the port: 

  • Princess Cruises
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Holland America Line
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Disney Cruise Line 

While Alaska cruises tend to make up most of the cruise ship traffic in Canada Place Cruise Terminal, cruise lines operating out of it offer a wide range of different itineraries, including journeys to Hawaii and various destinations along North America’s Pacific Coast. 

Importance of the Port to the Alaskan Cruise Industry

You can’t discuss the Vancouver Cruise Port without mentioning the Alaskan Cruise Industry. Vancouver’s port facilities are one of the major linchpins of the industry, allowing numerous cruise ship embarkations and disembarkations throughout the calendar year. It even serves as the homeport for many of the most recognizable Alaska cruise ships. 

Holland America Ship Ready for Alaska Sailing
Holland America Ship Ready for Alaska Sailing (Photo Credit: Wirestock Creators)

Thanks to its modern port facilities and strategic location on the Pacific Coast, it is the ideal starting point for voyages to Alaska and the inside passage. Its size and location close to a major population hub and international airport mean it caters to Canadian, American, and international passengers looking to explore Alaska’s natural beauty. 

The Alaska cruise industry also benefits the port and Vancouver’s economy, with Canada Place Cruise Terminal welcoming over 900,000 Alaska-bound cruise passengers each year. According to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, each cruise ship that docs in Vancouver contributes roughly CAD 2 million to the local economy! 

Transportation Options

If you are looking to leave the port and explore the city and beyond, you will quickly discover that you have numerous transportation options to choose from.

Seattle to Vancouver
Seattle to Vancouver (Photo Credit: Yanqiang Dai)

Shuttle Services

Convenient shuttle services connect the entrance of the Canada Place Cruise Terminal to key destinations throughout the city, including the airport. While shuttle availability can vary depending on how busy the port is, they are a low-cost way to get around.

Read Also: Seattle to Vancouver Transportation Tips

Some larger cruise lines even offer their own shuttle service between the port and the airport. Just make sure you check ahead of time. 

Taxis and Ride-Share Apps

The most popular way to get around is taking a taxi, with several registered taxis offering flat rates between the port and some of Vancouver’s most iconic sights and neighborhoods. A cab pickup and drop-off zone is located just outside the port. You do not have to worry about hailing a cab, as there is a line, and they operate on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Transportation Next to Vancouver Cruise Port
Transportation Next to Vancouver Cruise Port (Photo Credit: Protasov AN)

The city also hosts major ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. This provides additional flexibility if you are more comfortable calling your own ride. There is even a dedicated City of Vancouver Ride-share pickup zone outside the port at street level. 

Public Transit

The Canada Place Cruise Terminal is also conveniently located directly near the TransLink public transport system. This means you can easily access Vancouver’s SkyTrain rapid transit system, buses, and the West Coast Express commuter train if you are hoping to travel further. For those looking to explore North Vancouver, the port is also located near the departure point for the SeaBus passenger ferry. 

What Is the Best Time to Visit Vancouver?

Most locals will agree that the best time to visit Vancouver is between July and August. This is for one simple reason—these are the driest months of the year. There is no getting around it—Vancouver is a very rainy city. While temperatures tend to be pleasant throughout the year, you will want to ensure you have the right clothing, including a raincoat and quick-dry footwear.

Port of Vancouver Worker
Port of Vancouver Worker (Photo Credit: Khai Fong Dmytro Nguien)

With that said, Vancouver can certainly be classed as a year-round destination, so the ‘best’ time to visit can vary from person to person according to their unique preferences.

Seasonal Weather Conditions

As mentioned, Vancouver offers pleasant conditions year-round, even if it can be pretty wet. To help you plan your visit, this is a rough idea of what you can expect during each season: 

Spring (March to May)

Mild daytime temperatures average between 45 and 60°F. Rainfall is fairly regular, but rain showers tend to be brief. Expect plenty of cloud cover. 

Summer (June to August)

Anticipate warmer and sunnier weather, with temperatures typically ranging between 65 and 75°F. Remember, even though these are the driest months, rain showers can still be an issue during summer. 

Fall (September to November)

As the summer winds down, crisp temperatures and more frequent showers are common in Vancouver. Average daytime temperatures of about 45 to 65°F mean that it is still an enjoyable season for outdoor activities and exploring the city on foot. 

Winter (December to February)

Temperatures drop to between 35 and 45°F, which is still very warm compared to the rest of Canada. A mix of rain and snow is common, so make sure you pack appropriately. If you plan to travel to the mountains for skiing or sledding, you will find colder temperatures and a greater snow buildup. 

Nearby Attractions

One of the best things about visiting Canada Place Cruise Terminal is its close proximity to some of the most interesting attractions and neighborhoods in Vancouver’s downtown area. The following are just some of the many options: 

Gastown

Gastown is considered Vancouver’s historic district. As the city’s oldest neighborhood, it is characterized by cobblestone streets, charming stores and art galleries, Victorian buildings, and plenty of exciting bars and cafés. The iconic Steam Clock, which acts as the area’s symbol, is also a must-see.

Gastown
Gastown (Photo Credit: Koshiro K)

The center of Gastown is just 0.7 miles from the port, so visitors can easily walk there in less than 15 minutes. Plus, the walk there is quite pleasant, especially if you enjoy shopping! 

Stanley Park

If shopping and exploring one of Canada’s signature cities isn’t your thing, the port is also close to Stanley Park. At just 1.4 miles from the terminal, you can enjoy a 30-minute stroll or take a cab to the park.

Stanley Park
Stanley Park (Photo Credit: OLIVE JU)

This unique island park is the city’s most renowned natural oasis. It boasts scenic hiking trails, picturesque beaches, and an array of authentic Totem Poles. We highly recommend taking a stroll or bike ride around the park’s perimeter along its signature Seawall Walk

As if the park didn’t offer enough, you can even find the Stanley Park Brewery near the main entrance! 

Robson Street

Robson Street is the city’s most well-known shopping and dining district. With headquarters for some major fashion brands and a seemingly endless stretch of cafés, bars, and restaurants, this vibrant area of Vancouver attracts people from all over the world. 

Robson Square
Robson Square (Photo Credit: Koshiro K)

At 1.8 miles from the Port of Vancouver, it’s easy to reach and well worth a visit. 

If you have more time and are willing to travel a bit further, the cruise port can be your jumping-off point to many outdoor adventures, exciting sights, and unique cultural attractions. Remember, Vancouver is a popular travel destination, so there’s no reason not to make the most of your time there if your cruise departs. 

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (Photo Credit: oasisamuel)

Roughly 6 miles from the port, this unique treetop adventure park is one of the city’s most iconic tourist attractions. With plenty of family-friendly activities, the legendary Suspension Bridge, and the opportunity to walk along the top of a rainforest canopy, it’s definitely worth visiting! 

Grouse Mountain

Located just 9 miles from the port, visitors can easily find time to one of the many mountains that act as a backdrop to this scenic city. The mountain has been developed as a year-round recreational destination.

Grouse Mountain's Skyride
Grouse Mountain’s Skyride (Photo Credit: Margarita Young)

Offering skiing, hiking trails, a gondola, wildlife interaction and preservation centers, zip lining, and guided eco-walks, you don’t need to be an experienced hiker to enjoy Grouse Mountain. 

Granville Island

If you don’t have as much time, Granville Island is a unique cultural hub located just over 2 miles from the port. Characterized by artisanal markets, art galleries, a large food court, waterfront cafés, a distillery, and a brewery that sells its beers Canada-wide, it’s a must-see.

Granville Island
Granville Island (Photo Credit: GagliardiPhotography)

As the name suggests, it’s on its own island, so you’ll have to cross a bridge or take a ferry to get to it, which helps give the shops and restaurants even more character. 

Vancouver Trolley Tours

Another exciting attraction in Vancouver is the city’s vintage trolley system. The trolley station is just over half a mile from the port, so it’s easy to access. Taking a tour will allow you to see some of the city’s historic landmarks and scenic viewpoints, all from the comfort of a vintage trolley bus.

Read Also: IDEAL Hotels Near Vancouver Cruise Port

Dining Near Vancouver Cruise Port

Not only does Vancouver offer a stunning blend of urban and natural beauty, it has a bustling culinary scene. With the city close to the Pacific Ocean, it’s no surprise that it is famed for its fresh seafood, with sushi being a particular highlight thanks to the city’s long-standing and significant Japanese population.

Miku Restaurant Right Opposite the Cruise Terminal
Miku Restaurant Right Opposite the Cruise Terminal (Photo Credit: hongming wang)

We recommend just taking a stroll along Robson Street and stopping in any restaurant that catches your eye, but if you are looking for specific recommendations, you can’t go wrong with the following: 

Miku

This innovative and iconic Japanese restaurant blends traditional Japanese cuisine with West Coast ingredients and flavors. The flame-seared sashimi is the signature dish. Not only is the food amazing, but the restaurant is just a 5-minute walk from the cruise port! 

Fable Kitchen

This trendy farm-to-table restaurant might have a casual atmosphere, but it has been recognized by the Michelin Guide as one of the top restaurants in the city. It’s 2.5 miles from the cruise port but worth the trip. 

No matter where you eat, make sure you try some of the city’s signature dishes and beverages, such as its fresh oysters, Nanaimo Bars, and Caesar cocktails. 

Shopping Near Vancouver Cruise Port

We already mentioned Robson Street as a major shopping hub, so if you’re a shopaholic, head there. If you happen to be in Vancouver during one of its many rainy days, you may want more of a mall experience.

If so, head to the Pacific Centre, which features over 150 stores and plenty of restaurants. From luxury brands to more affordable options, you’ll find everything at this major shopping destination.

Pacific Centre, Vancouver
Pacific Centre, Vancouver (Photo Credit: GagliardiPhotography)

If you’re looking for a souvenir of your time in Vancouver, there are plenty of souvenir shops located just outside of the port. Here, you’ll find First Nations artworks, smoked salmon, local wines, and plenty of other items unique to Vancouver and Canada. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What port do cruise ships leave from in Vancouver?

Cruise ships depart from the Canada Place Cruise Terminal, located along downtown Vancouver’s north coast.

How far is the Vancouver cruise terminal from the airport?

Vancouver Cruise Terminal is roughly 16 miles from Vancouver International Airport (YVR Airport). It is easy to reach by taxi and the city’s Canada Line rapid subway transit system, part of the SkyTrain network. 

How much is the Skytrain from Vancouver airport?

If you are taking the SkyTrain from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to the Canada Place Cruise Terminal, the cost will vary slightly depending on the time of day and whether or not you purchase a reloadable card. That said, single-use adult fares are very cheap, with the 35—to 40-minute commute running between CAD $3-4.

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