Stop Over in Vancouver

Suzanne Barney on 05 August 2022
Holland America cruise line this year are celebrating 75 years in the Industry To celebrate they gave 8 lucky agents a cruise to Alaska with flights included for the agent too I was one of these lucky agents We had to take the cruise in a 3 month window so my husband couldn't travel so instead i asked my friend who jumped at the chance! We had to pay for her flight so it wasn't 'a free trip' plus excursions and overnight hotels in Vancouver but it was a chance in a lifetime We also paid to upgrade our cabin to balcony and for the 'have it all' package of internet, drinks and excursion credit plus 1 visit to a speciality restaurant

August was the time we could in theory travel because of other commitments not a time I would normally take a trip so this in itself was something 'different'

You need to be organised to travel to Canada - as there are a few things you need to do . I have been sorting this for customers for the last 2 years so had the file ready We also needed a pcr test to be able to board the ship too as well as a visa for USA , Electronic visa for Canada plus arrivecan ( which we has to fill out on our return from cruise as well as departing from the UK)

We stayed overnight in Gatwick and flew with Westjet who operated the Dreamliner service as it was a long flight we paid extra for legroom seats as well . Everything went smoothly with security and we had a 2 hour delay which we kind of half expected . On arrival in Canada there were machines to scan the arrivecan and also our passports and we were through! We took the train from the airport 10 canadian dollars each (£7) to City Centre and walked the remaining 400m to our hotel . Our first hotel was Robson on Rosedale - the hotel rate is excellent and perfect for a stopover . It is a little old fashioned but clean, comfortable , well located with free wifi.

Vancouver is a beautiful city with lots of parks ,waterfront areas, restaurants and nice shops so we set off to explore as we needed to stay awake to beat jetlag. We walked to Canada place where the cruise was setting off from the following day so we could see 'what the set up was' . looked around Gastown with its quaint streets and shops and ate at a sports bar near the stadium.

The following morning we woke up early so went for a walk around china town ( big mistake) like most cities there is always an area to avoid - this is an area best avoided . Not the best place to be when all the shops are closed at 8am in the morning ! So we headed back to the hotel to pick up our tour of the City this is a great idea as at the end of the tour they dropped us off at the cruises ship terminal

So we were able to spend time at Stanley Park , Granville island plus see where the beaches are and different areas that make up the city . There are a lot of skyscrapers and very rich people that live in this city!

We also stopped over on the way back from the cruise - it is all so well organised From leaving the ship , collecting luggage and arriving at our hotel 'Georgian Court' it took all of 15 mins amazing! There is a set price for taxis from the terminal to the hotels of 15 canadian ( £10) and the train station for the airport is next to the cruise terminal if you were heading home

This hotel was 'Georgian Court' lovely hotel really nice modern rooms and really comfy beds - this again was really good value compared to other hotels . We dumped our luggage at the hotel and headed for our excursion the Capilano Extension Bridge which was a great day out. There are free buses to get you there that stop in 4 parts of the city This is a great excursion for families as it is quite educational , plus adults with the wonderful walkways Not good if you don't like heights or disabled as the bridge is hard going ( my legs felt they had had a workout) Lovely cafe and shops there too really spot on = takes up about 3 hours

After we ambled around Vancouver - unpacked chilled - then went to Yaletown for dinner Didnt expect it to be party central full of hen parties ! We ate at the GREEK restaurant which was expensive and a little underwhelming Then headed back to bed

The following day we walked along the waterfront and jumped on the false creek ferries which was lovely admiring the city from the water and saw sea otters and a couple of racoons before heading back to the airport to take our flight

Wonderful City not cheap but beautifully thought out