The capital of British Columbia has one of the most stunning skylines in the world – best appreciated from the top deck of a luxury cruise ship.

Anyone who’s ever visited Vancouver will immediately understand why it’s consistently named as one of the top cities in the world. The bustling seaport has a rich culture and thriving art scene, with a skyline to die for. It’s also the gateway to Alaska and the Rocky Mountains and makes for a popular pre- or post-cruise add-on.

Cruise lines are boosting itineraries that feature the city in 2019, including Crystal Cruises, which will operate a full season out of Vancouver on Crystal Symphony to Alaska, with a choice of seven, 10- and 11-day voyages.

Vancouver is also featured on Princess Cruises’ 2019 Pacific Wine Country cruise and Heart of the Rockies cruise-plus-rail tour on board 3,560-passenger Royal Princess, the first Royal-class ship to sail in Alaska. 

Vancouver, cruise,
Wildlife is part of the package in Vancouver


A unique destination

Silversea managing director, UK and Ireland, Peter Shanks says: “Vancouver is the perfect place to start or finish an Alaskan voyage. The city has so much to offer with the proximity of Vancouver Island and so many varied opportunities to see the real Canada on the doorstep.

“Silversea guests have three options – round-trip for 10 or 11 nights, seven nights to or from Anchorage or – and this is one of the most popular voyages from Vancouver – a route that takes in the best of Alaska and then heads down to San Francisco.

“Vancouver is also a stopping-off point for the Rocky Mountaineer Train – something that’s extremely popular with British travellers, when combined with a cruise,” he concludes.

Selling tips

  • As the closest home port to Alaskan waters, departing from Vancouver gives passengers more time to spend in Skagway, Ketchikan, Juneau and Glacier Bay – all highlights of the trip
  • Smaller ship operators such as Silversea call at ports that some of the larger ships sailing out of Vancouver can’t reach, such as the Chiswell Islands and Elfin Covea in Alaska
  • With opportunities to view wildlife and breathtaking scenery on land and in the ocean, tell customers to forget the inside cabin – an outside cabin with a balcony will be well worth the extra cost
  • WOW Air has announced a seasonal route from the UK starting in June 2019, becoming the first airline to offer low-cost, long-haul flights to Vancouver International Airport. Flights operate six times a week, via Reykjavik, starting at £129 one way

Excursions included

Regent Seven Seas Cruises operates a 10-night Vancouver round-trip on Seven Seas Mariner in all-suite accommodation, taking in the Inside Passage, Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, Prince Rupert, Hubbard Glacier, Ketchikan and Victoria on Vancouver Island. Unlimited shore excursions included – plus unlimited wifi, champagne and premium drinks. Prices start at £5,479pp for a 16 May 2019 departure. Rocky Mountaineer trips can be added on.

Silver service

Passengers can spot humpback whales among other wildlife on Silversea Cruises’ 10-day Vancouver round-trip on Silver Muse, 17-27 June 2019, cruising the Inside Passage, calling at Alaskan ports Ketchikan, Sitka, Haines, Juneau, Wrangel and Walker Cove, as well as Rudyerd Bay in the Misty Fjords and Prince Rupert in British Columbia. Prices start at £4,590pp, including butler service, transport into town at ports and beverages.

Sail plus rail

Princess Cruises’ 14-night Heart of the Rockies plus rail tour includes seven nights on land starting from Calgary and visiting Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Kamloops and ending in Vancouver. Passengers then join Royal Princess to sail from Vancouver to Anchorage via Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, taking in Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord. Prices start at £4,933pp for an inside stateroom and flights on 4 May 2019.

Pacific highway

Vancouver is the last port of call on Celebrity Cruises’ nine-night Pacific Coastal Cruise on board Celebrity Eclipse. It sails along the Pacific coast out of San Diego, calling at Monterey and San Francisco, Astoria in Oregon, Seattle, and then Victoria. An Oceanview state room costs £3,172pp, including flights from Heathrow and overnight accommodation in Vancouver at the end of the trip, departing 8 April 2019.

Sleepless in Seattle

Vancouver is the final port of call on a seven-day Carnival Cruise Line voyage out of Seattle, to Alaska, on 10 September 2019 on Carnival Legend. The ship departs Seattle at 4pm, leaving plenty of time to grab a flat white in the city that invented the coffee house, and to zoom to the top of the Space Needle before setting sail. Prices start at £839pp, including a $50 (equivalent to around £38.40) on-board credit per stateroom.