***UPDATED JANUARY 16, 2019
Earlier this month, Cruise ships began to arrive at the Port of Vancouver to pick up eager children and their parents for the start of its 7-night Alaskan cruises, and it got me thinking. I love to write about our exciting adventures abroad. How exhilarating it is to board a plane, travel thousands of miles away, then immerse ourselves into a different language and culture. However, a great holiday doesn’t always have to mean that. Sometimes, an amazing holiday is something much simpler.
Why you Should Cruise from Vancouver
What if you actually lived in Vancouver, British Columbia? What if you were lucky enough to be able to watch Alaskan cruises arrive into or leave from the Port of Vancouver from the comfort of your home? Better yet, what if you could take one and be transported on a fantastic journey up to Alaska with as little effort as packing your suitcase and calling a taxi?
I think that it’s important to take a moment and look around at where you live. Chances are, there are lots of great opportunities to do local travel. If you live in Vancouver, Alaskan cruises from your home port is one of them.
Of course, you don’t have to live in Vancouver to take a cruise. Vancouver is a sophisticated international city with one of the highest ranked airports in the world. It has world class hotels and restaurants, and there are dozens and dozens of things to see and do as a local or a tourist that are unique to Vancouver and Canada. Making Vancouver a travel destination, if you are not a local, would be easy and exciting!
For more information about Vancouver Airport and places that you can easily visit upon arrival, please refer to my blog Vancouver Airport: 7 Layover Ideas.
Make Sure you Head to Whistler Before or After the Cruise
One of the most exciting opportunities that you would have taking a cruise from Vancouver is visiting Whistler either before or after the cruise. Whistler is a mere 90 minute drive from Vancouver on the Sea to Sky highway, one of the most breathtaking highways in the world. Once there, you would be surrounded by mountains, glacier lakes, and internationally recognized restaurants. There are countless outdoor activities to do there, including playing on world class golf courses, zip-lining on some of the longest and highest courses in the world, and hiking and biking on miles and miles of paths.
For more information about Whistler, please refer to the following articles:
- A Whistler Summer in Canada: 10 Of My Favourite Things To Do
- 4 Whistler Summer Activities That Make You Go Wow!
For dining options:
- Whistler Restaurants: Budget Friendly Choices!
- Whistler Treats: 5 Amazing Places To Wreck Your Diet
- Fine dining in Whistler: My Four Favourites
Why Alaskan Cruises are for Everyone
There are many reasons why you should consider an Alaskan cruise. Apart from the breathtaking scenery that you will be see day after day as you cruise up to Alaska, cruises can be a ton of fun! There are lots of activities on board for both children and adults to enjoy. As you know, there is no age limit to having fun!
I have four children and we have gone on three cruises which have taken us all over Europe and parts of the Caribbean. I have many fond memories of our trips. All of my children have found friends from all over the world. They all discovered and participated in activities that they each enjoyed. They developed a greater sense of independence as they freely moved about the boat. I really appreciated the moments when my husband and I could spend time alone. Then, I appreciated the moments when our whole family came together to eat an amazing meal or talk about our day. And of course, don’t forget about the destinations! We have been able to visit some amazing places in the world. Moreover, we have witnessed some spectacular scenery from the comfort of our boat.
For more information on how to choose the best cabin on your cruise, or how to spend your time at any cruise port, please refer to these articles:
Why you Should take a Cruise from your Home Port
Here are a few reasons why you should consider taking a cruise from your home port.
You save on travel time and costs
As you may have seen in my earlier post Cruise Ship Holidays: 7 Reasons to Cruise, there are several reasons why taking a cruise is a great way to travel. It’s even better when you leave from your own home port. You remove the added cost and stress of travel to get to that port location.
If you’re cruising somewhere in the Caribbean or Europe, and you live on the west coast of North America, you have to pay for flights, transfers from the airport, accommodation and food. However, if you leave from your own city, none of that comes into play! You do not have to book or purchase flights or nights at a hotel. For any family, but most certainly a family of six, that adds up! Quite frankly, that could be the difference between being able to afford a cruise, and not.
Organizing flights and accommodation is a lot of work. It is also stressful. I love to travel. Nothing makes me happier than sitting down and figuring out where we are going to go; what flights we are going to take; and where we are going to stay. However, it is very time consuming. There are a lot of issues that need to be considered to ensure flights, accommodation and transfers are properly booked. When you leave from your home port, none of that needs to be considered. All you have to do is find your way from home to the port on the day of departure – simple, cost effective, and stress-free!
Travel to and from the port city is time consuming. You should arrive a day before your cruise departs. It is very risky to organize flights so that you arrive the morning of your cruise. If something happens to your flight, or there are delays, then you risk missing the boat. Unfortunately, they won’t wait for you! If someone is taking precious time off work, departing from your home port saves those valued vacation days for another time.
You get to be a tourist in your own town
There’s something really fun and exciting about looking at your own city through the eyes of a tourist. You get to see a brand new view of the skyline and waterfront as you cruise away. You get to meet and speak to people from all over the world. They will most likely talk to you about their experiences in your home town. Perhaps, you will learn some new things about your city, great restaurants to try, or interesting sites that you should visit.
You may also consider adding your own version of a “port excursion” before or after your trip by visiting some of the awesome local sights of which you may not normally take advantage. In Vancouver, these would be places like Granville Island, or Stanley Park, just to name a few.
For more information about how to enjoy your time at Granville Island, Stanley Park or one of the beautiful beaches in Vancouver, please refer to the following articles:
- Granville Island in Vancouver: 10 of My Favourite Things
- Stanley Park In Vancouver: 10 of My Favourite things
- My 5 Favourite Vancouver Beaches
You get to support your local economy
The cruise ship industry makes some amazing contributions to local economies, and that’s particularly true in Vancouver. Each ship that arrives in the Port of Vancouver results in almost $3 million in direct economic activity in the city! In 2016, the cruise season generated 12,000 jobs and contributed $840 million to national GDP .
Further, cruise passengers rank their experience in Vancouver as one of the best in the world. The Port of Vancouver’s cruise terminal at Canada Place won the 2016 Best Destination Experience Award from Cruise Insights Magazine.
As a top global destination, Vancouver attracts a huge range of cruise lines and passengers from around the world. The more money generated and reinvested in the local economy from tourism, the better each tourist’s experiences will be. Ultimately, this should lead to even more cruise ships departing from Vancouver, more tourists flocking to Vancouver for a holiday, and more job creation at home.
A cruise ship holiday is an amazing way to spend time with your family and visit the world. If you are lucky enough to live in a place from where cruise ships depart, then you have the added benefit of being able to see the world without the extra time and costs associated with flights, hotel and airport transfers. If you do have to fly elsewhere to go on a cruise, then let’s hope you find yourself in Vancouver one day for Alaskan cruises. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth and has a very sophisticated tourism industry. Great hotels, delicious restaurants, and fantastic shopping await!
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