A cruise ship leaving the Port of Vancouver for an Alaskan cruise
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Alaskan Cruises: Why You Should Cruise from the Beautiful Port of Vancouver

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Nicole

In April, 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?    

A cruise ship departing from the Port of Vancouver heading to Alaska
A cruise ship leaving the Port of Vancouver to Alaska

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.

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One of the many breathtaking zip lines in Whistler.
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The patio at Nita Lake Lodge
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Riding the Peak to Peak Gondola in Whistler. (Photo courtesy of Whistler Tourism/Mike Crane)

For more information about Whistler, please refer to the following articles:

For dining options:

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!

taking a canoe trip excursion on Alaskan cruises from Port of Vancouver
Beautiful scenery awaits on your Alaskan Cruise from the Port of Vancouver
Beautiful scenery found on an Alaskan cruises from the Port of Vancouver
Dramatic mountains seem to grow out of the water on Alaskan cruises.

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:

Cruising:  How To Pick The Best Cruise Ship Room

Shore Excursions: 5 Ways To Escape The Cruise Ship Experience

In front of our enormous and fun filled cruise in Mexico.
Goofing around in port on our Caribbean Cruise this past winter.
Lots of fun activities are available on Alaskan cruises from Port of Vancouver
Flow Rider was one of the fun activities that was offered on our Caribbean Cruise.

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.  

Travel Costs

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.

Travel Arrangements

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 Time

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 Vancouver 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:

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Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge while in Vancouver
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The sea wall and look out point at Stanley Park

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 .  

Two cruise ships at the port of Vancouver ready for Alaskan cruises from beautiful Vancouver
Two boats prepare to depart from the Port of Vancouver for Alaskan cruises

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 an Alaskan cruise. It doesn’t take much to finish your Alaskan cruise packing list. In addition, 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!  

If you would like to save this article for future use, please click on “Save” on the photo below.

Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the North Shore mountains. There are internationally recognized hotels and restaurants that would satisfy any traveller. It also offers fantastic tourist attractions and day trips, including the breathtaking town of Whistler. In other words, it is the perfect spot to start and finish Alaskan cruises. #travel #familytravel #Vancouver #BritishColumbia #cruise #cruising

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  2. I wish there was a cruise port near my home. I would go all the time if there was. My sister lives near a cruise port in Florida and she has been on countless cruise trips. The route of the Alaskan Cruise to Alaska looks so beautiful and breathtaking. I agree that it’s a great idea to stop by Whistler. I’ve only been to Whistler during the ski season, but would like to visit during the warmer months .

    1. Your sister is SO lucky. 90% of all Caribbean cruises must leave from Florida. If you have been to Whistler in the winter then you will have already seen some of the amazing sights that you would see on an Alaskan cruise. We don’t have any icebergs but we are surrounded by snow capped mountains and ocean!

  3. I absolutely love this! I worked on cruise ships for years and my job was right in Adventure Ocean! I bet your kids remember this name 😀 Who knows maybe I even met them! I totally agree with you when you say that the kids can have fun in such multicultural environment. This is one of the reasons that make cruises so great! I was lucky enough to sail to many places but unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to do an Alaskan cruise. But this is something I want to do for sure. I’ll try the one from Vancouver so that I can visit Canada as well!

    1. You sound like you would have been very good at what you did! I bet the kids loved you. A visit to Alasksa from Vancouver would be so different from all the other cruises that you have ever done so hopefully you will find yourself here soon!

  4. I am in awe and love!! How beautiful are these places. I cannot imagine what I would do at the Nita Lake Lodge, or even across the suspension bridge. The only thing that holds me back is getting that far – I’m on the east coast so its quite a trek. Love this, thank you for sharing!

    1. The east coast is far, but with a good seat sale, sometimes not too expensive to get here. Plus, the USD dollar is worth about 30% more than the Canadian dollar so your money goes really far here. It is spectacularly beautiful here. Once you come, it is hard to live somewhere without mountains! As for the patio at the Nita Lake Lodge, the great thing is that you don’t have to do anything but put up your feet and look. It is one of the best things in the world to do!

  5. I absolutely enjoyed reading this! I have been planning to visit Alaska for some time and see some of its amazing natural beauty. Taking a cruise seems like a great option and this article was a great starting point, I’m pinning this for later.

    1. Thanks Daniel. If you can’t quite save enough money to take a cruise, just spending time in Vancouver and in Whistler, will be pretty amazing for their natural beauty and wildlife.

  6. Whistler and Vancouver are on my list of places to visit! I took my parents on a Carnival cruise once. They didn’t like it much but they said if they had to go on a cruise again, they would go on an Alaskan or Royal cruise.

    1. I think that your parents would enjoy an Alaskan Cruise and visiting Vancouver and Alaska. They are very different places to visit for a cruise and the natural beauty is unlike many places in the world. Hopefully you will get here soon!

  7. Well defined reasons to Cruise from Vancouver. We are surrounded by mountains, glacier lakes, and internationally recognized restaurants seems like a dream come true. Thank you very much for sharing!

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