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«7 night Alaska CME Cruise Vancouver, BC roundtrip Port Report Vancouver, British Columbia i Overview/Introduction Vancouver, British Columbia, is ...»

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Alaska CME Cruise

Summer 2015

7 night Alaska CME Cruise

Vancouver, BC roundtrip

Port Report

Vancouver, British Columbia i


Vancouver, British Columbia, is known as Canada's emerald jewel for its lush rain forests. On a clear day, from

downtown you can see the Strait of Georgia's blue-green waters, glacial fjords, islands, and mountains with snow

caps and dense forests. Vancouver is home to people from all over the world and has continued to draw many immigrants from China and other parts of Asia. Vancouver is relaxed and outdoorsy, yet cosmopolitan. It's also sports-minded, and Vancouver hockey fans cheer hard for their NHL Canucks. The city also boasts high-fashion boutiques, a vibrant arts scene and a fondness for health-conscious eating. The winter weather of gray skies and drizzle only emphasizes Vancouver's attractions at other times of the year.

Geography With the North Shore Mountains as a reference point, finding your way around the coastal seaport city of Vancouver is pretty easy. The core of downtown radiates outward on a grid system from the intersection of Georgia Street, which runs east-west, and Granville Street, the main north-south artery. In navigating Vancouver, it helps to know that the city proper lies on the Burrard Peninsula. It is bordered by Burrard Inlet to the north, Fraser River to the south, and the Strait of Georgia to the west. Directly across the strait sits Vancouver Island   1  Alaska CME Cruise Summer 2015 which shields the city from the Pacific Ocean. The downtown occupies a smaller peninsula formed by False Creek. Vancouver is also home to the 1,000-plus-acre Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America.

History The original inhabitants of what is now referred to as Vancouver were the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Unlike so many hunting-and-gathering peoples, these inhabitants achieved a high level of cultural complexity for a food gathering base: wild berries, game, fish, water and building materials. This system encouraged hard work, and quickly allowed for the accumulation of wealth and status. There was so much of it, in fact, that potlatches (ceremonies demonstrating great wealth) were a regular event among the Kwakiutl, Bella Coola, Haida and other tribes. George Vancouver, the British Navy captain who lent the city his name, sailed into Burrard Inlet in 1792. He called it "the most lovely country that could be imagined." Settlers didn't immediately respond to his superlatives, though. The British didn't establish a permanent fur-trading post (Fort Langley) until

1839. The area remained sparsely populated until the gold rush in 1858 enticed fortune-seekers to the Fraser River. Lumbering and millworkers were responsible for keeping Vancouver afloat. What truly established Vancouver as a city, however, was the decision 30 years later by the Canadian Pacific Railway to make Vancouver the terminus of its transcontinental route.

The first regular transcontinental train, from Montreal, arrived at a temporary terminus at Port Moody in July 1886, and service to Vancouver itself began in May 1887. Vancouver's population that year was 5,000. Six years later it reached 15,000 and by 1900 it was more than 100,000. The railroad, in turn, increased the city's importance as a seaport. Today, Vancouver is considered one of North America's finest natural deepwater harbors. Vancouver has experienced a real estate boom that began after the city hosted the 1986 World's Fair. Foreign investment, especially from Southeast Asia, has transformed the downtown area. Dozens of old buildings have been renovated or razed to make way for innovative postmodern architecture and imposing glass-and-steel skyscrapers. These days, the city has some of the highest real estate values in the country.

Vancouver is also known for its colorful history of social controversy and vice. The early to mid-1900s in the city were characterized by two organized labor strikes. Fueled largely by a series of economic recessions in the region, discrimination against Asian immigrants was also prevalent at this time, and the labor organized Asiatic Exclusion League were thought to have instigated the Vancouver riots of 1907. While Prohibition was raging in the U.S., Vancouver maintained an active liquor trade led by the infamous rum-running schooner Malahat, nicknamed the Queen of Rum Row.

Vancouver's progressive stance on social issues can most likely be traced back to its former mayor L.D. Taylor, who introduced and maintained an "open town" policy, whereby vice crimes such as prostitution, gambling and bootlegging were managed rather than criminalized. His policies did not last after his re-election defeat in 1934 (his opponent and subsequent mayor Gerry McGear ran on a staunch law and order platform), but they are not all that dissimilar to more recent social policies in Vancouver regarding drug use, harm reduction and treatment for addicts. Currently Vancouver is the only North American city to have a medically staffed safe injection facility (known as InSite), and the city is also home to several controversial but effective opiate maintenance programs and research trials.

  2  Alaska CME Cruise Summer 2015 Port Information/Location If you happen to be one of the many travelers arriving to Vancouver by cruise ship each year, you will dock at one of Port Metro Vancouver's two cruise terminals—both regularly receive praise for luggage handling, customer service and visitor ease. If your ship docks at Canada Place, at the foot of Hornby Street, you may think those five white sails are flying over one of the many ships in Vancouver's harbor. It would be an honest mistake. From its mast down, the main cruise-ship terminal resembles a seagoing vessel. Just 1 mi/2 km east of Canada Place, at historic Ballantyne Pier, is the city's second cruise terminal. In all, there are berths for five ships.

Annually, that means about 200 ships and more than 660,000 passengers, figures that have increased significantly in recent years, as Port Metro Vancouver now offers the most ship and departure date options in Canada. The Canada Place complex has a five-star hotel, shops, restaurants, a spa, secure underground parking and rental car agencies. The Ballantyne terminal is geared primarily for processing passengers. Canada Place is downtown, and Ballantyne is a short taxi ride from the city center. Although the walk between the two cruise terminals is doable, we don't recommend it: The neighborhoods in between are potentially unsafe, and the route is not pedestrian friendly. The port offers a complimentary shuttle service between the terminals for passengers.

There is no tourist information booth at either terminal—just a rack of brochures and maps. But the city's main tourist office is just one block west of Canada Place on Burrard Street. As the passenger processing and customs terminal, Ballantyne also offers many other amenities such as food and drink concessions, wheelchair and scooter rental, shuttle and bus service access, baggage carts, parking, and taxis. Tourists arriving by ferry from Vancouver Island or the gulf islands can expect to dock at Tsawwassen (pronounced ta-was-sen), about a 30-minute drive from the city. For ferry information and schedules, visit http://www.bcferries.com.

Potpourri Stanley Park is the largest urban park in North America, spanning just a little more than 1,000 acres/400 hectares (New York's Central Park is 843 acres/341 hectares). The black squirrels in Stanley Park are descendants of the eight pairs presented to Vancouver in 1909 by New York City. Vancouver has radio stations that broadcast in Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi, a reflection of the city's multicultural nature. Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park was Canada's first civic arboretum. It contains specimens of all the trees native to Canada and is located on Vancouver's highest point—501 ft/152 m above sea level. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is Vancouver's oldest (dating from 1889) and most famous visitor attraction. Vancouver has the largest gay and lesbian population in western Canada. Peter Road (off Lynn Valley Road) North Vancouver, BC Phone: 604-990-3755.

http://lynncanyon.ca Singer-poet Joni Mitchell lives in West Vancouver. Other well-known Vancouverites include singer Sarah McLachlan, singer and photographer Bryan Adams, Generation X author and artist Douglas Coupland, and actor Michael J. Fox. Greenpeace, which started in Vancouver, is known around the world for its environmental movement. Vancouver is second only to Los Angeles in North American television production and ranks third for feature film production. Entertainment studios such as Paramount and Lions Gate have outposts there, and the city often plays host to A-List celebrities. Measuring the size of nearly three Olympic size swimming pools, Vancouver's Kitsilano salt water pool easily holds the title of Canada's largest pool. The outdoor pool boasts a year-round temperature of 77 F/25 C, making it hospitable even in the most inclement of weather. In 1968 the Canada Council awarded a Can$3,500 grant to Vancouver resident Joachim Foikis in order for him to "revive the ancient and time-honored tradition of town fool." Foikis was known for dressing in a traditional jester's costume and attending city council meetings, where he would interject with witty jokes and even nursery rhymes, a performance that brought much laughter (and international attention) to the city.

  3  Alaska CME Cruise Summer 2015 See & Do/ Sightseeing Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a cultural buff or a parent seeking family fun, you'll find plenty to do in Vancouver come rain or shine. More than 8 million visitors go there every year. Consider beginning your adventure by taking the glass elevators to the top of Harbour Centre (also known as Vancouver Lookout).

From there you can get your bearings—and a breathtaking view of the city at your feet. Just north of downtown is Vancouver's prized possession: Stanley Park, a last vestige of semi wilderness with more than 1,000 acres/400 hectares of woodlands, trails and gardens. Within the park you'll find one of North America's biggest and best public aquariums. On the opposite side of downtown is Granville Island, now a tourist attraction rivaling Stanley Park. Explore the wonderful covered public market, artisan shops, artists' studios and restaurants. The Vancouver Art Gallery, located in the center of downtown, features noted Canadian works, as well as top-notch traveling exhibits. Telus World of Science, housed in a geodesic dome, offers hands-on exhibits to entertain children. The Museum of Anthropology on the University of British Columbia campus is the largest teaching museum in Canada.

It houses 35,000 ethnographic and 535,000 archaeological objects, including many First Nations artifacts such as totem poles, carved boxes and feast dishes. Because Vancouver is a gateway to Asia, be sure to roam the crowded sidewalks of Chinatown and stroll through the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Visit neighboring Gastown and its restored Victorian era buildings—though it can seem a bit touristy. Before you leave Vancouver, make the trip across the Burrard Inlet to the North Shore and one of the city's most popular attractions, the Capilano Suspension Bridge. You can drive over the Lions Gate Bridge or scoot across the harbor via Sea-Bus to Lonsdale Quay and pick up a taxi or bus from there.

Parks & Gardens

Lynn Canyon Park This year-round park features an impressive suspension bridge (no charge) over a steep-sided canyon with a 90ft/28-m waterfall. The 628-acre/254-hectare district-run wilderness has miles/kilometers of trails and an ecology center suitable for kids. In summer, an unofficial swimming hole is popular. Open daily in summer 10 am-5 pm; in other months open Monday-Friday 10 am-5 pm; Saturday, Sunday and holidays noon-4 pm. 578 Carrall St.

Vancouver, BC V6B 5K2 Phone: 604-662-3207 http://www.vancouverchinesegarden.com Vancouver, BC Phone: 604-681-6728 http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/stanley 33rd Avenue (at Cambie Street; south of downtown) Vancouver, BC Phone: 604-873-7000 http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/queenelizabeth Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden When you cross the threshold from Vancouver's bustling Chinatown into the intimate setting of this garden, such extraordinary details as carved lattice windows and moon-shaped doorways entice you to linger. Each architectural and natural element was selected for visual and symbolic value. It's one of the few classical Chinese gardens outside mainland China. The admission price includes tea and a 60-minute guided tour. Daily May to mid-June 10 am-6 pm, mid-June to August 9:30 am-7 pm, September 10 am-6 pm, October-April 10 am-4:30 pm (closed Monday during the winter). Can$14 adults, Can$11 seniors, free for children younger than 5.

Queen Elizabeth Park and Bloedel Conservatory Considered Vancouver's horticultural jewel and the second most visited park in the city, this area features a double attraction: a sunken garden with a small waterfall in a former rock quarry, and the Bloedel Floral Conservatory, a greenhouse filled with tropical plants and birds that sits on a hill within the park. Bloedel Conservatory open in

–  –  –

summer Monday-Friday 9 am-8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am-9 pm; in winter daily 10 am-5 pm.

Can$5 adults. Parking Can$3 hourly or Can$8 for the day.

Stanley Park This park is a cornerstone of Vancouver and is most famous for its 5.5-mi/8.8-km seawall. It is a great place to stroll, jog, skate, bicycle or people-watch, and you can enjoy views of the sea, mountains and city. You can also try out the 8 mi/13 km of marked, easy- to medium-difficulty nature trails that crisscross the park. Free trail maps are available at the information booth near the Coal Harbour parking lot off West Georgia Street, just inside the park.

The park, about 1,000 acres/400 hectares in size, features a miniature railway, petting zoo, totem poles, a water park, swimming pool, demonstration salmon stream, four restaurants and the Vancouver Aquarium. You can also take a horse-drawn-carriage tour of Stanley Park; they leave throughout the day from the information booth inside the park on Coal Harbour. The park is open 24 hours. Entrance to the park is free. Individual attractions often have fees. There is a small fee for parking.

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