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Best things to do in Vancouver with Princess Cruises – from whale watching to ziplining

Author: Lucy Abbott

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Princess Cruises brings you to Vancouver, a city of immeasurable natural beauty. Discover why cruisers are drawn to Vancouver year after year with the ultimate rundown of must-do activities.

Vancouver is arguably one of the most intriguing ports of call due to the sheer variety of things to do and see - everything from countless wildlife sightings to wandering around Vancouver’s bustling Chinatown.

Travelling to this hotspot is best done with Princess Cruises, who not only bring you to Vancouver in style but also give you the option to extend your stay for longer at the beginning or end of your cruise.

You’ll have plenty of time to explore and appreciate the uniqueness of Vancouver thanks to Princess Cruises – whether you choose to embrace nature with a visit to Stanley Park or learn more about the city’s extended culture by exploring Chinatown.

What’s more, you can absorb countless facts on your extended trip - did you know that people who live in Vancouver are known as Vancouverites? So, become a true Vancouverite and delve into this city headfirst.

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Whale watching in Vancouver

From March to October, thousands of whales create a spectacle by migrating across the water near Vancouver – so it comes as no surprise that Vancouver is one of the best locations in the world for whale watching.

Pods of orcas, also known less favourably as killer whales, actually live in Vancouver, with 80 in the north and 220 in the south, so don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for these stunning creatures.

- READ MORE: 5 of the best adventure cruise excursions with Princess Cruises -

Plenty of whales also migrate through Vancouver's waters including humpbacks, grey whales and minke whales – look out for the humpback’s dark body and white belly.

Also, see if you can spot other marine mammals such as sea lions, porpoises and river otters, all of which are common sightings in Vancouver.

There are plenty of ways you can go whale watching, whether you opt to go with Prince of Whales or Vancouver Whale Watch, you are almost guaranteed to see these majestic creatures.

Keep your eyes peeled for any fascinating sea lions in Vancouver with Princess Cruises. Credit: Shutterstock

Capilano Suspension Bridge & Park

Originally built in 1889, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of the must-see attractions in Vancouver, with the name Capilano coming from the indigenous name meaning ‘beautiful river’.

This bridge is not only impressive in length at 137 metres, but it also possesses an extensive and interesting history.

The suspension bridge was built by Scottish civil engineer George Grant Mackay, who purchased the land and built a cabin and footbridge made up of (the not so sturdy) hemp rope and cedar planks.

Luckily, the bridge was rebuilt twice, the first time in 1903 with a wire cable bridge and which was reinforced in 1914 and the final time in 1953, when the bridge was completely rebuilt in five days in 1956.

Even if you don’t choose to stay in Vancouver for longer, you can still cross this exciting bridge by embarking on the ‘Northwest Exploration & Suspension Bridge Tour’ with Princess Cruises to explore the bridge as well as the wilderness park beyond.

Admire the unrivalled views from the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Credit: Shutterstock

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Stanley Park

A 27km of forest trail, stunning beaches and even a mini rail line make up Stanley Park – imagine the perfect day out wrapped up neatly in the form of a mega-park.

Stanley Park attracts around eight million visitors a year for good reason, there are countless beach spots lining the park, with two available to swim in.

- READ MORE: Why now is the time to set sail with Princess Cruises -

If you don’t fancy getting sand in places that you never thought sand could get in, then never fear – the heated outdoor pool with pretty views of English Bay is here.

There are also two sizable lakes to enjoy – Beaver Lake and Lost Lagoon. Both feature plenty of wildlife like graceful swans, adding to the serene atmosphere.

Keen gardeners will enjoy the staggering 4,500 plants around Stanley Park Pitch & Putt golf course as well as the rhododendron garden of well-known floral enthusiasts, Ted and Mary Greig. Smell the gorgeous waft of delicate rose in Stanley Park too by visiting Stanley Park Rose Garden which houses more than 3,500 rose bushes.

Spend hours wandering around the stunning Stanley Park Rose Garden. Credit: Shutterstock

Chinatown, Vancouver

No, you haven’t stumbled into a completely different country – Chinatown in Vancouver is a cultural neighbourhood that was created over a hundred years ago, housing talented chefs, artists and entrepreneurs.

Sounds good right? History lovers can admire the characterful buildings which housed Chinese pioneers between 1886 and 1920 and avid foodies should visit one of the countless Chinese bakeries or milk tea spots.

More historical hotspots include West Pender Street, which is the world’s narrowest building at only six feet wide as well as the Century’s Winds of Change Mural that depicts the history of the Chinese in Canada across 100 years.

Ensure you drop into one or two (or three or four…) of the 350 plus unique shops that line the neighbourhood.

Pick up some Chinese herbs for countless medicinal benefits or pick up a truly unique souvenir to bring home from your travels – the best part is that Princess Cruises offers roundtrip Alaska sailings from Vancouver, visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and more, so you have not one, but two opportunities to explore.

Feel as if you have stepped into China in Vancouver's Chinatown. Credit: Shutterstock

Grouse Mountain

A thrill-seekers paradise, Grouse Mountain provides plenty of things to do and see.

The mountain itself features the Grouse Grind trail that takes you through the steep climb to the impressive Grouse Mountain peak and rewards you with the ultimate view of Vancouver – it’s worth it.

Alternatively, if the sound of a steep hike scares you (hey - we aren’t judging), then you can get the views without the sweat by hopping on the Grouse Mountain Skyride.

- READ MORE: Weird & wonderful skills to learn on a cruise with Princess Cruises -

The mountain zipline tours reach speeds of 80km/hr and opens in June – a once-in-a-lifetime experience for unrivalled views of Vancouver.

For a different type of adrenaline rush, opt for the Wildlife Refuge, where you can see the resident grizzly bears Grinder and Coola.

Again, Princess Cruises has your back with a handy excursion ‘Stanley Park & Scenic Grouse Mountain’ which brings you to both must-see attractions.

So, if adventure is your middle name, then Princess Cruises Alaska cruise, a roundtrip from – you guessed it – Vancouver, is the perfect cruise – could you think of a better start and end?

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