Vancouver is an incredibly beautiful city. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, then I highly recommend doing so. With that said, departing the city in a cruise ship can either be incredibly easy or just a bit on the difficult side. The reason for this discrepancy is the fact that the city has two cruise terminals, Canada Place & Ballantyne. I recently had the opportunity to cruise out of Vancouver and have decided to help you get to whichever terminal you are departing from!
Canada Place is Vancouver’s main cruise terminal and is located just steps from the Waterfront SkyTrain station in the city’s downtown area. The terminal’s downtown location is very convenient for both sightseeing and public transport. The Canada Line (SkyTrain) departs from YVR airport and terminates at Waterfront station, just two blocks from Canada Place. The SkyTrain is very easy to find at the airport. Simply follow the signs for the SkyTrain, get on the train, sit back and in about 25 minutes you will be in Downtown Vancouver!
The other cruise terminal in town is at Ballantyne Pier which sits in an industrial area about 2 miles to the east of Canada Place. Getting to this terminal is not very easy by public transport, but it can be done. The first part of the trip is done the same exact way. Take the SkyTrain to Waterfront Station and debark. This time walk southeast along Cordova St. for one block until you reach Seymour St. At this intersection there is a bus stop on the Southeast side of the street. Take the #4 bus from this station heading east. (On the map below “A” is the SkyTrain Station, “B” is the bus stop and “C “is where the bus will drop you off.)
While the #4 bus does not take you directly to the pier, it will drop you off two blocks away at the corner of Cordova St. and Princess Ave. I highly suggest when you board the bus that you tell the driver where you are going so he can let you know when to get off. (Please note the bus fare is included with your SkyTrain ticket, so there is no additional charge for this method.) From the bus stop, you walk one block east to Heatley and make a left. From there it is two blocks straight into the pier! (See below. The “B” checkpoint marks the entrance to an elevated roadway into the pier!)
For a lot of people taking the SkyTrain is easy enough, but adding in the bus gets to be too much! While this solution is a great way to save money, it definitely is not for everyone. Taking a taxi is another option as well. Taxis can easily be found near the Waterfront Station and the fare should be between $10-15 Canadian Dollars. With the bus/walk method it takes about 15-20 minutes to reach the pier, while a taxi should take no more than 10 minutes from Canada Place.
In the end, getting to either cruise terminal in Vancouver is relatively easy. (Definitely easier than Rome!) If you are departing from Vancouver on a cruise ship, make sure you give yourself enough time to visit the city as well! If you have any questions about this post or any other, feel free to leave a comment or email me!