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Exploring Vancouver Cruise Terminal and Gas Town

Vancouver (Alaska Pre Cruise) . 2012 . September 14

This post is part of our Alaska Pre and Post Cruise Report and follow-up of our popular Alaska cruise series. Do check out our Alaska Cruise story too if this is your first time here! :)

After exploring Vancouver Chinatown for an afternoon followed by a fabulous dim sum high tea at New Town Bakery and Restaurant, we took the skytrain back to Waterfront Station to familiarise ourselves with the areas around the Cruise Terminal before boarding our Alaska cruise the next day.

Exploring Vancouver Cruise Terminal

The Vancouver Cruise Terminal is managed by Port Metro Vancouver. If you are staying at downtown area like we did at Days Inn Vancouver Downtown, it is just within walking distance from the hotel.

We found this interesting information sign at the pedestraian boulevard near the cruise terminal.

According to the Port Metro Vancouver website, more than 820,000 passengers are expected to pass through the Port’s two cruise terminals, Canada Place and Ballantyne in 2013. It is common to see a few cruise ships parked at the bay during any one day. While we were there, we saw two as well, namely the Celebrity Millenium and Royal Carribbean Rasphody of the Seas.

Rhapsody of the Seas from Royal Carribbean.

We had a great time strolling along the spacious boulevard, admiring the balconies of the cruise ships and began counting down the hours to the time we will be entering our balcony cabin the next day.

We quite like this photo that we took of the great view in between the two ships. What do you think? :)

You can spend some time walking around to admire the great views around the terminal. If you prefer to sit down, there are cafes and other eaterys along the waterfront where you can enjoy your food and drinks while you enjoy the scenery.

There are parking bays along the waterfront area for float planes.

If you have some time to spare, the waterfront area is also a good place to watch the float plane landing on the water. We saw a couple of plane landings during our short stay there.

There is a free shuttle at the Cruise Terminal to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver. You can walk along the suspension bridge, the cliff walk and go on a tree top adcenture.   Tickets are priced at CAD $34.95 per adult and can be bought online. A pity we are short of time and would not be able to go to the park.

After a long day of walking, it was time to get some drinks to replenish our thirst. We settled on Jugo Juice, which was an excellent choice for some fruity smoothies.

We ordered Mango Magic and it was simply refreshing! Do give Jugo Juice a try if you visit Vancouver next time.

Visiting Historical Gas Town

Gastown is a national historic site in Vancouver near the waterfront which was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2009.

Gastown was named after "Gassy" Jack Deighton, a Yorkshire seaman, steamboat captain and barkeep who arrived in 1867 to open the area's first saloon.

In the early days, department stores such as Spencer's, Hudson's Bay Company warehouse, Woodward's, Fairbanks Morse, Army and Navy stores, and food retailers Malkins and Kelly Douglas traded and were based there. Today, Gastown is a mix of "hip" contemporary fashion and interior furnishing boutiques with souvenir shops, restaurants, nightclubs, poverty and newly upscale housing.

One of Gastown's most famous landmark is the steam-powered clock on the corner of Cambie and Water Street. Built to cover a steam grate, part of Vancouver's distributed steam-heating system, the clock was built as a way to harness the steam and to prevent street people from sleeping on the spot in cold weather. The steam also powers the clock's sound production as whistles are used instead of bells to produce the Westminster "chime" and to signal the time.

We love these flowers on the road lamps....

and we love this building even more! Doesn't it remind you of the Flatron Building in New York?

Similarly built on a triangular lot, this six-storey building is Hotel Europe, which is located at 43 Powell Street (at Alexander) in Gastown. The building was commissioned by hotelier Angelo Calori and built in 1908-1909 by Parr and Fee Architects with its design in the flatiron style.

Flatron Building in New York. Do they look alike?

Flatron Building, New York (Credits:
We stepped into Hudson House Trading Company as we were attracted by beautiful souvenirs and maple leave items in the shop.


Maple Leave themed Products...chocolates, syrup and even butter!

 How about some moose dropping chocolates, or maple tea?

There are lots of souvenirs in the shop including these...

It was soon dinner time and we were glad to find one of our favourites - A & W! There are no more A & W Restaurants in Singapore and the last time we ate it was probably our trip to Kuala Lumpur.

Do stay tuned as we bring you our morning visit to Granville Public Market before our embarkation on the Alaska cruise!

This post is part of our Alaska Pre and Post Cruise Report and follow-up of our popular Alaska cruise series. Do check out our Alaska Cruise story too if this is your first time here! :)

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