Vancouver is one of the most stunning cities in the world. Whether you are visiting us for the first time or you have lived here all of your life, Vancouver has the power to awe and surprise every day with it's natural beauty.
There are hundreds of ways to explore the City of Vancouver, as there are in every city in the world. Some enjoy a hop-on hop-off bus tour to gain their bearings, some prefer a car and driver, and some prefer to explore by seaplane or helicopter. What makes our city so incredibly unique, is that we are almost entirely surrounded by water, which brings us to the most exhilarating afternoon of sightseeing I have ever had.
Sea Vancouver offers a 90 minute tour on the water, which is an afternoon I will not soon forget. I have been a resident of Vancouver since 1995, and have only now felt a real bond with the neighbourhoods as seen from the water. No boating experience has let me feel so close to the nature as this one.
Our Skipper, the very personable Dominic, was the perfect host for our group. Limited to 12 people per trip, we all got to bond in anticipation as our Skipper tried to navigate us into our bright red water suits. Visitors from Germany and Los Angeles matched us locals perfectly as we marched as a team to board the zodiac outside the Westin Bayshore Hotel by Stanley Park.
The tour started off nice and slowly, as we got to sail gently around Burrard Inlet, capturing some really beautiful views of the cruise ships and convention centre, while the many seaplanes landed on the water all around us. We really felt completely immersed in the Vancouver Harbour experience immediately. Surrounded by tankers, floatplanes, sailboats, speedboats and kayaks, our humble zodiac was right at home in the choppy waters. It is sometimes hard to gauge the sheer size of these tanker ships and cruise liners until you are in their shadow!
After an educational tour at a leisurely pace, it was time to kick it up a notch. With ample warning, our Skipper dropped a sick donut (meaning he turned us around efficiently with a mighty froth) and leapt toward the open sea. Skipping a zodiac across the open wake is something I can compare with a medium speed horseback ride. If you can adjust your springy body to the jumps, there is very minimal impact felt. Out little group was full of "whoops" and cheers in no time, which lasted for most of the afternoon. (Most ages are fine, unless your little one is shorter than 4 feet tall. Also, may not be suitable for anyone who has a sensitive back (can be choppy waters) or is pregnant.)
Anyone who is a photographer in any capacity will have a field day with the Sea Vancouver views from the water. At any pace of travel, the photo opportunities are plentiful. During the 90 minute adventure, we travelled under 3 major bridges (Lion's Gate, Burrard Street, Granville Street), which is always a fascinating angle. The views of Prospect Point as well as the city skyline are unbeatable, and your Sea Vancouver Skipper is more than flexible if there are particular shots you and your group would like to capture.
They really were thoughtful hosts, and had our memorable experience in mind the entire trip. ** Note: Your digital camera or phone will be fine in the zodiac, tucked in your wetsuit for the fast parts and safe as long as you have a wrist tie and a good grip.
Please expect to be blown away by some of Vancouver's beautiful secrets that can only be seen from the water, our favourites being:
- Float amongst the great ships in English Bay
- Wave at the Granville Island buskers and Sea Village residents
- Try to guess who owns the massive white yachts along False Creek
- Strike up a conversation with the kayaks and sailboats you meet along the way
- See how the other half lives, in the giant waterfront mansions of Point Grey
- Notice the little harbour seals peeking at you from the waves
- Feel the wind in your hair as you soak in the Vancouver sunshine
Your family and friends will love the unique thrill that comes from a Sea Vancouver Zodiac tour.
After an hour and a half on the water with our Sea Vancouver tour, we were certainly ready for a nice lunch. Luckily, the marina is surrounded by some delicious cafe's and waterfront restaurants such as Cardero's and Lift. Many choices for delicious West Coast cuisine at your fingertips.