Vancouver Cruise Ship Season in 2017

People Looking at Cruise Ship

According to Port Vancouver, in the past 30 years over 17.5 MILLION passengers have embarked and disembarked at the Canada Place cruise ship terminal. Just last year alone 228 cruise ships and 826820 passengers came through Vancouver, a modest 3% increase from 2015!

And while some look to the cherry blossoms as the first sign of Spring in Vancouver, others look to the arrival of the first cruise ship as an indication of warmer temperatures & good weather. Thankfully, we haven’t much longer to wait for either.

The first ship to call into Vancouver for the 2017 cruise ship season will be the Star Princess, arriving on April 11 from Los Angeles before departing the same day on a 10-day round-trip California cruise. She’ll also take the honour of being the “second” ship in port, returning on April 21 before heading off to the Hawaiian Islands on a 15-night round-trip.

Star Princess
Courtesy of Rick Schwartz

And because the Star Princess must really like Vancouver, she’ll also be the ship of the season on December 16. That’s right, we’ll have cruise ships coming and going until the middle of December. How crazy is that?

So what else should you know about cruise ships in Vancouver?
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Secrets of the Northwest Territories

When you think travel, what destination is the top of mind? I’m going to guess, but it probably wasn’t the Northwest Territories.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th and to help reveal more of the Northwest Territories, NWT Tourism is giving away 150 round-trip tickets on Air Canada to Yellowknife (departing from any of Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver.)

bursting down

Some of them are big secrets, like the fact that the Northwest Territories is the best place in the world to view the spectacular Aurora Borealis. Or that we have one of the most amazing waterfalls in Canada, almost twice the height of Niagara. We’ll also share smaller secrets, tucked away in every corner of this vast territory. – Spectacular Northwest Territories

And of those 150 trips, 5 of them will be “super prizes” where you receive “airline travel to the Northwest Territories for two people, local transportation, hotel accommodation and a sampling of activities in one of our five tourism regions.”

While I have been up to Whitehorse in the neighbouring Yukon Territory, I’d love to add the Northwest Territories to my travel map. Sure, I’m not entirely sold on winters up that way being from the “tropical” part of Canada, but as an aviation buff I’d be lying if I didn’t want to check out Buffalo Airways if given the chance.


5 Tips for the Nervous Flyer

Man in Aisle Seat

I make no secret my fear of heights. Acrophobia is what it’s called. The higher I am, the more nervous and anxious I become. And if I can see how high in the sky I am, it gets pretty rough. So as you can imagine, flying from destination to destination is quite the trip for me.

I don’t think I was always this way. I have no memories as a child or teenager having any issue in a plane. In fact, I was pretty darn stoked to fly long distance because it meant a longer visit in a massive metal tube that somehow uses science to do something that mere mortals cannot do on their own. Yet here I am approaching my mid-aged years fearing my very being every time I set foot on a plane.

So how do I deal with it?
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Cab Driver’s Karmic Reward

Royal Caribbean International

Did you hear the story of the cab driver who found a lost backpack in the back of his car filled with over $187,000 in cold hard cash?

As reported by the Boston Globe, Raymond “Buzzy” MacCausland, a cab driver in Boston, returned the cash to the rightful owner through the police and received a reward of $100 for his good deed.

So what does this have to do with travel?

Allure of the Seas & Navigator of the Seas
Courtesy of Dixon Tam

Once Royal Caribbean caught wind of this honest effort from MacCausland, they kicked his reward up a notch by providing him a “Ticket to Adventure” and gave him a free seven-night Caribbean cruise:

The unexpected honesty and integrity MacCausland demonstrated is what made Royal Caribbean want to reward his good deed. If he accepts the offer, the cab driver and his guest will have the adventure of a lifetime onboard their choice of Oasis of the Seas or Allure of the Seas, ships that each feature seven neighborhoods and 16 decks packed with activity, from a zip line and surf simulators to more than 20 dynamic options for dining. MacCausland and his guest will have the chance to visit destinations in Mexico, Jamaica, The Bahamas, St. Thomas and more.

In addition to the cruise, Royal Caribbean will provide round-trip airfare for two, plus VIP onboard amenities including complimentary VOOM, the fastest internet at sea. It’s a Royal reward for a noble act of kindness.
Royal Caribbean Connect

Definitely a solid gesture from Royal Caribbean (and good PR to boot).

So next time you find a bag full of cash, remember karma is always the best reward!

Pacific Coastal Cruise on Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean International

Having caught the cruise bug, our next sail is a 7 Night Pacific Coastal Cruise on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas in September.

Sailing out of Seattle on September 16, 2016, our boat will take us down to San Francisco (where we get to overnight) with a stop in Astoria and then back up to Seattle through Victoria.

Explorer of the Seas, Fremantle, 2015 (03)

With my parents in tow, we’re looking at this trip as being a chance to see more of the west coast, while still having the opportunity to kick back and chill for a week.
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