In May of 2016 we were fortunate to be able to take a trip that we had always wanted to take, an Alaska cruise. We selected Holland America for the cruise line and opted to extend the cruise with a couple days in Denali.
The cruise departed from Vancouver, British Columbia. We flew in the night before the cruise began so we could have a little time exploring the city. We didn’t have a lot of time but we made the most of it.
We’re big into finding good restaurants to enjoy and we’d done a little research in advance. We had dinner in Chinatown at Bao Bei, a modern Chinese restaurant a block or so from the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Garden. We arrived at 10pm and the place was packed. We sat at the bar, which had the benefit that we could watch the bartenders show their skills with a shaker. The food was good, the drinks were good and, despite a long and trying day, we enjoyed our time there.
I’m not sure what was going on, but Chinatown and downtown Vancouver were packed that night. There were lines of limousines cruising the roads and literally thousands of young people dressed to the nines filling the sidewalks. My guess is that it was prom night, but it gave Vancouver a young and vibrant feel.
The next morning, Sunday, we had a few hours before we had to be at Canada Place to begin our cruise. We found a great little restaurant in the shadow of the hotel called Scoozis. We were the first customers through the door that morning and we were greeted by the very friendly owner. We had one of the best breakfasts we’ve ever had, a deep dish casserole breakfast that was absolutely wonderful. If you have the opportunity I highly recommend breakfast at Scoozis.
Vancouver is a beautiful town, with a mix of ultramodern, art deco and classical European style architecture. It also has a lot of green space, including the world famous Stanley Park. One of the architectural highlights of Vancouver is the art deco Marine Building, a skyscraper opened in 1930. Although it is now dwarfed by the surrounding more modern towers, it was Vancouver’s tallest building until 1939.
As I said, there are a lot of green spaces in Vancouver. This little park was just a couple blocks from our hotel.
Another architectural highlight is the beautiful Canada Place, the place where all cruises start or end. A fabric roofs resembling sails covers the structure. It’s quite a sight.
It took a few hours to work our way through the embarkation process and to get settled in our room. Once we were on board and settled we grabbed a drink and headed for the deck to enjoy the cruise out of Vancouver. We said goodbye to Canada Place and began our journey.
The sun came out for a minute as we passed the Point Atkinson Lighthouse, marking the Burrard Inlet. Once we passed under the Lions Gate Bridge, we were officially in the Inside Passage and on our way.