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Entries about vancouver

Vancouver to Calgary

Rocky Mountaineer Photo Album

The photo album of this fantastic adventure is up and running. It is hard to capture in pictures the magnificence of the Canadian Rockies.

I recommend that you review the album first to see the captions and itinerary and then do the slide show to view the beauty

Click Rocky Mountaineer Photo Album

Posted by rpickett 21:32 Archived in Canada Tagged calgary vancouver to rocky mountaineer Comments (0)

Vancouver to Calgary

Rocky Mountaineer

sunny 66 °F

Can you believe it? After 18 months (March 4, 2020) I am fully vaccinated awaiting the booster and am traveling again!

This trip has been on my bucket list for a long time - the Gold Leaf Service on the Rocky Mountaineer train tour from Vancouver to Calgary. This trip is rated one of the top 10 train trips in the world, and by some raters, the number 1.

The entry in to Canada was cumbersome but smooth. A PCR covid test within 72 hours of entering, downloading and filling out the ArriveCan travel app, which contains numerous questions, and then showing everything to the boarding agent prior to boarding the last flight connection to Canada, and then again to the customs agent in Vancouver.

Once through, our limo driver (part of the tour) was waiting for us and we spent the night at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, across the street from Canada Place Cruise Terminal.

Because of the very strict COVID policies in Canada, no cruise ships will have departed Canada Place in 2 years. This has been a killer for the businesses around the waterfront. In fact, the Waterfront Hotel closed for 5 months at the start of the pandemic. The Canadian Government says that large cruise ships can start visiting again in November, meaning the 2022 cruise season.

The Alaska congressional delegation got a reprieve from the Jones Act for this year, so that cruises could sail round trip from Seattle to Alaska without stopping in Canada. There is a current proposal by the Alaska Delegation to make this a permanent exception, so that the businesses in Southeast Alaska will not be dependent on the Canadian Government. I have to say, it's strange not seeing cruise ships at Canada Place, having sailed out of here at least 4 times


Posted by rpickett 00:04 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver Comments (1)

North to Alaska - Crystal Symphony


sunny 71 °F

After a very smooth and efficient debarkation from the ship, we took the transfer to the Vancouver airport. As a result of an airline schedule change I chose to spend the night at the Airport Fairmont Hotel rather than take the dreaded red-eye. The Fairmont has a package that offers a 10:00am check in which worked perfectly. After reorganizing some luggage for the flight home tomorrow, I decided to take Canada Rail Skytrain back in from the airport to the waterfront and do a Hop-on, Hop-off tour of Stanley Park and the city of Vancouver. I have done Hop-on, Hop-off in several cities and it is a very efficient way to see the main sights of any given city. After the tour, it was back on the Skytrain to the hotel to get ready for an early morning flight.


Posted by rpickett 17:23 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver Comments (0)

North to Alaska - Crystal Symphony


rain 65 °F

We woke up early today after a superb dinner at the Five Sails Restaurant in the hotel. it is rated in the top 12 restaurants in the city. The weather is cloudy and we expect light rain this afternoon. Typical for the Pacific northwest.

After a leisurely morning, we boarded the ship at about 12:30pm. The rest of the day was spent unpacking, resting and wandering around. As predicted, it rained!


Posted by rpickett 16:23 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver Comments (0)

North to Alaska - Crystal Symphony


semi-overcast 72 °F

Today's project was flying from Charleston to Vancouver BC for the start of our 10 night Alaska cruise aboard Crystal Symphony. We spent the night at the Pan Pacific Hotel, which is situated directly above the cruise terminal. In addition the hotel offer a complimentary service to take your checked bags directly to the ship, so you don't have a lug them downstairs to the terminal.

The flights were all early, which is nice, and we say a huge Russian transport plane in Seattle. The US does not have enough heavy lift aircraft to satisfy the demand, so companies often charter Russian planes for the task.

As always, flying in the Pacific northwest is very scenic, even on a partly cloudy day.


Posted by rpickett 11:21 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver Comments (0)

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