As history buffs and sea lovers, one of our favorite spots in the city is the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Because of all the hands-on activities and larger than life displays, this place has never felt like an ordinary museum.
From historical ships to modern ones, the museum lets you see and experience the importance of the area’s maritime history and how it paved the way to current day vessels.
So, if you’re fellow adventurers, come with us as we sail into the sea of things to do and learn at the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
- Charting a Course into the History of the Vancouver Maritime Museum
- Things to Do at the Vancouver Maritime Museum
- Things to Remember Before Going to the Vancouver Maritime Museum
- How to Get to Vancouver Maritime Museum
- The Best Time to Go to Vancouver Maritime Museum
- Places to Eat Near the Vancouver Maritime Museum
- Places to Stay Near the Vancouver Maritime Museum
Charting a Course into the History of the Vancouver Maritime Museum
The Vancouver Maritime Museum is located in Vanier Park’s waterfront and focuses on Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and the Canadian Arctics’ maritime history.
Because of its unique location, exhibitions, and programs, the museum allows visitors to learn about maritime history and culture in an interactive way.
The St. Roch, a 1920s Royal Canadian Mounted Police ship was the catalyst that kickstarted the journey of the museum. It served its purpose as a floating police ship, but also played a pivotal role in law enforcement, transportation, and weather monitoring.
In an unexpected turn of events in 1940, it was used to navigate the Northwest Passage, becoming the second vessel to do so. It was then preserved and showcased in what now is the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
Today, the museum has become a repository for historical archives and provides public access to important artifacts.
As a registered charity affiliated with CMA, CHIN, and the Virtual Museum of Canada, it also serves as a platform for diverse voices, fostering connection, community, and a shared sense of belonging.
Address: 1905 Ogden Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1A3, Canada
Phone Number: +1 604 257 8300
- Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm
- Monday: Closed
Things to Do at the Vancouver Maritime Museum
Explore the St. Roch National Historic Site
The Vancouver Maritime Museum is home to the St. Roch which is a preserved Royal Canadian Police Ship first launched in 1928. The ship has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada because of its achievements in maritime history.
It was the first to sail through the Northwest Passage from west to east and to complete the trip in one season. The ship was also the very first to circumnavigate North America.
The St. Roch is open for self-guided tours between 10:45 am and 4:30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday where you can freely explore the inside.
Steeped in Arctic exploration history, this vessel invites you to step back in time and immerse yourself in the same environment that once housed the crew and explorers of the early 20th century.
Instead of windows, there are five screensplaying CGI footage of what the ship’s captain might have seen. It immerses you further by letting you choose between 2 paths to take the ship in.
The simulation is not just a visual treat. It also captures the sounds and sights of Canada’s Arctic, complete with wildlife encounters with native animals from walrus and narwhals to polar bears.
You can even steer the ship with a “captain’s wheel” that turns in sync with the visuals. The resistance is even simulated to be at twice the speed of the actual St. Roch, which is 8 knots.
Stroll Along Heritage Harbour
Heritage Harbour is an open-air exhibit within the Vancouver Maritime Museum that showcases a curated collection of vintage wooden vessels.
Each one of the 17 vessels that call the harbor home has its own compelling narrative rooted in the maritime legacy of the Pacific Northwest and the Canadian Arctic.
Open to the public daily, you can stroll along the shores of Vanier Park, and learn about each one. There are signs near each vessel with tons of useful and interesting information.
Visit the Outdoor Exhibits
Aside from the vessels at Heritage Harbor, the Vancouver Maritime Museum also has a bunch of outdoor exhibits scattered around the location. The artifacts and treasures are either too big or too delicate to be moved indoors.
There are relics from the explorations done in the Pacific Coast like vessel parts collected from shipwrecks, anchors, and a sandstone column from the Zephyr ship that met its end over a hundred years ago.
There is also the boiler from the Beaver, an iconic steamship which was the first of its kind to set sail on the Pacific Northwest coast.
The star of the outdoor collection is Ben Franklin, a submarine, previously used by NASA as part of a study into human interactions. The Ben Franklin is the largest mesoscaphe, medium depth submarine for oceanographic studies.
Have Fun at the Children’s Gallery
For the young and young at heart, the Children’s Gallery at the Vancouver Maritime Museum is a vibrant maritime playground.
You can dive into a world of fun interactive exhibits about Vancouver’s waterfront, the city’s port, and natural aquatic habitats.
You can walk through a miniature recreation of Canada’s largest port, and gain insights into the diverse ships that pass through everyday. There are even kid-sized cranes and ship loaders for you to operate.
The children can learn about different roles on boats through an interactive 2D layout that they can walk around in. For a more hands-on experience, they can dress up in marine animal costumes and learn about marine plants and animals
Other permanent attractions include:
- Across the Top of the World – A chronicle of the search for a route through the Canadian Arctic
- Fireboats – A retelling of how a tragic fire led to establishment of fire boats
- Lighthouses and Shipwrecks – A history of shipwrecks that lead to the building of lighthouses and other maritime safety protocols
- Tugboats – An introduction to tugboats and their importance
Things to Remember Before Going to the Vancouver Maritime Museum
You can only book tickets for your visit to the Vancouver Maritime Museum through their website. There is no ticketing booth on site, so there are no walk-ins.
- CA $ 13.13 for Senior Citizens and Students
- CA $ 15.75 for Adults
- CA $ 47.25 for a family of 4 (with 2 Parents and 2 Children)
- CA $ 13.13 for children ages 5 to 17
- Free entry for kids under the age of 5
After paying for your ticket, you can opt to print it out or bring the e-copy with you to be presented near the entrance on the day of your visit.
If you know you’re going to be a frequent visitor, we highly suggest signing up for their membership for $47.25 which grants you unlimited access to the museums, libraries, gift shop discounts and 2 additional guest passes.
Check their website regularly to stay current on their rotating exhibits and events
Dress for the weather – exhibits are located both indoors and outdoors, so layer up! You may also want to bring an umbrella or sunglasses.
How to Get to Vancouver Maritime Museum
Since the Vancouver Maritime Museum is a waterfront location, it’s easily accessible via the False Creek Ferries. Riding the ferries is extra convenient if you want to avoid heavy traffic especially during the weekends*. There’s a dock that’s just 1 minute from the location.
If you’d rather travel by land, you can take the Bus Line 2 from downtown which will take around 15 minutes. You can get off at WB Cornwall Ave @ Cypress Stop. Once you get off the end of the street, there’s a path that goes through Vanier Park to the museum.
The most convenient way to get to the Vancouver Maritime Museum is by car from any part of the city. Just make your way to the Burrard Street Bridge or the Granville Bridge. Both will take you towards the location.
You’ll find their parking lot off of Ogden Avenue. It cost $9.50 for 2 hours of parking. There are other lots available near Vanier Park.
The Best Time to Go to Vancouver Maritime Museum
The best time to go to the Vancouver Maritime Museum is during the early mornings on a weekday between November to February. Visiting during these times lets you avoid the rainy season and the crowds on the weekends and in the afternoon. *
Since some of the exhibits are outdoors, it’s best to check the weather before scheduling a visit to make sure you maximize your trip there.
Places to Eat Near the Vancouver Maritime Museum
LOCAL Public Eatery Kitsilano
Address: 2210 Cornwall Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1B5, Canada
Phone Number: +1 604 734 3589
- Monday to Wednesday from 11 am to 12 am
- Thursday from 11 am to 1 am
- Friday from 11 am to 2 am
- Sunday from 10 am to 12 am
You’ve wrapped up your maritime exploration at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and now the stomach is calling for attention. We suggest you head to LOCAL Public Eatery Kitsilano, a relaxed sports bar with a menu that focuses on Cali beach inspired dishes.
Digging into one of their hearty dishes like the wagyu hotdog or the truffle cheeseburger paired with their craft beers is the perfect way to unwind after a day of exploration. The TVs scattered all over the restaurant make sure you don’t miss out on any games too.
Address: 1876 W 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1G5, Canada
Phone Number: +1 604 606 0840
Hours: Open everyday from 9 am to 6 pm
From freshly baked goods to salads, this gem welcomes you for breakfast, lunch, or dinner making it an excellent choice for any time of day.
You can expect classic breakfast dishes like different kinds of toast and granola, but they also have inventive ones like the breakfast risotto with quinoa and almond milk.
Don’t miss the salads, soups, and sandwiches either. The Mortadella Sandwich and roast beef are best sellers. If you’re into spices, the curried chicken sandwich is great!
Address: 1999 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M7, Canada
Phone Number: +1 604 734 7117
- Monday to Thursday from 11:30 am to 9:30 pm
- Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm
- Sunday from 11 am to 9:30 pm
Las Margaritas has established itself in the local food scene as a vibrant cantina that serves generous portions of Northern Mexican fare. You get to soak in the lively atmosphere as you savor traditional dishes.
The house specials like their fries topped with meat sauce, chipotle cream, and pico de gallo hits the spot everytime. For heavier meals, they have fajitas, burritos, and chimichangas. The Mexican hot chocolate and churros are a perfect note to end your meal on.
Mi Casa Mexicana
Address: 2015 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6J 3H4, Canada
Phone Number: +1 604 423 3121
- Tuesday to Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm
- Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm
- Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm
- Monday: Closed
Mi Casa Mexicana has always been our go to for some comfort food. They provide an informal cantina experience that feels like a warm embrace. You can expect traditional Mexican dishes prepared just for you every time.
We always start our meals with an order of their Guacamole, Beans, and Cheese Dip. For the main course the Trio Taster with chicken, beef, and pork is our go to, with the side of corn tortillas, chips, pico de gallo, guac, and the famous salsa.
Address: 2394 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1P1, Canada
Phone Number: +1 604 559 9533
Hours: Open everyday from 11 am to 3 pm and from 4 pm to 9 pm
The Peaceful Restaurant has been serving up some of Vancouver’s best since 1998. Their menu heavily features great dishes like their noodles which have won local awards!
The noodles are prepared traditionally. They’re freshly made and hand pulled and submerged in flavorful soup made from an equally flavorful broth. Their dumplings are also local favorites. You can have them served with the noodle dish.
Places to Stay Near the Vancouver Maritime Museum
Granville Island Hotel
Address: 1253 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
Phone Number: +1 604 683 7373
Pricing: $ $ $
Nestled on Granville Island, the Granville Island Hotel is a perfect place to stay, offering breathtaking views of False Creek and Vancouver’s skyline. After a day of fun and exploring, you head back to the hotel and enjoy the special cocktails served on site.
You can also extend your evenings with strolls along the seawall which is just steps away from the hotel. Don’t miss the vibrant Granville Island Public Market for a taste of local flavors and artisanal treats.
Level Vancouver Yaletown – Seymour Hotel
Address: 1022 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC V6B 0G1, Canada
Phone Number: +1 604 685 3835
Pricing: $ $ $
After a day of maritime wonders at the museum, Level Yaletown Seymour welcomes you with comfortable suites. If you’re with family or friends, they also have townhome-style accommodations with decked out kitchens.
During your stay, you gain access to the amenities the hotel has to offer which includes indoor relaxation spots and fitness centers and outdoor areas including a pool. If you like night caps, the area offers plenty of chances to dive into the nightlife minutes away.
Wedgewood Hotel & Spa
Address: 845 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1V1, Canada
Phone Number: +1 800 663 0666
Pricing: $ $ $
For a luxurious and over the top stay in Downtown Vancouver, the Wedgewood Hotel & Spa offers 83 suites inspired by European-style decor and design. For shopaholics like us, we like this hotel because it’s located across from Robson Square’s civic center and a short stroll from upscale shopping boutiques.
If you’re a homebody, worry not! Suites offer Nespresso coffee makers, flat screen TVs, whirlpool tubs, terraces, and fireplaces.The modern French cuisine served at the high-end restaurant, accompanied by live piano music is just the cherry on top!
Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver
Address: 845 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2K6, Canada
Phone Number: +1 604 682 5511
Pricing: $ $ $
The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver is a 5 star hotel for a reason. Aside from the comfortable, spacious, and elegantly decorated rooms and suites, the hotel also has an award winning restaurant on side.
After relaxing in the comfortable rooms, you can head to the Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar and enjoy world class dishes. You can end the night with a dip in the heated pool or the on-site Wine Merchant for a curated selection of wines.
La Grande Résidence at Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver
Address: 855 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2K6, Canada
Phone Number: +1 604 682 5511
Pricing: $ $ $
If you’re staying in the area for a longer period of time, but you’re still looking for a luxurious feel, the La Grande Résidence at Sutton Place Hotel offers a perfect blend of home comforts and upscale amenities.
Located in a private building adjacent to the main hotel in the previous entry, these furnished suites provide the same European allure, just with the elegance ramped up. With a personal concierge assigned per room, you will have all of your needs met.