ABOARD NOORDAM-I had planned to conclude my blog on the Alaska Noordam voyage when I
returned return home Monday with a brief report on our post-cruise tour in Vancouver — but I was struck down by some kind of bug (I’m guessing flu) and haven’t been able to face up to the computer until today.
The highlight of our post-cruise package from HAL (which included a night at the Four Seasons Hotel) was a Hop-on Hop-Off bus tour of the city offered by Westcoast Sight-Seeing. Hopping aboard one of the colorful coaches (which have both open and clear-top enclosed sections for great viewing) just steps
from our hotel on a bright, sunny 75-degree day, we made the rounds of what I consider to be North America’s most beautiful city. The tour includes 23 stops, including historic Gastown, Stanley Park and Granville Island.
Cruising through Stanley Park — a thousand-acre urban refuge often cited as one of the world’s finest public parks — we were surprised to see that the beaches, English Bay and Sunset in particular, were absolutely jammed for so early in the season. Many passengers disembarked to visit the highly acclaimed Vancouver Aquarium but we continued on, pausing for a stroll through idyllic Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden and then spending a couple of hours exploring Granville Island. We poked around the sprawling Public Market and settled in for a late lunch overlooking the water (False Creek) at the Vancouver Fish Company. Later that evening we shared a steaming platter of shrimp teriyaki at Koya Japan restaurant in the Pacific Centre mall next door to the Four Seasons. It was a wonderful day — maybe the best of the entire week — and a perfect conclusion to our Noordam cruise experience.