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Airplane Tours in Vancouver

Vancouver and its surroundings are known for its scenic beauty with its green parks, beaches, island passageways and North Shore Mountains. You can now enjoy all this lovely scenery from the air during an interesting variety of airplane tours in Vancouver.

Go on an aerial tour of the city and the North Shore Mountains for magnificent views. Or fly over the Gulf Islands to lovely Victoria, explore the city and return by ferry to Vancouver.

Here's all you need to know about airplane tours, one of the most exhilarating outdoor activities in Vancouver.

What are the best airplane tours in Vancouver?

Classic Vancouver panorama tour by seaplane

Experience the ideal introduction to seaplane aviation on this highly popular aerial tour of Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains. Depart from downtown Vancouver’s busy Coal Harbour, and admire the perfect aerial views of the city and the surrounding green parks and beaches.

Ensure that you have contacted the tour operator after booking for your exact flight time and remember to bring your passport or ID card. You will meet your guide at the Vancouver Seaplane Terminal, located at the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre, Burrard Landing. Your experienced hosts regularly run scheduled flights between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island and also service the Gulf Islands.

Enjoy the thrill of flying as the seaplane takes off in an exhilarating spume of water and loops over the city and Stanley Park for wonderful views from above. At the end of the flight, the pilot will land in front of the iconic Vancouver Convention Center. The effective flight time of your Vancouver panoramic tour is 20 minutes.

Vancouver to Victoria by seaplane and ferry

Go on the adventure route from Vancouver to beautiful Victoria by seaplane and enjoy the lovely aerial views when crossing the Strait of Georgia. Then embark on your own sightseeing excursion of British Columbia’s capital on the craggy southern end of Vancouver Island. Explore Victoria's attractive historic neighborhoods by coach and the scenic ferry ride back to Vancouver.

Your meeting point for the tour is at Harbour Air Seaplanes, Canada Place, situated at Burrard Landing in Coal Harbour. You will be required to present your Government issued photo ID at the check-in. Then meet your experienced pilot and board the seaplane for an exhilarating take-off.

You will leave behind Vancouver’s busy harbor and for the next 35 minutes, soak up the great panoramic views of the city and the island passageways. Admire the beautiful snow-capped North Shore Mountains and the dramatic beauty of the Gulf Islands before touchdown in Victoria.

You can now spend the day exploring the city’s charming antique shops and cafes and the historic alleys of Chinatown, the oldest one in Canada. You will see Victoria’s British colonial past in its attractive Victorian architecture, which includes the stately Craigdarroch Castle. The city also boasts extensive parkland, with Butchart Gardens covering 55 acres of bright floral displays. At the end of your exploration of Victoria, you can enjoy the scenic ferry cruise back to Vancouver.

Vancouver to Seattle Museum of Flight private tour

Explore the history of aviation on a fascinating private tour from Vancouver to Seattle’s famous Museum of Flight. At the museum you can travel through time and space exploring its fascinating collection of aircraft and spacecraft, exhibits and galleries, and interesting artifacts. Discover numerous stories and fascinating facts about the past, present and future of aviation.

Your private tour includes return transfers from Vancouver. You will be picked up from your hotel or accommodation in Vancouver or Richmond and leave Vancouver around 8 AM in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle. The drive will go straight from Vancouver to The Museum of Flight in Seattle. The journey to Seattle lasts 3.5 hours but at one point along the way, the group will stop for a coffee break at Starbucks Reserve.

The aviation collection of the Museum of Flight is regarded as one of the best of its kind in the world. The collection includes over 150 aircraft, and over 25,000 small items (anything smaller than an aircraft). It also contains over 90,000 books and periodicals, and over 18,000 aircraft manuals and other technical documents. Its archives accommodates almost 1,500 cubic meters of material, including over one million images.

To explore The Museum of Flight properly will take at least four hours, and therefore this tour is unable to cover any other attractions in Seattle. The tour is just a museum visit, with seven hours in driving time and another four hours to explore the museum.

How much do airplane tours in Vancouver cost?

The Classic Vancouver panorama tour by seaplane costs US$110 per person, with the actual flight time estimated at 20 minutes. Children aged under 2 fly free.

The 12-hour Vancouver to Victoria by seaplane and ferry tour costs US$260 per person, and includes your bus and ferry fares back to Vancouver.

The 12-hour Vancouver to Seattle Museum of Flight private tour costs US$480 per person, and includes return transfers from Vancouver in an air-conditioned vehicle. The tour does not include the Museum entry ticket, which costs from about US$30 per adult.

What is included?

The Classic Vancouver panorama tour by seaplane includes the airfare taxes, fees and carbon offset charges. The Vancouver to Victoria by seaplane and ferry tour includes your bus and ferry fares back to Vancouver, carbon offset levy, and GST. The Vancouver to Seattle Museum of Flight private tour includes return transfers from Vancouver, but not the Museum entry ticket.

Where does it start?

Airplane tours from Vancouver usually start from the Seaplane Terminal, located at Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre Unit, Burrard Landing in Coal Harbor. For the Vancouver to Seattle Museum of Flight private tour, you will be picked up from your hotel in Vancouver and driven to the Museum in Seattle (about a 3.5-hour drive).

How long does it last?

The typical flight duration around Vancouver is 20-30 minutes and 30-45 minutes for extended flights. The duration of tours to Gulf Islands and Victoria is about 10 hours on average, including the 35-minute flight from Vancouver to Victoria.

The Classic Vancouver panorama tour’s actual flight time is 20 minutes, while the Vancouver to Victoria by seaplane and ferry tour lasts 12 hours.

When is the best time for an airplane tour in Vancouver?

The best time for this activity in Vancouver is during July and August, which is the peak summer season. The rainy season in Vancouver is September through June, so it’s rainy most of the year. June and September aren’t as rainy as the other months.

Are there any combos available with airplane tours in Vancouver?

Seaplane flight to Victoria and whale-watching cruise

Discover the natural wonders of Vancouver and Victoria on a whale watching excursion. Enjoy lovely aerial views on crossing the Strait of Georgia by seaplane. Set off from the island capital on an exciting whale-watching cruise through Haro Strait, the home to orcas, sea lions and seals. Then return to the mainland by plane.

Gulf Islands kayak outing with seaplane experience

Explore the idyllic Gulf Islands between continental Canada and Vancouver Island by combining a seaplane flight and a kayaking tour. These waters are home to, among others, bald eagles and oystercatchers, seals, dolphins and otters.

Your tour begins with a seaplane flight to Salt Spring Island for great aerial views. You will then explore this lovely paradise along the rock formations and remote beaches in secure seafaring double kayaks.

Is it safe?

Flying in seaplanes is quite safe, but the flights are not recommended for people with heart problems or other serious medical conditions, or suffering from vertigo.

Are children allowed?

Children are allowed on the tours, but infants must sit on laps. For the Classic Vancouver panorama tour, child pricing is only valid if accompanied by a paying adult. Children aged under 2 fly free.

What happens in case of bad weather?

These tours depend on good weather. If it’s canceled because of poor weather, you can choose a different date or request a full refund.

Which other outdoor activities can be done in Vancouver?

Travel tips

  • Seaplane tours in Vancouver book up fast, so make sure to book in advance.
  • Ensure that you carry one form of picture ID.
  • The standard tip for seaplane pilots is 15-20% of the ticket price.

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