Imagine being able to fly into the city from where you’ll be setting sail on a cruise, collect your bags, walk a short distance in the same building and check them straight through onto your ship – where the next time you’ll see them will be in your stateroom.
Sure, there are plenty of baggage transportation companies who can transport your luggage between an airport and a cruise ship, however very few facilities allowing you to complete full check-in formalities and then to proceed directly to the terminal, through security and onward to your stateroom.
Vancouver Airport is one of the few exceptions currently in operation. Situated in both the Domestic and International terminals, whether you’re flying in directly from Australia or from another part of Canada, travellers who have advised their cruise line of their flight details will be met in the Arrivals hall and escorted to the check-in desks and onward to the pier. Note though that this applies only to passengers arriving in Vancouver on the same day as the ship departs – however many people prefer to land a day before departure in order to mitigate any potential delays or disruptions.
During the peak cruise season for Vancouver, sometimes as many as four different ships can be sailing into Alaska or elsewhere on any given day. Such congestion can make these check-in facilities at Vancouver Airport particularly useful, especially if you’re flying in on the same day. Rather than battle crowds at the Canada Place Cruise Terminal, the entire check-in process can be carried out right after you clear Immigration and collect your luggage.
The check-in desks are located to the left just after travellers enter the Arrivals Hall at Vancouver International Airport. Depending on which ships are in town on a particular day, logos for that brand will be clearly displayed on the TV screens above the desks. If you get stuck, there is often plenty of assistance walking around in the form of Vancouver Airport’s Customer Care volunteer ambassadors, identifiable by their green and blue jackets.
It’s undoubtedly a handy service offered by Vancouver Airport and one which is not utilised by a huge number of travellers each day, meaning lines never really reach a great length. Once you’ve checked in and submitted your bags, your escort will whisk you to one of the many transportation services available at Vancouver Airport. One of the best is the railway, which takes around 30 minutes to get to Waterfront Station, right at the cruise terminal.