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FlyOver Canada At Cruise Terminal

FlyOver Canada-Alexis

To experience FlyOver Canada, as many cruisers are during stopovers in Vancouver, we decided to take an expert. Her name is Alexis, she is our 10-year-old granddaughter and she has done this — to quote her — “a million times.”

If you’ve never heard of FlyOver Canada, you should. When your ship is docked in Vancouver, half the passengers will be able to see it from their balconies. It’s at the north FlyOver Canadaend of Canada Place, Vancouver’s main cruise terminal, and the ticket booth is right where the hop-on, hop-off bus stops…talk about ideal!

You can walk to it easily during a stopover or, if your cruise originates there, complete your check-in and then walk off with plenty of time to return before departure. 

It’s a short trip, as is the “flight.”

Once you’ve watched the pre-flight movie and completed security checks, you’ll be strapped down for an Imax-type experience that will show you as much about this country of 30 million people as you can see in eight minutes. The Ultimate Flying Ride, as it’s FlyOver Canadacalled, is phenomenal. You actually feel like you’re hovering over a herd of horses on the plains…flying through snow-covered mountaintops in the Rockies…watching the spectacular Northern Lights from close range…passing through the jet stream of the famous Snowbirds.

The sensation is that you’re suspended from a helicopter as Canada goes by below. That sensation includes feeling the wind and the mist when applicable, such as over Niagara Falls…but no harsh Canadian winters!

The eight-minute trip is as much about this incredible technology (and the people who master it) as it is about the sights and sounds of Canada, taking you to places you would never go: deep into the forest as the colors are changing, over the CN Tower in Toronto, hovering above remote rivers and streams.

It costs $20 (adults) because that’s what Imax-type experiences go for these days. If we have a criticism, it’s that the flight is too short, not because you don’t get your money’s worth but because you don’t get to see enough of Canada, none of which is identified as you sweep over it. Another minor complaint is that one of the guides was hard to understand, given that her native tongue was not "Canadian," but that’s always a can of worms, isn’t it?

Our 10-year-old Alexis was excited about seeing it again and wearing a huge smile at show time. Even though we couldn’t take pictures (that’s taboo), she was still beaming happily eight minutes later, when she’d finished watching FlyOver Canada for the millionth and first time.

In the news…

• Costa to build two more 5,000-passenger-plus ships by 2020
• Windstar waives or reduces rates for solos on select cruises
Mexico Riviera deals on Princess for West Coast residents

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Star Princess
7 nights
September 12, 2015
Anchorage, Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Vancouver
Inside: $569
Cost per day: $81
www.princess.com

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