Looking for some of the top Vancouver seaplane tours to go on? You’ve come to the right place!
Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Why not take it all in by going on a Vancouver seaplane tour? All of the seaplane tours are operated by Harbour Air.
Get ready to swoon over Capilano Suspension Bridge Park’s vibrant greenery, Grouse Mountain’s snow-capped stunners (even during the summer), Downtown Vancouver’s skyscrapers that rival San Francisco’s, Granville Island, and Vancouver Harbour’s bright blue waters. You can even take a seaplane tour to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, known for its manicured gardens and Victorian architecture.
There are a variety of Vancouver seaplane tours to reserve depending on what you want to see. Get your wallet ready and don’t you dare forget your camera!
Disclaimer: This post uses affiliate links, which means I make a commission if you book through this post. If you do decide to book using my links, thank you so much for your support!
- My Top 3 Picks: Vancouver Seaplane Tours
- Seaplane Tour with Admission to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
- Extended Vancouver Seaplane Tours
- Seaplane Flight to Victoria with Ground Transport and Butchart Gardens Admission
- Must-Do Vancouver Seaplane Tours
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up the Best Vancouver Seaplane Tours
- Love what you read? Share the love and pin away!
My Top 3 Picks: Vancouver Seaplane Tours
Must-Do Vancouver Seaplane Tours
Kill two birds with one stone by taking an epic seaplane tour with aerial views of Vancouver and stopping off at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. This tour includes free admission to the park. You need to walk down the Capilano Suspension Bridge; it can be a little nerve-wracking but once you cross the other side, there is so much to explore. You can climb up to the tree canopy and cross mini bridges, heading all the way down to a pond.
If you’re looking for a way to get back, there are shuttles that come frequently to take you back to Canada Place in Vancouver.
The average seaplane tour is around 20–30 minutes. Not this one! This 45-minute tour flies you over to some of Vancouver’s most famous attractions such as Stanley Park, English Bay, Lions Gate Bridge, and the North Shore Mountains. You’ll even fly towards Whistler, one of the top ski resorts in North America. On land, Whistler is about 90 minutes away from Vancouver.
If you’re seeking a day trip from Vancouver, you can take a roundtrip seaplane flight to Victoria. I’m not going to lie, the price for this is pretty steep, but the convenience and gorgeous views over Georgia Strait and Mount Baker make it worth it. Also, the fee includes ground transportation and admission to the gorgeous Butchart Gardens, Victoria’s biggest attraction. This flight is also from Harbour Air in Downtown Vancouver.
Another way to travel to Victoria is to take the seaplane there, and then head back to Vancouver through the ferry. This makes it roughly cheaper than the roundtrip tour, and you can choose when to ride the ferry back. This makes the tour super flexible, as you can spend as much time in Victoria as you want. The ferry ride is 4.5 hours, so you can kick back and relax as much as you want with breathtaking views of Active Pass and the Gulf Islands.
While in Victoria, you are completely free to do what you want. You can stroll the streets filled with cafes, shops, and cute houses, or venture to Chinatown for vibrant culture and food. Victoria has amazing whale-watching excursions if you’re interested in that. Or you can spend all day in Butchart Gardens, admiring all the florals and getting some Insta-worthy photos!
Victoria is a prime spot for whale-watching, so if you want to base your trip around wildlife (you’ll get to see sea lions and seals as well), this tour is for you! You will fly roundtrip from Vancouver, and cruise through Haro Strait for 3 hours on a Zodiac boat or a covered vessel. Your guide will give you his/her knowledge all about the marine life.
This tour is only available from March to October, which is the peak whale-watching season.
After your excursion ends, you can choose to take the seaplane back to Vancouver or spend a bit more time in Victoria. Just remember to ask your guide for the last flight time of the day.
If you’re in a time crunch visiting Vancouver but still want to visit Whistler, make it a day trip through the seaplane! Instead of driving for an hour and a half, the journey takes 35 minutes both ways. This means you can take your sweet time exploring one of the top ski resorts in North America. This tour also includes free shuttle rides to and from Whistler Village, where you can dine, shop, visit an art gallery, or relax in a spa. It’s completely up to you!
If you’re craving a bit of adventure, you can also go zip-lining, off-roading, or hiking. However, if none of those appeal to you, I still recommend at least riding the gondola to the peak of the mountain!
For those who are visiting Vancouver and have never been to the US, this one is for you. You can take an easy-peasy trip to Seattle in less than an hour, which makes it SO much more convenient than driving 2 hours and waiting in line to cross the border.
Be aware that this is a one-way flight. I only recommend this if you’re done exploring Vancouver and are planning to stay overnight in Seattle. If that isn’t in your itinerary, you can book a seaplane flight from Seattle back to Vancouver, but that’s going to eat up your budget.
While visiting Seattle, make sure to stop by the famous attractions such as Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. While visiting the first Starbucks across the street from Pike is pretty cool, I recommend walking a few blocks to Capitol Hill to visit the Starbucks Roastery; they have a full menu with entrees, specialty drinks you won’t find in a standalone Starbucks, and most importantly…espresso martinis!
This tour follows a route that flies you over Vancouver’s stunning lakes and the snowcapped Mamquam Mountain, which is 8,450 feet high. Flying this route encapsulates all of Canada’s beauty, and unlike the other seaplane tours, this one lasts an hour! You will definitely need your camera for this one. While this tour is available all year round, viewing the alpine lake is only available during the summer (June–September).
If you’ve never been to Vancouver before, this is the perfect tour to give you an introduction to all of the attractions and landmarks. You’ll fly over Downtown Vancouver’s skyscrapers, Stanley Park, English Bay, Lions Gate Bridge. This is one of Harbour Air’s most popular seaplane tours. There is no narration for this tour, and it is scenic views only.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a seaplane?
A seaplane is self-explanatory; it’s a plane that takes off and lands on water, rather than on tarmac. There is even a gas station for the planes on the water! They were patented and invented in the 19th century, but they were used heavily in both World Wars. These days, seaplanes are used mostly in the tourism industry, whether as a way to travel between different islands (such as the Maldives) or as a way to go sightseeing (like a helicopter). The Vancouver seaplane tours operate as the latter.
Are seaplanes environmentally friendly?
Believe it or not, Harbour Air’s seaplanes are safe for the environment. In 2019, they created a prototype of an electric plane, and they are in the process of converting their fleet to become all electric…ePlanes, if you will.
Since 2007, Harbour Air has been working with Ostrom Climate Solutions, a carbon management company that helps them track annual greenhouse gas emissions, fuel records, employee commuting habits, and even office supplies.
Where do seaplanes go from Vancouver?
Depending on what you’re looking for, Vancouver seaplane tours can fly you all over all of the city’s main attractions. Or you can use them as a scenic tour AND a day trip to other gorgeous destinations like Victoria, Whistler, Seattle, and Nanaimo.
Wrapping Up the Best Vancouver Seaplane Tours
Canada is a breathtaking country, and Vancouver is no exception. Seeing the landscapes and attractions gives you another perspective of Vancouver that you wouldn’t get on land. It’s also just a unique experience that you’ll be able to capture on your camera and tell your friends. If you’re wondering a Vancouver seaplane tour should be on your bucketlist, hopefully this post convinces you to book away!
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Hannah is a travel writer, graphic designer, and the founder/editor of Hannah on Horizon. She is based in Sacramento, California, living with her husband and two adorable dogs. She shares tips on how to experience luxury travel on any budget, and how to maximize time at each trip or destination, no matter what your budget or amount of vacation time at work. She enjoys making you feel like you have visited each destination with her through her storytelling and informative writing style.