Tahiti, Hawaii & South Pacific Crossing/Discovery Princess
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Discovery Princess

Tahiti, Hawaii & South Pacific Crossing - 23 night cruise



Cruise only from €2,496

Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.


Description

Gratuities

Dates and Prices

Cabins

Discovery Princess℠, our third vessel designed from the ground up with Princess MedallionClass™ and the final Royal-class ship, will continue to deliver an array of innovative new experiences. Enjoy 270-degree sweeping views from our largest balconies at sea, unwind in ultimate comfort at The Sanctuary, and indulge your senses with world-class dining options from Michelin-star and renowned chefs. Plus, Princess live entertainment presents spectacular new productions that can only be seen in our state-of-the-art Princess Theatre. With our effortless, personalised service of the MedallionClass® experience, your real holiday has just begun!

From the moment you step aboard, we want you to feel welcomed and right at home. And with attentive service from a friendly staff that knows what hospitality means, you'll find your Princess® ship truly is your home away from home.

Cruise ID: 32285

To simplify the tipping process for our passengers, a discretionary gratuity charge will be automatically added to your shipboard account on a daily basis. The daily gratuity amounts are $16.50 per guest for suites, $15.50 per guest for mini-suites and club class, and $14.50 per guest for interior, oceanview, and balcony staterooms. This gratuity will be shared amongst those staff who have helped provide and support your cruise experience, including all waitstaff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, and housekeeping staff across the fleet. A 18% gratuity is added to bar charges and dining room wine accounts. 

Date Time Price * Booking
12 April 2026 19:00 €2,496 Call us to book

* Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.

Cabins on Discovery Princess

Reserve Collection
1-4

Mini-Suite with Exclusive VIP Touches

A premium stateroom category featuring our best located Mini-Suite staterooms, as well as the great amenities found in all Mini-Suites — plus premier dining benefits and luxurious perks. Each night, enjoy Reserve Dining, an exclusive dining area featuring expedited seating with no wait, additional menu options, dedicated wait staff and tableside preparations. Other amenities include priority embarkation and disembarkation, a complimentary one-time wine set-up and so much more!^

^Includes one 750 ml bottle of wine on embarkation day^^.

^^For mini-suite guests only: A one-time set-up for a 750ml bottle of wine on embarkation day. Full-suite guests enjoy a complimentary mini-bar setup and do not receive additional bottles of wine.

Standard Amenities:

  • Approximately 323 sq. ft., including balcony
  • Balcony with 2-4 chairs, table and ottoman
  • Bathroom tub and massage shower head with upgraded amenities
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Separate sitting area with sofa bed & coffee table
  • Complimentary welcome glass of bubbly on embarkation day
  • Luxury mattress topper and pillows
  • Two flat-panel televisions
  • Comfortable queen or two twin beds?
  • Refrigerator
  • 100% cotton, high-thread count linens
  • 24-hour room service†
  • Spacious closet
  • Desk with chair
  • Hair dryer & fine bathroom amenities
  • Digital security safe
Upgraded Amenities & Services:
  • The Princess Luxury Bed
  • Priority embarkation and disembarkation at the beginning and end of your cruise
  • One-time complimentary wine set-up^
  • Evening canapés, upon request
  • Luxurious terry shawl bathrobes
Reserve Dining:*
  • Exclusive area of the Main Dining Room
  • Expedited seating with minimal to no wait
  • Additional menu options
  • Dedicated waitstaff
  • Uniquely-styled décor (Premium table linens only)
  • Table-side preparations

?3rd/4th berths available in select cabins.

†Guests may call for room service delivery or order through OceanNow® in the Princess® Cruises app at any time of the day or night. Guests with the latest Princess Plus and Princess Premier packages enjoy OceanNow® and room service delivery with no charge. Otherwise, a one-time access fee of $14.99 USD per person per voyage will apply for OceanNow® delivery and a $5 USD room service fee will apply for each order placed by stateroom phone. Limitations, restrictions and conditions apply.

^Includes one 750 ml bottle of wine on embarkation day.

*Open every evening for dinner. Open for breakfast and lunch on sea days.

Facilities

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)

Mini-Suite
1-4

Add an Element of Luxury to Your Stay

Choose a luxurious Mini-Suite with balcony which is substantially larger than a Balcony stateroom and receive a complimentary welcome glass of bubbly. Mini-Suites include a separate sitting area with sofa bed and two flat-panel televisions. For families or groups needing a little extra space, Mini-Suites offer an appealing and affordable option.

  • Approximately 323 sq. ft., including balcony
  • Balcony with 2-4 chairs, table and ottoman
  • Bathroom tub and massage shower head
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Separate sitting area with sofa bed & coffee table
  • Complimentary welcome glass of bubbly on embarkation day
  • Luxury mattress topper and pillows
  • Two flat-panel televisions
  • Comfortable queen or two twin beds?
  • Refrigerator
  • 100% cotton, high-thread count linens
  • 24-hour room service†
  • Spacious closet
  • Desk with chair
  • Hair dryer & bathroom amenities
  • Digital security safe

?3rd/4th berths available in select cabins.

†Guests may call for room service delivery or order through OceanNow® in the Princess® Cruises app at any time of the day or night. Guests with the latest Princess Plus and Princess Premier packages enjoy OceanNow® and room service delivery with no charge. Otherwise, a one-time access fee of $14.99 USD per person per voyage will apply for OceanNow® delivery and a $5 USD room service fee will apply for each order placed by stateroom phone. Limitations, restrictions and conditions apply.

Facilities

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Dining Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Suite Benefits
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)

Suite
1-4

Most Luxurious Accommodations at Sea

Surrounding you with deluxe accommodations, a spacious Suite with balcony includes all the amenities of a Reserve Collection Mini-Suite^^, plus incredible premiums. Enjoy more living space, a sofa bed and separate seating areas, and wonderfully enhanced amenities that range from priority embarkation and disembarkation to a complimentary mini-bar setup in suite and so much more.

Includes all the fine amenities of a spacious Reserve Collection Mini-Suite plus:

  • Approx. 440 to 1,500 sq. ft., including balcony
  • Luxury balcony furniture including 2 loungers, 4 chairs, table and ottoman
  • 2 floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Separate sitting area with sofa bed, chair and 2 tables
  • One complimentary mini-bar setup and free daily bottled water
  • Spacious closet
  • Complimentary laundry and professional cleaning services
  • Complimentary Specialty Dining Dinner on embarkation evening^
  • Priority specialty dining and shore excursion reservation
  • Priority disembarkation at tender ports
  • Comfortable queen or two twin beds?
  • Refrigerator
  • Two flat-panel televisions
  • Private bathroom with tub and separate shower
  • 100% cotton, high-thread count linens
  • 24-hour room service†
  • Desk with chair
  • Hair dryer & fine bathroom amenities
  • Digital security safe

? 3rd/4th berths available in select cabins.

^ Applicable on cruises six days or longer. Reservations can be made once onboard your ship.

† Guests may call for room service delivery or order through OceanNow® in the Princess® Cruises app at any time of the day or night. Guests with the latest Princess Plus and Princess Premier packages enjoy OceanNow® and room service delivery with no charge. Otherwise, a one-time access fee of $14.99 USD per person per voyage will apply for OceanNow® delivery and a $5 USD room service fee will apply for each order placed by stateroom phone. Limitations, restrictions and conditions apply.

^^ Full-suite guests enjoy a complimentary mini-bar setup and do not receive the 750ml bottle of wine.

Facilities

  • Bath
  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Dining Area
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Whirlpool Bath
  • Room Service Available
  • Free Mini Bar
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Suite Benefits
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)

Balcony Stateroom
1-4

Front Row Seat for Beautiful Scenery

This impressive stateroom offers the added indulgence of a balcony and gives you more space than a standard stateroom. Enjoy your own private outdoor space with a table, two chairs, and a relaxing view of the inspiring scenery surrounding you, whether a beautiful sunset over the ocean or a new city to explore. It's also perfect to enjoy cocktails before dinner or a leisurely breakfast.

  • Approx. 214 to 222 sq. ft., including balcony
  • Balcony with 2 chairs and table
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Comfortable queen or two twin beds?
  • Refrigerator.
  • Flat-panel television
  • Private bathroom with shower
  • 100% cotton, high-thread count linens
  • 24-hour room service†
  • Spacious closet
  • Desk with chair
  • Hair dryer & bathroom amenities
  • Digital security safe

?3rd/4th berths available in select cabins.

†Guests may call for room service delivery or order through OceanNow® in the Princess® Cruises app at any time of the day or night. Guests with the latest Princess Plus and Princess Premier packages enjoy OceanNow® and room service delivery with no charge. Otherwise, a one-time access fee of $14.99 USD per person per voyage will apply for OceanNow® delivery and a $5 USD room service fee will apply for each order placed by stateroom phone. Limitations, restrictions and conditions apply.

Facilities

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Desk
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)

Interior Stateroom
1-4

Our Most Affordable Option

These staterooms are the perfect place to recharge your batteries. Our most affordable option, featuring two twin beds or a queen-size bed. Other amenities include a refrigerator, hair dryer, TV, closet and bathroom with shower.

  • Approx. 158 to 162 sq ft.

  • Comfortable queen or two twin beds?
  • Refrigerator.
  • Flat-panel television
  • Private bathroom with shower
  • 100% cotton, high-thread count linens
  • 24-hour room service†
  • Spacious closet
  • Desk with chair
  • Hair dryer & bathroom amenities
  • Digital security safe

?3rd/4th berths available in select cabins.

†Guests may call for room service delivery or order through OceanNow® in the Princess® Cruises app at any time of the day or night. Guests with the latest Princess Plus and Princess Premier packages enjoy OceanNow® and room service delivery with no charge. Otherwise, a one-time access fee of $14.99 USD per person per voyage will apply for OceanNow® delivery and a $5 USD room service fee will apply for each order placed by stateroom phone. Limitations, restrictions and conditions apply.

Facilities

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Shower
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)

Premium Oceanview Stateroom
1-4

A room with an expansive view

This new stateroom design offers a stunning wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. Loads of natural light brings an airy, openness to the space. Whether the relaxed view of the deep blue sea, or inspired scenery of a new city on the horizon, the Deluxe Oceanview ensures picture-perfect snapshots from the comfort of your room. This stateroom includes all the amenities of an interior room.

  • Approx. 172 sq. ft.
  • Stunning slanted floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Comfortable queen or two twin beds?
  • Refrigerator
  • Flat-panel television
  • Private bathroom with shower
  • 100% cotton, high-thread count linens
  • 24-hour room service†
  • Spacious closet
  • Desk with chair
  • Hair dryer & bathroom amenities
  • Digital security safe

?3rd/4th berths available in select cabins.

†Guests may call for room service delivery or order through OceanNow® in the Princess® Cruises app at any time of the day or night. Guests with the latest Princess Plus and Princess Premier packages enjoy OceanNow® and room service delivery with no charge. Otherwise, a one-time access fee of $14.99 USD per person per voyage will apply for OceanNow® delivery and a $5 USD room service fee will apply for each order placed by stateroom phone. Limitations, restrictions and conditions apply.

Facilities

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Desk
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)

Sky Suite
1-5

Unparalleled Service & Our Largest Balcony

Exclusive doesn't begin to describe the experience. Inclusive amenities, attentive service and a dedicated Suite Experience Manager to deliver your every desire are just the beginning. Crowning the heights of the ship, each Sky Suite hosts up to five guests, dazzling you with a 270-degree panorama throughout your voyage. Complementing the exquisitely appointed interior living spaces, a luxuriously furnished over 1,000-square-foot continuous balcony – the largest in our fleet – invites you to relax privately or host your own celebrations or catered events.

Includes all the fine amenities of a spacious Reserve Collection Mini-Suite plus:

  • Approx. 1,873 sq. ft., including balcony*
  • Pre-Cruise Shoreside Concierge
  • Seamless curb to suite experience
  • Suite Experience Manager to service your every need
  • Reserved Princess Theater seating
  • Complimentary access to The Enclave
  • Reserved Princess Cays bungalow~
  • Premium Champagne upon arrival
  • Two full bottle bar setup & mixers
  • Complimentary Princess Fine Wine Tasting
  • Private shopping concierge
  • Private Movies Under the Stars balcony viewing
  • Deluxe telescope for Discovery Stargazing at SEA
  • Complimentary Ultimate Balcony Breakfast and Dinner
  • Luxury balcony furniture including dining table for four, large day bed, loungers and exterior bar with mini fridge and TV at private patio
  • Living area with sofa that sleeps one?, side table, lounge chair, coffee table and dining table for four
  • Three floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Master bedroom with Princess Luxury Bed
  • Private master bathroom with bathtub and separate rain shower
  • Spacious closet and vanity/desk in master bedroom
  • Second bedroom with Princess Luxury Bed (queen or two twin beds)?, lounge chair and ottoman
  • Spacious closet and vanity/desk in second bedroom
  • Bathroom with separate shower in second bedroom
  • Full length mirrors
  • Luxury bedroom and bathroom linens
  • Upgraded bathrobes and slippers
  • Luxury bathroom amenities
  • Two refrigerators, one in the living area mini bar and a second on the balcony
  • Four flat-panel televisions
  • Portable hairdryer
  • Nespresso machine

*Port side Sky Suite is 1,808 sq.ft., including balcony

? 3rd/4th/5th berths available

~ Applicable on voyages that visit Princess Cays

Facilities

  • Lounge Area
  • Vanity Area
  • Bath
  • Full Bar
  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Second Bedroom
  • Sofa Bed
  • Dining Area
  • Shower
  • Whirlpool Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • TV
  • Coffee Machine
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)

Deluxe Balcony
1-4

Spectacular Views from Your Room

Choose this enhanced version of a Balcony stateroom with more space and a comfortable sofa bed. Enjoy a larger balcony with more room to view the beautiful scenery as you sail from destination to destination and take in the ocean breeze for a wonderful and romantic evening or morning.

  • Approx. 233 to 279 sq. ft., including balcony
  • Balcony with 2 chairs and table
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Sofa bed
  • Comfortable queen or two twin beds?
  • Refrigerator
  • Flat-panel television
  • Private bathroom with shower
  • 100% cotton, high-thread count linens
  • 24-hour room service†
  • Spacious closet
  • Desk with chair
  • Hair dryer & bathroom amenities
  • Digital security safe

?3rd/4th berths available in select cabins.

†Guests may call for room service delivery or order through OceanNow® in the Princess® Cruises app at any time of the day or night. Guests with the latest Princess Plus and Princess Premier packages enjoy OceanNow® and room service delivery with no charge. Otherwise, a one-time access fee of $14.99 USD per person per voyage will apply for OceanNow® delivery and a $5 USD room service fee will apply for each order placed by stateroom phone. Limitations, restrictions and conditions apply.

Facilities

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone

View Itinerary By Date



Day 1 Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland is called the City of Sails, and visitors flying in will see why. On the East Coast is the Waitemata Harbour—a Maori word meaning sparkling waters—which is bordered by the Hauraki Gulf, an aquatic playground peppered with small islands where many Aucklanders can be found "mucking around in boats."Not surprisingly, Auckland has some 70,000 boats. About one in four households in Auckland has a seacraft of some kind, and there are 102 beaches within an hour's drive; during the week many are quite empty. Even the airport is by the water; it borders the Manukau Harbour, which also takes its name from the Maori language and means solitary bird.According to Maori tradition, the Auckland isthmus was originally peopled by a race of giants and fairy folk. When Europeans arrived in the early 19th century, however, the Ngati-Whatua tribe was firmly in control of the region. The British began negotiations with the Ngati-Whatua in 1840 to purchase the isthmus and establish the colony's first capital. In September of that year the British flag was hoisted to mark the township's foundation, and Auckland remained the capital until 1865, when the seat of government was moved to Wellington. Aucklanders expected to suffer from the shift; it hurt their pride but not their pockets. As the terminal for the South Sea shipping routes, Auckland was already an established commercial center. Since then the urban sprawl has made this city of approximately 1.3 million people one of the world's largest geographically.A couple of days in the city will reveal just how developed and sophisticated Auckland is—the Mercer City Survey 2012 saw it ranked as the third-highest city for quality of life—though those seeking a New York in the South Pacific will be disappointed. Auckland is more get-up and go-outside than get-dressed-up and go-out. That said, most shops are open daily, central bars and a few nightclubs buzz well into the wee hours, especially Thursday through Saturday, and a mix of Maori, Pacific people, Asians, and Europeans contributes to the cultural milieu. Auckland has the world's largest single population of Pacific Islanders living outside their home countries, though many of them live outside the central parts of the city and in Manukau to the south. The Samoan language is the second most spoken in New Zealand. Most Pacific people came to New Zealand seeking a better life. When the plentiful, low-skilled work that attracted them dried up, the dream soured, and the population has suffered with poor health and education. Luckily, policies are now addressing that, and change is slowly coming. The Pacifica Festival in March is the region's biggest cultural event, attracting thousands to Western Springs. The annual Pacific Island Secondary Schools' Competition, also in March, sees young Pacific Islander and Asian students compete in traditional dance, drumming, and singing. This event is open to the public.At the geographical center of Auckland city is the 1,082-foot Sky Tower, a convenient landmark for those exploring on foot and some say a visible sign of the city's naked aspiration. It has earned nicknames like the Needle and the Big Penis—a counterpoint to a poem by acclaimed New Zealand poet James K. Baxter, which refers to Rangitoto Island as a clitoris in the harbor.The Waitemata Harbour has become better known since New Zealand staged its first defense of the America's Cup in 2000 and the successful Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in early 2009. The first regatta saw major redevelopment of the waterfront. The area, where many of the city's most popular bars, cafés, and restaurants are located, is now known as Viaduct Basin or, more commonly, the Viaduct. A recent expansion has created another area, Wynyard Quarter, which is slowly adding restaurants.These days, Auckland is still considered too bold and brash for its own good by many Kiwis who live "south of the Bombay Hills," the geographical divide between Auckland and the rest of New Zealand (barring Northland). "Jafa," an acronym for "just another f—ing Aucklander," has entered the local lexicon; there's even a book out called Way of the Jafa: A Guide to Surviving Auckland and Aucklanders. A common complaint is that Auckland absorbs the wealth from the hard work of the rest of the country. Most Aucklanders, on the other hand, still try to shrug and see it as the parochial envy of those who live in small towns. But these internal identity squabbles aren't your problem. You can enjoy a well-made coffee in almost any café, or take a walk on a beach—knowing that within 30 minutes' driving time you could be cruising the spectacular harbor, playing a round at a public golf course, or even walking in subtropical forest while listening to the song of a native tûî bird.

Day 2 Bay of Islands, New Zealand

The Tasman Sea on the west and the Pacific Ocean on the east meet at thetop of North Island at Cape Reinga. No matter what route you take, you'll passfarms and forests, marvellous beaches, and great open spaces. The East Coast,up to the Bay of Islands, is Northland's most densely populated, often withrefugees from bigger cities—looking for a more relaxed life—clustered aroundbreathtaking beaches. The first decision on the drive north comes at the footof the Brynderwyn Hills. Turning left will take you up the West Coast throughareas once covered with forests and now used for either agricultural orhorticulture. Driving over "the Brynderwyns," as they are known,takes you to Whangarei, the only city in Northland. If you're in the mood for adiversion, you can slip to the beautiful coastline and take in Waipu Cove, anarea settled by Scots, and Laings Beach, where million-dollar homes sit next tosmall Kiwi beach houses.An hour's drive farther north is the Bay of Islands, known all over theworld for its beauty. There you will find lush forests, splendid beaches, andshimmering harbors. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed here in 1840 betweenMaoriand the British Crown, establishing the basis for the modern New Zealandstate. Every year on February 6, the extremely beautiful Waitangi Treaty Ground(the name means weeping waters) is the sight of a celebration of the treaty andprotests by Maori unhappy with it. Continuing north on the East Coast, theagricultural backbone of the region is even more evident and a series ofwinding loop roads off the main highway will take you to beaches that are bothbeautiful and isolated where you can swim, dive, picnic, or just laze. .The West Coast is even less populated, and the coastline is rugged andwindswept. In the Waipoua Forest, you will find some of New Zealand's oldestand largest kauri trees; the winding road will also take you past mangroveswamps. Crowning the region is the spiritually significant Cape Reinga, theheadland at the top of the vast stretch of 90 Mile Beach, where it's believedMaori souls depart after death. Today Maori make up roughly a quarter of thearea's population (compared with the national average of about 15%). The legendaryMaori navigator Kupe was said to have landed on the shores of Hokianga Harbour,where the first arrivals made their home. Many different wi (tribes) livedthroughout Northland, including Ngapuhi (the largest), Te Roroa, Ngati Wai,Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngaitakoto, Ngati Kahu, and Te Rarawa. Many Maoriherecan trace their ancestry to the earliest inhabitants

Days 3-6  Cruising

Day 7 Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Papeete will be your gateway to the tropical paradise of French Polynesia, where islands fringed with gorgeous beaches and turquoise ocean await to soothe the soul. This spirited city is the capital of French Polynesia, and serves as a superb base for onward exploration of Tahiti – an island of breathtaking landscapes and oceanic vistas. Wonderful lagoons of crisp, clear water beg to be snorkelled, stunning black beaches and blowholes pay tribute to the island's volcanic heritage, and lush green mountains beckon you inland on adventures, as you explore extraordinary Tahiti. Visit to relax inside picturesque stilted huts, which stand out over shimmering water, as you settle into the intoxicating rhythm of life, in this Polynesian paradise.

Day 8 Moorea, French Polynesia

Mo'orea is one of the Society Islands of the French Polynesia. Located in the South Pacific, it is considered a magical island thanks to its majestic volcanic mountains, set against warm lagoon waters and green meadows. It is an island that attracts visitors of all abilities wanting to explore both above and below the ocean waters.

Days 9-14  Cruising

Day 15 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Capital of Hawaii, and a popular tourist destination, Honolulu is known for surfing and water sports. However, there's more to the city than surfing; with museums, the only royal palace in the country, and a mall, there's bound to be something of interest for any visitor.

Days 16-20  Cruising

Day 21 Los Angeles, California, United States

Home of the famous Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame, Los Angeles is the place to visit for anyone interested in film and television and hoping to get a glimpse at some famous actors and artists. Stroll down the Walk and enjoy the glamorous atmosphere and famous surroundings, or take a break on the Santa Monica pier and watch the sun set on the sea.

Days 22-23  Cruising

Day 24 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Victoria, the capital of a province whose license plates brazenly label it "The Best Place on Earth," is a walkable, livable seaside city of fragrant gardens, waterfront paths, engaging museums, and beautifully restored 19th-century architecture. In summer, the Inner Harbour—Victoria's social and cultural center—buzzes with visiting yachts, horse-and-carriage rides, street entertainers, and excursion boats heading out to visit pods of friendly local whales. Yes, it might be a bit touristy, but Victoria's good looks, gracious pace, and manageable size are instantly beguiling, especially if you stand back to admire the mountains and ocean beyond. At the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria dips slightly below the 49th parallel. That puts it farther south than most of Canada, giving it the mildest climate in the country, with virtually no snow and less than half the rain of Vancouver. The city's geography, or at least its place names, can cause confusion. Just to clarify: the city of Victoria is on Vancouver Island (not Victoria Island). The city of Vancouver is on the British Columbia mainland, not on Vancouver Island. At any rate, that upstart city of Vancouver didn't even exist in 1843 when Victoria, then called Fort Victoria, was founded as the westernmost trading post of the British-owned Hudson's Bay Company. Victoria was the first European settlement on Vancouver Island, and in 1868 it became the capital of British Columbia. The British weren't here alone, of course. The local First Nations people—the Songhees, the Saanich, and the Sooke—had already lived in the areas for thousands of years before anyone else arrived. Their art and culture are visible throughout southern Vancouver Island. You can see this in private and public galleries, in the totems at Thunderbird Park, in the striking collections at the Royal British Columbia Museum, and at the Quw'utsun'Cultural and Conference Centre in nearby Duncan. Spanish explorers were the first foreigners to explore the area, although they left little more than place names (Galiano Island and Cordova Bay, for example). The thousands of Chinese immigrants drawn by the gold rushes of the late 19th century had a much greater impact, founding Canada's oldest Chinatown and adding an Asian influence that's still quite pronounced in Victoria's multicultural mix. Despite its role as the provincial capital, Victoria was largely eclipsed, economically, by Vancouver throughout the 20th century. This, as it turns out, was all to the good, helping to preserve Victoria's historic downtown and keeping the city largely free of skyscrapers and highways. For much of the 20th century, Victoria was marketed to tourists as "The Most British City in Canada," and it still has more than its share of Anglo-themed pubs, tea shops, and double-decker buses. These days, however, Victorians prefer to celebrate their combined indigenous, Asian, and European heritage, and the city's stunning wilderness backdrop. Locals do often venture out for afternoon tea, but they're just as likely to nosh on dim sum or tapas. Decades-old shops sell imported linens and tweeds, but newer upstarts offer local designs in hemp and organic cotton. And let's not forget that fabric prevalent among locals: Gore-Tex. The outdoors is ever present here. You can hike, bike, kayak, sail, or whale-watch straight from the city center, and forests, beaches, offshore islands, and wilderness parklands lie just minutes away. A little farther afield, there's surfing near Sooke, wine touring in the Cowichan Valley, and kayaking among the Gulf Islands.

Day 25 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver is a delicious juxtaposition of urban sophistication and on-your-doorstep wilderness adventure. The mountains and seascape make the city an outdoor playground for hiking, skiing, kayaking, cycling, and sailing—and so much more—while the cuisine and arts scenes are equally diverse, reflecting the makeup of Vancouver's ethnic (predominantly Asian) mosaic. Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the world's most livable cities, and it's easy for visitors to see why. It's beautiful, it's outdoorsy, and there's a laidback West Coast vibe. On the one hand, there's easy access to a variety of outdoor activities, a fabulous variety of beaches, and amazing parks. At the same time, the city has a multicultural vitality and cosmopolitan flair. The attraction is as much in the range of food choices—the fresh seafood and local produce are some of North America's best—as it is in the museums, shopping, and nightlife.Vancouver's landscaping also adds to the city's walking appeal. In spring, flowerbeds spill over with tulips and daffodils while sea breezes scatter scented cherry blossoms throughout Downtown; in summer office workers take to the beaches, parks, and urban courtyards for picnic lunches and laptop meetings. More than 8 million visitors each year come to Vancouver, Canada's third-largest metropolitan area. Because of its peninsula location, traffic flow is a contentious issue. Thankfully, Vancouver is wonderfully walkable, especially in the downtown core. The North Shore is a scoot across the harbor, and the rapid-transit system to Richmond and the airport means that staying in the more affordable 'burbs doesn't have to be synonymous with sacrificing convenience. The mild climate, exquisite natural scenery, and relaxed outdoor lifestyle keep attracting residents, and the number of visitors is increasing for the same reasons. People often get their first glimpse of Vancouver when catching an Alaskan cruise, and many return at some point to spend more time here.

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