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Vancouver International Boat Show

Top of a Boat Show Yacht

The Vancouver International Boat Show takes place in mid-January at BC Place and at the marina at Granville Island. Hundreds of boats are for sale.

At the event there are fishing boats, pleasure yachts, jet skis, kayaks and other sorts of vessels on display, as well all kinds of motors and marine equipment.

 


See below for the following information about the Boat Show, or click a link to jump to a specific topic.

Hours & Admission | Regular Admission | Discounted Ticket Offers | Boat Show Activities | Free Shuttle Service | Boat Show VIDEO | Tips & Advice


 

The Vancouver Boat Show

In 2018 the Vancouver International Boat Show took place January 17-21.

An annual event for over 50 years, the Vancouver International Boat Show is the premier boating event in Western Canada. It’s also the largest showcasing of the recreational boating industry in British Columbia. If you’re a boat fanatic, you’ll want to be there!

Much of the event is indoors at BC Place Stadium at 777 Pacific Boulevard, which is great if it’s a typically rainy January day. It also takes place by the Granville Island Maritime Market and Marina at 1676 Duranleau Street. Free shuttle buses and water ferries run continuously between the two venues.

Metal Boat Show Boats
Boats at BC Place Stadium

Boat Show Hours and Admission

In 2018 the Vancouver International Boat Show ran from Wednesday, January 17, until Sunday, January 21.

Hours of operation most years are from 10 am to 8 pm from Wednesday to Saturday, and from 10 am to 5 pm on the Sunday.

Admission to the event includes all show activities including educational seminars, live entertainment and boat rides on the biggest indoor lake for boaters on the planet. Admission also includes both the outdoor floating show at the marina at Granville Island and the indoor show at BC Place Stadium, as well as water ferry and shuttle bus services between the two venues.

Checking out the Boat Show Boats
The Granville Island Marina

Regular Gate Admission Prices

Admission to the event in 2018 was $15 for adults (age 17 to 64) and $13 for seniors for one day, just $4-$5 more for two days, and $25 for a 5-day pass. Children ages 16 and under are free most years when accompanied by an adult. Prices in 2018 were the same as they were in both 2016 and 2017.

Here’s a recap of the 2018 prices including GST taxes:

  • Adults (ages 17 to 64): $15 for one day ticket and $20 for two days.
  • Seniors (ages 65+): $13 for one day ticket and $17 for two days.
  • 5-Day Pass (ages 17+): $25
  • Children (ages 16 and under): free (when accompanied by an adult).

Discounted Ticket Offers

If you sign up for the Skippers’ Club e-Newsletter and then buy your Boat Show tickets online in advance you’ll save a few dollars.

Another way to save is to attend the Vancouver International Boat Show after 5 pm. Arrive at the gate on the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday in the evening and pay just $5. During these evening specials, children ages 16 and under still get in free when accompanied by an adult.

Groups of 20 or more people also get a discount – the cost for them is just $10 per person.

Calibre Yachts Vancouver

Boat Show Activities

There is a lot to do at the Boat Show other than just look at boats, motors and marine equipment.

At the Vancouver International Boat Show there are seminar speakers including do-it-yourself workshops, boating seminars, sport fishing talks and even cooking demonstrations. Don’t only look at the boats – get your money’s worth and attend the learning events!

For children, there is a Kids’ Zone, plus the free trips on the water ferries are always fun.

In addition to all the seminars, over 250 exhibitors are expected, as are close to 30,000 attendees.

False Creek Ferry and Aquabus
False Creek Ferry and Aquabus Boats

Ferry and Bus Shuttle Service

Admission to the Vancouver International Boat Show includes access to complimentary bus and ferry shuttle services.

Free shuttle bus service is offered every day throughout the event between the Floating Show at the Granville Island Maritime Market and Marina and the main entrance at BC Place Stadium.

Complimentary mini ferry service also runs continuously between the Granville Island venue and the Plaza of Nation’s dock near BC Place Stadium (outside Gate D).

Boat Show Video

Check out the video below to get an idea of what to expect at the Vancouver International Boat Show.

As you’ll see, the event takes place both outdoors at Granville Island and indoors at BC Place Stadium. There are boats of all kinds on display, and mini ferry boats that take passengers back and forth between the two venues.

Tips and Advice

Below is a list of suggestions and other information to help you make the most out of your visit to the Vancouver International Boat Show.

  • TIP #1: Both venues will be quietest on weekdays during the day and first thing in the mornings on the weekend. The BC Place venue will also be busiest on rainy days while the Granville Island venue is less busy when it’s wet out.
  • TIP #2: There are a number of nice restaurants close to both venues. BC Place Stadium isn’t far from Chinatown, Yaletown or Robson Street. There are also a number of nice restaurants on Granville Island. Conveniently, the Vancouver Dine Out Festival runs at around the same time as the Boat Show each year. Fantastic 3-course menu deals are offered during this time. Click Best Downtown Restaurants in January for details.
  • TIP #3: Be sure to take in some of the educational seminars. They are interesting and you can learn a lot.
  • TIP #4: Especially if at the Boat Show when it’s not crazy busy, chat with the exhibitors. Ask questions, learn something new and have fun with the experts.

Parking and Transit Tips

  • TIP #5: Take public transit if you can. BC Place has easy access to a SkyTrain station and from there you can catch the free shuttle service to and from Granville Island.
  • TIP #6: There is lots of parkade parking at or near BC Place Stadium. Sometimes parking fees are at a premium during “special events,” but weekends are usually more affordable than other times.
  • TIP #7: There is free parking at Granville Island, but it fills up quickly on busy days and is usually limited to a maximum of 3 hours. Get there early if you want a chance of finding a free spot. Give yourself lots of time though to get back from BC Place Stadium before your time runs out.
  • TIP #8: The complimentary mini ferry service between the two venues can be a nice treat, especially for the rare person at the event not used to being out on a boat. Have patience though at busy times as the lineups can get long.
  • TIP #9: If relying on the complimentary ferry or bus service to get back to your car, give yourself lots of time in case there’s a big queue.

Dine Out Vancouver Festival Restaurants

Again, while you’re downtown, don’t forget that the Dine Out Vancouver Festival takes place the last two weeks or so of January. For a list of downtown restaurants offering great 3-course dinner deals as part of the festival, check out Downtown Vancouver Festival Restaurants.

And for more ideas on things to do on other days, check out Vancouver’s January Events Calendar.