Vancouver’s Maritime Museum in Vanier Park showcases the region’s maritime and boating history, as well as that of the Pacific Northwest and Arctic.
It’s a good place to be on a rainy day, and Vancouver’s top attraction for learning about boats and maritime history.
THE MUSEUM IS OPEN!
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Maritime Museum temporarily closed to the public in the spring of 2020, but then reopened in the summer. As of late February, 2021, it is still open.
For the immediate future, the museum’s hours are Thursday to Sunday from 10 am until 5 pm. Visitors are encouraged to book their tickets online. Guests can also pay onsite, but with credit and debit payments only. A maximum of 50 people are allowed in the venue at any one time. Visitors must also follow signage instructions and go through the museum in one direction.
Located in Vanier Park between Kitsilano Beach and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Museum of Vancouver, the Maritime Museum is home to a historic arctic exploration vessel, the St. Roch, and displays of model ships.
The Vancouver Maritime Museum isn’t a large museum, but it has a fair collection of model ships and will likely take you between 30 minutes and an hour to go through, unless you are a model-ship enthusiast who wants to study every little detail on each display.
The highlight of the Maritime Museum is definitely the St. Roch, a retired RCMP police boat and the first vessel to circumnavigate North America. The St. Roch is indoors and you can board the vessel and walk all around it, including inside in the galley.
(Note: Interestingly, the St. Roch was built in North Vancouver in the Shipyards District which today still has buildings and a historic crane from the region’s rich shipbuilding past.)
Maritime Museum Information
The Maritime Museum is open seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm pretty much every day of the year except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The museum is also open Thursday evenings from 5 pm to 8 pm. It used to be by donation then, but not anymore.
The museum’s address is 1905 Ogden Avenue which is located in Vanier Park.
Admission to the museum is normally about $13.50 for adults, $11 for students and seniors, $10 for youth (ages 6 to 18) and $38 for a family. Children 5 and under are free.
What to Expect
At the Vancouver Maritime Museum expect to see a good number of model ships, some hands-on displays for children and the large St. Roch sailing vessel which you can climb aboard and explore.
As you enter the Maritime Museum, if you turn left you’ll find the St. Roch. It’s a large boat, built in British Columbia, and, in the early 1940s, the first to sail the Northwest Passage through the Arctic. Also being the first vessel to circumnavigate North America, today the ship itself is a National Historic Site.
You can climb aboard the St. Roch and go right inside and explore its decks. You can also go downstairs in the room that the vessel is in and see it from the bottom up, or pretend to steer a boat in front of an interactive video screen on the main floor.
On the other side of the museum, if you turn right as you go inside the main entrance from outside, you’ll find the museum’s galleries and displays. It’s not a huge museum, but it does have a fair number of rooms with artifacts in cases and written information on the walls. There are model ship displays, old photos and even a model galley that children can play in.
Tips and Advice
Below is some advice to help you make the most out of your visit to the Maritime Museum.
TIP #1: If you want to visit a number of attractions in the same area, consider getting the Vanier Park Explore Pass which gets you into the Maritime Museum plus the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Museum of Vancouver all for around $43 per adult or $37 for youth and seniors.
TIP #2: If you have school-aged children or grandchildren, a highly affordable way to visit the Maritime Museum is through the Kidsworld Program where children ages 4-13 get admission to a number of attractions on specific dates at no extra cost. It’s a great deal and includes free admission for one accompanying adult per child participant per attraction.
TIP #3: Another great and highly affordable time to visit the Maritime Museum is on Winter Wander day in early February. On a Saturday in early February the Maritime Museum, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Museum of Vancouver combine forces with the annual Winter Wander event when admission to all three venues is just $5 total. It too is a fabulous deal!
TIP #4: Yet another way to visit the museum at an exceptional price is to use a coupon from the Entertainment Book. The commonly-owned resource is full of buy-one-get-one-free deals at places all over the Lower Mainland, including the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
TIP #5: Consider exploring the St. Roch at the end of your visit. It’s arguably the highlight of the museum, so a nice attraction to finish your visit with.
TIP #6: While in the area, and if it’s not raining, go for a walk along the waterfront at Vanier Park. The views of Vancouver are beautiful.
Click Vancouver Maritime Museum for more information.
For details about other attractions, check out the following:
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
- Museum of Vancouver
- Vancouver’s Top 24 Attractions
- Vancouver’s Top 100 Attractions