Virgin Atlantic sends Jandal Road to Vancouver with Twitter competition #WhyYVR

Virgin Atlantic ran a global competition on Twitter with the hashtag #whyYVR over the first half of May 2012, looking for the best blog post on Vancouver, the prize being the last seat on the inaugural flight. Guess who won!

About a year ago I went to Vancouver and instantly fell in love with it, and have since not really been able to get it out of my head. I keep raving about it to my friends, family and of course to you, Jandal Road readers. You may have noticed the odd Vancouver post.

And so when Virgin Atlantic announced that they would launch a new direct flight route from London Heathrow to Vancouver, I thought: great stuff, even more opportunity for people to experience this awesome place.

Vancouver as seen from Granville Island

Vancouver as seen from Granville Island

Of course I couldn’t help but notice #WhyYVR, the social media competition launched on the vtravelled blog a few weeks ago, inviting people to blog and tweet about what exactly it is that makes Vancouver such a great place to visit. As a competition prize, Virgin Atlantic chose the perfect inspiration – the last seat on the inaugural flight, accompanied by an incredible itinerary complete with VIP launch party, biking in the Rockies, touring Vancouver on a bike, and sampling the local beer.

In an effort to express my enthusiasm about this gem on Canada’s west coast, I put together a few of my highlights from Vancouver. I was thrilled and honoured to find out I actually won the competition! And so it goes that I will be boarding VS95 on Thursday morning, to take the last seat on the plane and join the lucky crew and passengers flying to YVR.

The official itinerary

I have to say, Virgin Atlantic and Tourism British Columbia have put together an itinerary that leaves no room for jet lag.

Below is my schedule for the 4-day adventure. There’s no doubt about it, the activities and experiences I’ll partake in will be exciting to say the least. I hope you’ll follow along on my journey to see what makes Vancouver such a great destination.

Before boarding VS95 to Vancouver, I’ll spend some time at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow and meet my fellow passengers. After landing in Vancouver, the group will attend a press conference, and is then immediately whisked off to … Whistler! On arrival at the Fairmont Chateau Hotel, I’ll be happy to attend the dinner reception and look forward to a restful night’s sleep to prepare for the following day’s activities.

An early start to the day with Whistler Eco Tours. I have never been to Whistler before, so I am very excited about this one. There were quite a few options available to choose from, and as enchanting as the waterfall walk or indeed tempting the spa may have been, I decided to join the bike and paddle tour, which includes mountain-biking to Alta Lake, canoeing across the lake, and hopping back on the bike on the other side to explore the mountain trails on the way back to town. In the afternoon, the group travels back to Vancouver and gets ready for the big event: the big VIP inaugural celebration party!


Capilano Suspension Bridge. Photo by Arrr! on Flickr

Capilano Suspension Bridge. Photo by Arrr! on Flickr

On Saturday morning, I’ll be joining a group to explore the North Shore. I’ll be testing my nerves again with some scary experiences. This time it won’t involve jumping off a bridge, but instead, walking on it. A new challenge! Capilano suspension bridge and Capilano cliff walk await, and nearby Grouse Mountain will provide equally tense moments with the Eye of the Wind and … grizzly bears, apparently.

In order to calm down in the afternoon, I’ll pay Granville Island a visit: the Granville Island Brewing Company and an artisan sake maker. After all the adrenaline, this will be a most welcome and soothing experience, particularly for my nerves.

Granville Island public market, Vancouver, BC

Granville Island public market, Vancouver, BC

I hear the evening holds a surprise for the group and a dinner event hosted by Tourism British Columbia.

Sunday’s schedule is fairly open still, with free time in the morning. I hope to meet my Vancouverite friends then and see what we get up to in beautiful Vancouver. There is certainly no shortage of things to do. Maybe we’ll head to the beach, or look at some art? I just hope for sunshine.

Art in English Bay, Vancouver, British Columbia

Happy guy in English Bay, Vancouver, BC

Before leaving the city in the evening to return to London, the itinerary has set asided some time for Steveston – yet another part of Greater Vancouver that I have not yet been to!

It’s hard to cover most of Vancouver’s sights in a week, but Virgin Atlantic and Tourism BC certainly made sure no-one wouldn’t get bored. I hope you’ll follow along as I discover Vancouver. Let me know if there’s anything you would recommend I do!

Christina Hegele

About the author: Christina Hegele runs Sandal Road, a blog on her favourite destinations. It just so happened that 95% turned out to be about New Zealand. Follow Christina and her blog on Twitter, like her blog on Facebook, and subscribe to her Youtube channel. Alternatively, subscribe to her email newsletter at the top right of this blog.

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  23 comments for “Virgin Atlantic sends Jandal Road to Vancouver with Twitter competition #WhyYVR

  1. 23 May, 2012 at 02:18

    Yay!! This is so exciting, and congrats on winning! Vancouver is definitely one of those cities I can’t believe we haven’t visited yet, but soooon. We’ll get there soon (hopefully!). 🙂

    • Christina
      23 May, 2012 at 20:50

      Thanks Christy! I can’t believe you haven’t visited Vancouver yet. I hope I can entice you to go, I think you’d love it.

  2. 23 May, 2012 at 04:16

    This is awesome, Christina, and so well–deserved! I’ll definitely be following your Vancouver adventures.

    • Christina
      23 May, 2012 at 20:59

      Thank you Cathy for your comment and for following the Vancouver shenanigans. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

  3. 23 May, 2012 at 06:13

    Congratulations! British Columbia is a wonderful place. You’ll love it.

    • Christina
      23 May, 2012 at 21:15

      Thanks Clive! I really liked your video!

  4. Lauren
    23 May, 2012 at 16:56

    Congratulations Christina, this is so exciting and your itinerary sounds amazing!

    • Christina
      23 May, 2012 at 21:15

      Cheers Lauren!

  5. Meagaan
    23 May, 2012 at 19:10

    Congratulations! I couldn’t think of a better person to send to Vancouver! Hope your time there is “absolutely gob smacking” 😉

    • Christina
      23 May, 2012 at 21:17

      Thanks Meagaan, and I’m sure it will be 😀

  6. 23 May, 2012 at 22:22

    Glückwünsch, Christina! Please say hi to my hometown for me – have a great time!

    • Christina
      23 May, 2012 at 23:21

      Danke Henry! I’ll say hi to your hometown for you!

  7. 24 May, 2012 at 09:10

    Congratulations! How exciting! Your itinerary sounds amazing. I’ve been to B.C. quite a few times, but I still want to do all the things you’ll be doing. Looking forward to hearing all about it!

    • Christina
      25 May, 2012 at 02:54

      Thanks Laurel! I’m sure you’d love the mountain biking tour. It’s on tomorrow 🙂

  8. 24 May, 2012 at 17:54

    So awesome! Congrats! After going to Vancouver last year, I liked the city as well and wish I had more time to explore. Sounds like a great itinerary where you will get to cover a lot of the city.

    Connect with Cam and Nicole of Traveling Canucks when you are there. They are great to hang out with. I stayed with them in Vancouver last year.

    • Christina
      25 May, 2012 at 02:57

      Jeremy, thank you! I couldn’t get enough of Vancouver last time around either, so glad to be back! With the added bonus of Whistler. My itinerary is chock-a-block but I’ll see if they’re around when I’m free. Thanks for connecting 🙂

  9. 19 June, 2012 at 03:50

    What a fantastic experience! Congratulations! It’s awesome that you won, since you really loves Vancouver. That makes it something special.

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