Flightseeing in Vancouver: seaplane flight from Coal Harbour

Last time I was in Vancouver, I indulged in some aerial exploration of this beauty of a city. As you know I hopped on a helicopter on Grouse Mountain to see what everyone’s ooohing and aaaahing about when they talk about the scenery of BC.

Flightseeing is great, and I immediately though I’d have to do this again soon. Little did I know it would be so soon. My itinerary with the Virgin Atlantic crew was quite a jam-packed one, and although there was nothing on our paper schedule in the form of further aerial pursuits, they managed to put a “surprise” on there.

Well, one evening, just before heading off to the legendary VIP party where I would have a drink with Richard Branson and Cory Monteith, we all assembled in the stylish lobby of the Fairmont Pacific Rim, and were told our “surprise” was only a few minutes’ walk away. It all became perfectly clear when we walked down the stairs to the seaplane terminal!

Seaplane flight from Coal Harbour

It was the tiniest airplane I’ve ever been in – until I went skydiving. You couldn’t stand up straight, and the seats were arranged in a 3-2 pattern, i.e. 3 on one side, 2 on the other. Given it’s such a small aircraft, it’s surprising it even fits that constellation!

Cockpit of a seaplane in Coal Harbour – Floatplane in Vancouver

The safety instructions on a seaplane – by the captain himself, turning around in his seat, smiling with his sunglasses on. Style!

Of course we couldn’t take off without the obligatory safety instructions – from the pilot himself, who turned around in his seat and flashed a safety card! And then we were off. Well, it actually took a while until we really took off. A lot of floating around on the water, at increasing speed, and with quite some noise, but it didn’t feel choppy at all. Just the normal sort of movement you would feel in a normal airplane that’s accelerating on the runway.

View from the floatplane over West Vancouver

Once airborne, everything was very smooth. And given such a fine day, I was very happy to have a window seat. Here are some of the shots I took, with my nose glued to the window :)

View over Horseshoe Bay, from a seaplane over Vancouver

View over Horseshoe Bay, from a seaplane moments away from Vancouver

View over Vancouver from a seaplane. Gorgeous day!

View over Vancouver from a seaplane. Gorgeous day!

View onto the Burrard Inlet from a Harbour Air floatplane, Vancouver, BC

View onto the Burrard Inlet from a Harbour Air floatplane, Vancouver, BC

Views from the seaplane cockpit, airborne, onto downtown Vancouver, Canada Place, Coal Harbour

Views from the seaplane cockpit, airborne, onto downtown Vancouver, Canada Place, Coal Harbour

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Christina

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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  2 comments for “Flightseeing in Vancouver: seaplane flight from Coal Harbour

  1. 19 March, 2013 at 20:51

    I’ve watched the seaplanes in Vancouver Harbour many times but I’ve never flown on one. The view looks amazing – not sure that I wouldn’t be afraid in such a small plane though!

    • Christina
      19 March, 2013 at 23:41

      It wasn’t scary at all. The only thing I somewhat disliked was that it feels crowded in there. But the actual flight is very calm – it takes a while to take off, but it’s not choppy and very smooth, and once airborne you’ll just be distracted anyway!! :)

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