The Best Ship Watching Locations in the Lower Mainland

by Robert Etchell 2017

Vancouver Lions Gate Bridge

Lions Gate Bridge viewing deck, Vancouver BC (Photo from the Robert Etchell Collection (Copyright reserved).)

I am a passionate ship watcher and I try to photograph as many different ships as possible. I have been doing this for many years and have built up a very large collection. I thought it would be useful to share my locations with others who would be interested in visiting them to get their own pictures. You have to be very patient to get the best pictures of the most interesting ships.

Vancouver Lions Gate Bridge

The Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver BC (Photo from the Robert Etchell Collection (Copyright reserved).)

The Lions Gate Bridge is the very best location for ship photography. I go on to the Lions Gate Bridge walkway which has 4 viewing platforms. You can see the sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. At the tower are the two viewing platforms. The one on the right is where I go to photograph. I usually go to the one on the east side looking towards downtown. I am close there to the Park and the ships come very close there too.

Vancouver Lions Gate Bridge

The View of the Harbour From the Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver BC (Photo from the Robert Etchell Collection (Copyright reserved).)

A lot people go to the east side of the bridge to see the cruise ships leave for Alaska. I usually photograph there from 3:00pm to 6:00pm during which time usually there are a lot of ships which are going in or out of the harbour depending on what is happening.

Shipwatching Richmond No. 4 Road

Viewing Platform at No. 4 Road Richmond BC (Photo from the Robert Etchell Collection (Copyright reserved).)

On the north arm of the Fraser River this is the Outflow Station at No.4 Road at River Road in Richmond BC. You can see that it has viewing platform on which there are stairs on the other side and a bench below it.

Vancouver Prospect Point

Prospect Point, Stanley Park, Vancouver BC (Photo from the Robert Etchell Collection (Copyright reserved).)

Prospect Point in Stanley Park is accessed by the roads in the Park. To get there go to Pipeline Road then at the end make a left and go to the top of the hill where you see the Prospect Point Cafe. That is where a viewing platform is located which was built in 2006 after the December wind storm. The ships come very close there. I usually go there from about 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Sky Train Bridge

The Canada Line Skytrain Bridge Richmond BC (Photo from the Robert Etchell Collection (Copyright reserved).)

The Canada Line Bridge has a sidewalk on the west side – it’s the only sidewalk on the bridge. It faces towards the airport (YVR) and the Oak Street Bridge. Mainly what you can see are tugs going upbound on the North Arm of the Fraser River but you will see them going outbound too. The bridge is at the end of Cambie Street at east Kent Avenue in Vancouver. I have never seen any other photographers there.

McDonald Park

MacDonald Park (Photo from the Robert Etchell Collection (Copyright reserved).)

In Ricmond I often go to MacDonald Park. The tugs come very close there, and its just across from the airport.



To quote from this article please cite:

Etchell, Robert (2017) The Best Ship Watching Locations in the Lower Mainland. Nauticapedia.ca 2016. http://nauticapedia.ca/Articles/Shipwatching.php

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