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Virgin Atlantic Announces New Route to Vancouver

by Moderator November 2011 - last edited April

 

As you may have heard, this week we've announced the launch of our 34th destination with the introduction of flights between London Heathrow and Vancouver, Canada. The new service will begin on 24th May 2012 and will operate four times a week on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Initially the service will run throughout the summer up until 27th October 2012, and we're looking forward to welcoming up to 40,000 Virgin Atlantic customers travelling between London and Vancouver in the first season.

 

Oh Canada...

As you can imagine, we're completely thrilled about this exciting new route. Not only is Vancouver one of the world's most beautiful cities - surrounded by water and set against a stunning mountain backdrop - but it's also the gateway to British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies, and offers easy access to the USA's Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon.

 

Flights to Vancouver will be on sale from 1st December 2011 but in the meantime, here's our pick of Vancouver highlights which we hope will inspire you to book a city break, fly-drive or wider Canadian holiday next year...

 

Stanley Park

Stanley Park is Vancouver's giant green heart and leading recreational space. Highlights include dozens of marked trails, a seawall pathway with sea and mountain views, family-friendly beaches and a large outdoor swimming pool overlooking the waterfront.

 

Stanley Park totem poles © Courtesy of Vancouver Tourism / Al Harvey

Stanley Park totem poles © Courtesy of Vancouver Tourism / Al Harvey

 

Gastown

The historic Gastown district's cobblestone streets are lined with Victorian buildings which today house everything from souvenir shops to art galleries to independent boutiques and cafes.

 

Gastown © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / Al Harvey

Gastown © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / Al Harvey

 

Granville Island

Centred around the Granville Island Public Market - a collection of merchants selling seafood, fresh produce, cheese and breads - Granville Island is both a local's favourite and a huge draw for visitors.

 

Market stall in Granvill Island public market © Tourism Vancouver

Market stall in Granvill Island public market © Tourism Vancouver

 

Chinatown

Vancouver is home to North America's third-largest Chinatown after San Francisco and New York. Soak up the atmosphere with lunch at one of the many traditional dim-sum houses, then seek some peace at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

 

Chinatown © Tourism Vancouver

Chinatown © Tourism Vancouver

 

South Granville

Occupying the Granville Street area between 4th and 15th Avenue, South Granville is one of the city's emerging upscale shopping neighbourhoods for visitors.

 

Granville Street © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / John Sinal

Granville Street © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / John Sinal

 

Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is Vancouver's most visited attraction and an all-season destination. Only 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, the famous Grouse Mountain Skyride (North America’s largest aerial tram system) takes visitors on a one-mile aerial journey to the Alpine Station, 3,700 feet above sea level.

 

Bear at the Grouse Mountain Refuge © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/Coast Mountain

Bear at the Grouse Mountain Refuge © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/Coast Mountain

 

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Make your way across the swaying Capilano Suspension Bridge over the Capilano River, complete with a mini-forest of totem poles, rainforest nature trails, and Treetops Adventure - a network of smaller bridges strung between the trees.

 

Aerial Shot of Capilano Suspension Bridge © Tourism Vancouver

Aerial Shot of Capilano Suspension Bridge © Tourism Vancouver

 

The Aquabus

Take the Aquabus across False Creek to Granville Island or the SeaBus across Burrard Inlet to Lonsdale Quay.

 

The Aquabus © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / A. Rios

The Aquabus © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / A. Rios

 

English Bay and Sunset Beach

In summer, English Bay becomes the jumping off point for rollerblading escapades, strolling, picnics and ice cream. Kids will love the floating slide and parents will appreciate the full time lifeguard.

 

Early evening at English Bay © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

Early evening at English Bay © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

 

Whale watching

Discover your love for wildlife with a Zodiac whale watching boat trek from Sewell's Marina in West Vancouver.

 

Whale watchers © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / Tom Ryan

Whale watchers © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / Tom Ryan

 

Kayaking

Kayaking is one of Vancouver's most popular outdoor activities. The North Shore's Deep Cove area is the launch point for Indian Arm, a tree-lined, finger-shaped fjord that curves northwards for 19 miles deep into the heart of the mountains.

 

Kayaking in a sheltered bay © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / John Sinal

Kayaking in a sheltered bay © Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver / John Sinal

 

In addition to the new service to Vancouver, we're also delighted to announce the launch of a second service to San Francisco which will operate three times a week. The new service will begin on 26th March 2012 and will run throughout the summer until 26th October 2012.

These two new services strengthen our network in the North American market, which already includes the nine long-haul destinations of New York City, Boston, Washington, Miami, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

For more information on flights and fares visit virginatlantic.com. For Vancouver hotels and more ideas for fantastic holidays to Canada, visit Virgin Holidays.


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Comments
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johnlewis November 2011
It would be great if Virgin flew to Vancouver in the winter, we would use the service regularly.
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TrevorWillingt November 2011
Good news about flying to Canada with the new route to Vancouver, but our regular trips are into Toronto - are there any plans to have a dirct flight to Toronto?
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TerryJenkinson November 2011
It's great that you are starting flights to Vancouver but what about Toronto? Especially from Manchester where there used to be four charters operating the route and now there is only one doing direct flights. With Virgin's quality service, you'd clean up!
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stevenbeaucham November 2011
yes Toronto is a must- BA or Air Canada does not fly direct from manchester
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GrahamMiller November 2011
I would also welcome flights in the winter months. Lots of winter sports fans head for Vancouver during these months.
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RogerBingham November 2011
Vancouver is now my favourite city (was Istanbul) since our visit earlier this year - a Virgin fight would have been a God-send.

Find the time to take a float-plane flight over the mountains.

AWESOME!

Also a four day ride on The Canadian to Toronto - unforgettable.

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StephenJames November 2011
PLEASE fly in the winter. BA flights are always packed every year we fly there
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JoanneClarke November 2011
Yes, i agree with everyone, in general Virgin would clean up with more flights from Manchester anyway, to sun and ski destinations. The Heathrow thing can be a nightmare and actually puts us off where we fly to as we will only go with Virgin. The Las Vegas route from Manchester is a godsend and more would be very welcome!!!
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MarkTurner November 2011
Totally agree that you need to start flying to Toronto all year round and from Manchester : )
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JaneThomas November 2011
Great news. Just a shame that there was not a not a stop-off in Calgary one way or the other. It's so much better than Vancouver to explore the Rockies, Banff and Edmonton as well as the wine growing area of B.C.
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Sandieplummer November 2011
Great that virgin are flying to Vancouver BA need some competition. We travel the route frequently, family live there,we will now be traveling Virgin and getting decent food.
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Jason November 2011
If my memory serves me right- Virgin use to fly from London to Toronto, but pulled the plug on it some years back now. Are reason why? I'm travelling to Toronto next year and would have preferred to of given Virgin my money instead.
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Kirby December 2011
I agree that South Granville is a great shopping area. The picture with the Orpheum Theatre is from downtown Granville. South Granville looks much nicer than this.
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IzzyUnite January 2012
Heathrow to Vancouver??? About time!!! Can't wait for our next visit to Canada. Will DEFINITELY be flying Virgin Atlantic.
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Kunle January 2012
Glad to hear about flights to Vancouver, but Agree with Toronto route....BA definitely needs competition.
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CharmaneRussel January 2012
Definitely need flights to Vancouver in the winter months : lots of winter sports then and we travel from South Africa to visit Whistler every year and the plane from London is always full.
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RichardHarring February 2012
Virgin flew Toronto for 3 months from June 2001 and pulled the route just after 911 caused a massive down turn in air travel - I guess the fledgling route, at that time, just couldn't handle it.
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About the author: Maxine

Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.